The Avalanches
Since I Left You


5.0
classic

Review

by IronGiant USER (14 Reviews)
February 22nd, 2014 | 37 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ‘Get a drink, have a good time now. Welcome to Paradise’

The first few words say it all; sit down, grab your favorite drink, and lose yourself in an album that embodies everything fun about life.

“Since I left you, I found the world so new.”

The phrase depicts everything wonderful about the human spirit; despite something as emotionally disrupting as heartbreak, these words choose to illustrate the silver lining. It reflects the resilience of the soul, illustrating the joy felt when we choose to look at the world through optimistic lenses. Besides, only the first half of the sentence is chosen as the albums title. Perhaps The Avalanches were trying to exemplify the idea that it isn’t the hardships in life that define us, but rather how we react to the obstacles; that is why the rest is left open ended, a message that is upon the listener’s due diligence to make of as he or she pleases.

Another common motif found throughout the album is transience. There’s an almost incessant flow of sounds and words that are associated with travel, such as the horses, flights, boats, cruises, journeys, etc. While these things may be merely reflecting the impermanence of the album (as it never seems to settle on one idea or another, for better or worse, for entirely too long throughout the hour-long running time), I’d like to imagine there is a deeper meaning. Since I Left You is an album that chooses to celebrate existence rather than fear it. The Avalanches worship the impermanence of life by embracing the novelty of moments such as our first love, first party, first time trying something new, first time being heartbroken, first time rebounding from a failure, and so on.

Instrumentally, the whole album sounds like two teenagers recorded it outside a German discothèque in the early 70’s on each of their own 8-track players, later piecing together whatever they got in a drug-induced comedown perpetuated by as much fear and depression as ecstasy and awe. The Avalanches dabble in instrumental trip-hop, hip-hop, piano/lounge music, jazz, pop, and so much more across its 18-track span, all of it created by layering individual samples on top of one another to create whole songs. “Frontier Psychiatrist” might be the best example of The Avalanches’ insatiable adoration for out of context sound bites. The song starts off with dialogue that sounds like it was pulled straight out of a 50s sitcom and transforms into a symphonic collage of narratives; the characters spin wild tales of cowboys, Indians, men with golden eyeballs, coconuts, and even parrots! You’ll find yourself declaring, “that boy needs therapy!” and just about every other immediately catchy hook from this classic song after the first time you hear it.

It is unfair to talk about Since I Left You track by track. It needs to be looked at holistically in order to be completely appreciated simply because it is a single entity; listening to “Electricity” or “Avalanche Rock” by itself or the entire album in an arbitrarily chosen order would be like throwing a dart at a book and starting to read from the page you landed on.

In the end, The Avalanches manage to drift off in the same flimsy lifeboat that we see on the cover, hanging on for dear life with each other as they traverse through the ocean. And while sometimes the water’s choppy and the waves are turbulent, I’ll be damned if they aren’t enjoying every moment of it.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
ethos
February 22nd 2014


1799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nailed it

IronGiant
February 22nd 2014


850 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks ethos glad you liked it

avonbarksdale221
February 22nd 2014


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Jesus this is a great review.

IronGiant
February 22nd 2014


850 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I really spent a lot of time on this (as I do with all my reviews) so I'm glad you guys enjoy it.

avonbarksdale221
February 22nd 2014


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album is always a fun listen.

IronGiant
February 22nd 2014


850 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I love how seamlessly it goes from the sugary electro-pop of two hearts in 3/4 time to the absolute killer (albeit short) rap of avalanche rock; that part always makes me smile

fromtheinside
February 22nd 2014


18693 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

best album

Digging: Devin Townsend Project - Z2

ethos
February 22nd 2014


1799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

GOT THE BUBBLY MOVVINGGG THROUGHHH MEEE
GOT THE BUBBLLYYY MOVINGGG THROUGHH MEEEEE

sparklinn''

sunbathory
February 22nd 2014


69 Comments


why cant it be summer so i can listen to this and vacation and channel orange nonstop every day

Thales
February 22nd 2014


102 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

A personal favourite.

Gwyn.
February 22nd 2014


15160 Comments


hellyeaaaaaa

Gyromania
February 22nd 2014


15941 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

YES!

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

Gyromania
February 22nd 2014


15941 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

excellent review. i especially like your opening para

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2014


1637 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I must check this out now.. Pos because of the great review.

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2014


1672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I can never get enough of "Frontier Psychiatrist."

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2014


7026 Comments


wonderful write-up

IronGiant
February 22nd 2014


850 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

flight 22 is off to honolulu flight 22 is off to honolulu flight 22 is off to honolulu

Chortles
February 22nd 2014


17994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

love the review, fantastic album

Digging: Jacaszek - Treny

IronGiant
February 22nd 2014


850 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

my first dislike on a review; this calls for a celebration! *breaks open champagne and truffle oils*

YourDarkAffected
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2014


1672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

My mistake man haha. Trying to operate Sputnik on a phone tends to lead to these issues. No, review's definitely awesome. Sorry you prematurely opened your champagne :/



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