Review Summary: All of a Sudden I'm lost for words.
In The Earth Is Not a Cold, Dead Place, instrumental post-rock band Explosions in the Sky proved themselves as narrative masterminds. The album was huge in scope and soundscape, and it captured the listener on an emotional journey; something to stay with you for years after the CD stopped spinning. Like any worthy sequel, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone proves that Explosions in the Sky have further broadened their horizons and expanded on their storytelling prowes. The Earth Is Not a Cold, Dead Place was breathtaking, yes, but it was one-dimensional. The instruments were beautiful and heartbreaking, and that's all that they were. On their follow-up album, Explosions in the Sky have taken their music to new atmospheric heights, and it is this that sets it apart.
Had the Texan quartet continued with the same thread woven four years previous, then All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone might have been a disappointment. Though this album still paints a rich soundscape with intricately-woven electric guitars, as before, a fresh, more atmospheric tone has taken precedent over emotion this time around. In this sense, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone shares greater similarity with the band's 2001 album Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever. In that, songs like "The Moon Is Down" gave a stunning sensation of being in outer space, gazing at the beauty of the universe. This feeling is regained in the ambience of tracks such as "It's Natural to Be Afraid" and "What Do You Go Home To?". This is in part thanks to the introduction of piano on this album; it is an invaluable asset to the atmosphere of the music. The instrument is mostly used to provide fluttery background textures rather than lead melodies, but when the piano is brought into the foreground (for example in the closing track "So Long, Lonesome"), it acts to further diversify band's aural toolbelt, and that's nary a bad thing.
Beyond bringing a fresh new sound, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone brings a lot more to the table with regards to song variety, as compared with Explosions in the Sky's previous albums. For the very first time tracks vary in length from four to fourteen minutes, and each song's approach to atmosphere and narrative is unique. "Welcome, Ghosts" is an immediate rock song that wastes no time vying for your attention, whereas "It's Natural to Be Afraid" is a beautiful, slow-burning epic. "The Birth and Death of the Day" melds these sounds, whereas "So Long, Lonesome" portrays simple beauty with atmosphere to boot. All of these songs complement each other's aura perfectly, serving to make the album much greater than the sum of its parts.
I've never been an astronaut (go figure) -- not even a stargazer -- but this album takes me to outer space, and brings with it a feeling of sentiment as though I'd been as a child. All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone is a wave of nostalgia for an experience that I've never been a part of, but always dreamt that I had.
someone please tear me away from post-rock reviews. somehow it's all i'm able to write about. i've tried to write reviews in other genres but it just comes out as a stale description of what each song sounds like, and i don't want to do track-by-track.
Protip: you can make italics by writing [i ]insert word here [/i ] (remember to remove the spaces). Use it for album titles - makes the writing seem a whole lot neater.
Anyway, review is solid. The band doesn't really do it for me - actually, nothing post-rock produces ever seems to - though. Also this line: "Beyond bringing a fresh new sound, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone brings a lot more to the table with regards to song variety, as compared with Explosions in the Sky's previous albums" I disagree with completely. Every album of theirs seems to follow the same shimmering-guitar-crescendo formula.
But maybe I'm just not listening hard enough haha.
i think i realize a big reason why i cant get into this band anymore. their music feels too calculated to me now. there's a lack of rawness to it (and i don't necessarily mean just from a production standpoint). it just isn't real enough.
not quite for me but it's definitely awesome. mine would be a choice of: the moon is down, first breath after coma, the only moment we were alone and it's natural to be afraid. human qualities comes close too.