Review Summary: Gorgeous, sprawling, and epic, Explosions in the Sky's latest may not break much new ground, but it certainly does a good job retreading it.
A dream. A sun-parched desert road. Heat haze. Hope. These are the images which Texan post-rockers Explosions in the Sky's fifth release conjures up. "Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
" is not the group's greatest record, but it does contain some of their best moments, and is a worthy addition to their already impressive discography.
Opener "Last Known Surroundings" is, to put it simply, one of the band's best songs (off any release). It opens with what sounds like a song being played, muffled, underwater. Then we get some gorgeous guitar feedback and not before long the drums come in- and then we are off. A tambourine and delayed guitar are added over the original beat, creating an astonishingly beautiful soundscape. The last quarter of the track features a flickering, energetic sample that forms a sense of urgency not commonly seen from the band- it adds to the song immensely, and it is unfortunate that is one of the few examples on here of the band really branching out and trying something new.
This is the Explosions in the Sky that you've come to know and love, for better or worse. While this does result in an excellent new release, it would have been nice to see the band take some more risks and try some new, different things. The only other complaint I really have with the album is that some parts are just too
meandering for their own good. Yes, this is post-rock, which isn't exactly known for fast-paced songwriting, but there are a couple of moments (such as "Let Me In"'s outro) where I found myself thinking: okay, where's this going" However, when you do get there, you'll find that it was worth the wait. There are some truly spectacular crescendos on this album.
So, overall, while there are some unexpected touches here and there (like the aah-vocals on track three "Trembling Hands,) this is basically what you would expect from the band at this point. That doesn't mean it's bad, however: on the contrary, it is a beautiful, enthralling release with some truly phenomenal moments. Explosions in the Sky may not reinvent the wheel with "Take Care, Take Care, Take Care
", but when you are this good, you don't necessarily have to.