Tortoise
Its All Around You


3.0
good

Review

by Zebra USER (177 Reviews)
February 13th, 2007 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist


When I first listened to Tortoises’ It’s All Around You I was extremely disappointed. After obsessing over albums such as TNT and Standards It’s All Around You just didn’t compare to any other albums in the Tortoise catalog.

Silly me.

I finally realized that comparing It’s All Around You to previous Tortoise releases was a little unfair. Once I realized that the album was obviously inferior to prior releases I started treating it like its own separate album. Tortoise mix together dub, funk, trip-hop, post-rock, ambience, and electronic all into one. In result you get a very calm, relaxing, and ethereal type of feel. This “ethereal” type of atmosphere is captured perfectly by the smooth production, every instrument and electronic effect is crystal clear. If Tortoise did one thing right with this release it’s that they were able to create an organic and lush sound without boring the listener.

It’s All Around You has a ton of range and different ideas. The soothing backing vocals and trippy beats found on Lithium Sticks instantly reminded me of an old Massive Attack b-side. Tortoise touch up on funk with the xylophone driven Five to Many and the chilled out, funky bassline found on Stretch. You’ve also got your ambient tracks such as the mysterious By the Dawn and the creepy synth bleeps found on Unkown. The music is calm and relaxing while being funky and jazz oriented, it’s a sound that few bands can capture.

The big problem with It’s All Around You is that nothing stands out. While the music is great to put on in the background nothing is really their to keep you interested. Aside from the epic arrangements found on the title track almost all of these songs have next to no replay value. Tortoise succeed when it comes to creating unique sounds and organic production but they didn’t really do anything interesting on this release.

If you’re a Tortoise n00b then you’ll probably enjoy this. Musically It’s All Around You is very poignant and lush, but there’s nothing there to keep the listener coming back for more. There are no sprawling epics or new ideas presented and that’s the most disappointing thing about album. I can’t exactly say that I dislike the album because the production perfectly accompanies the chilled out music but that doesn’t save the album from being a snooze. Any Tortoise fan will enjoy It’s All Around You, just don’t make a purchase expecting a TNT or Standards.



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user ratings (96)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
February 13th 2007


2806 Comments


Good short review, I need some Tortoise. Where should I start?

Oddsen
February 13th 2007


1127 Comments


"The big problem with It’s All Around You is that nothing fails to stand out."
Did you mean to say that? or am i just stupid/confused?

otherwise nice review



Zebra
Moderator
February 13th 2007


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

TNT is the bands best effort, I'd personally start there.

Thanks for pointing out the foolish grammar mistake Oddsen, it's fixed.

Two-Headed Boy
February 13th 2007


4527 Comments


I have their first album. It's great, but it appears TNT is next on my list, mm?

Great work as usual, Dr. Zebra.

Det_Nosnip
February 14th 2007


374 Comments


I like me some Tortoise. Haven't heard this one...I think I'll still check it out, even if it isn't as good as previous albums.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
February 14th 2007


4947 Comments


Good review. The only album I have from Tortoise is "A Lazarus Taxon" which totally rules. I do need to get TNT though.

AlienEater
February 14th 2007


716 Comments


tnt is good

The Door Mouse
February 14th 2007


2092 Comments


I'm a tortoise n00b so I'll get TNT

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
February 14th 2007


4947 Comments


hahaha ^^^

204409
Emeritus
June 23rd 2007


3998 Comments


So I saw these guys last night having only heard "Glass Museum" going into the concert. I was impressed in some regards. Live they struck me as the good version of Battles. I wish they didn't have all the goofy freak outs. Also, the grooves got too dense sometimes. They're their best when they are getting into a mathy groove and having the harmonies change in cool, more traditional ways. There was one song that imitated gamelan music that was really really good.

Fort23
June 23rd 2007


3036 Comments


Were you realy at that show?

204409
Emeritus
June 23rd 2007


3998 Comments


Ya were you?

Fort23
June 23rd 2007


3036 Comments


No, but my older friend was and said it was pretty choppy. She's been to a few and said they have put on some good shows, but not so much that time. There a pretty good band...This Message Edited On 06.23.07

204409
Emeritus
June 23rd 2007


3998 Comments


So you're 12 and have friends who are 21+...

But ya the show was good but not great. I wonder what they're like at their "best."

Fort23
June 23rd 2007


3036 Comments


Well she's seventeen, but looks like she's thirty, and has a fake ID and what not. She's realy my friend's sister, but that was too long to write, but I just wrote it now, so it was pointless, aaghh whatever.This Message Edited On 06.23.07

Meatplow
April 10th 2010


5524 Comments


I really like this, fantastic band all around.

MaskAtTheMasquerade
April 5th 2012


2923 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

These guys are so good. Dot/Eyes is killer.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2018


18283 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is underrated, the transition from The Lithium Stiffs to Crest is wonderful.

Digging: Amon Tobin - Fear In A Handful Of Dust

zaruyache
July 26th 2018


20667 Comments


should probably check this eventually.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
July 26th 2018


18283 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yea it's underrated along with the new one, The Catastrophist.



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