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Album Reviews

Review: Explosions in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

Explosions in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

Released: April 25, 2011
Label: Temporary Residence Limited
Purchase: iTunes | Insound | Amazon

It’s been a while since post-rock band Explosions in the Sky released their album, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone, and many questions lurk through the fans’ minds: what has changed in the last 4 years, and how will Explosions in the Sky be able to create new music that is fresh and adds something new to their incredible, innovative discography? Few albums have impressed me at first listen as much as their 2003 album, The Earth is a Cold Dead Place. While Take Care, Take Care, Take Care is quite engaging on first listen, it is an album designed for repeated listens.

Drummer Chris Hrasky once said that “I think we just liked the idea of a band that there was not a leader or main songwriter, everyone collaborating and has their own say. I don’t think any of us want the sort of ‘leader role’, so a leaderless band is kind of the best option for us.” A band that doesn’t employ words must use the entire band to make sure that the music can stay radical, and Explosions on the Sky thrives on this. Everyone plays a role in each song instead of having one, main front man for the group. The band members’ technical abilities and musicianship complement each other extremely well. As critical as the guitar is used in their songs to create the melody, the drummer is just as important. Chris Hrasky utilizes his drum kit to create the entire atmosphere for each song. In the track, “Trembling Hands”, the drumming is so momentous that it is the focal point of the song.

Trembling Hands” is the only song that utilizes vocals in Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, and it is the first time in six years that they have done this. The one and only other time they have done this was in “Day Two” on their experimental eight-day project, Travels in Constants, Volume 21: The Rescue. “Trembling Hands” is a track that is much different than the rest of the album, and discography. The singing, along with the drums, gives the band energy that has never been heard before in an Explosions in the Sky song. It is probably the most inventive song on the album.

In a few days on April 30, Explosions in the Sky will be playing at Hollywood Forever Cemetery to promote their new album, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care. Post-rock is a genre of music that is normally made to be very despondent and tragic, so playing the album at that venue will be quite fitting. “Human Qualities” seems to be a rather quiet and desolate song. However, this long 6 minute and 49 second build-up makes the last minute incredibly awe-inspiring. Explosions in the Sky does a good job of this in Take Care, Take Care, Take Care. Explosions in the Sky fabricate songs that are not only melancholy, but they also create songs that are extremely inspirational and hopeful for its listeners. For the genre of post-rock, it is not the band that always chooses the meaning of the music, but rather the listener to discover how the music impacts them. Explosions in the Sky connect their listeners to an emotional level that can sometimes never be done with words.

With the exception of “Trembling Hands”, not much has changed in this album. For a band that is so inherently inspiring to others, Explosions in the Sky does not attempt to achieve many new heights. You could probably compile Take Care, Take Care, Take Care along with their first album, How Strange, Innocence, and not notice a difference. However, this is not a problem for Explosions in the Sky. If not changing their musical direction is a problem, fans would be complaining by their second album. Explosions in the Sky seem to keep faithful to their fan base by giving their supporters what they want.

With the release of Take Care, one has to wonder what’s next for this band? For now, the band that seems to be going nowhere but up, will keep themselves playing shows alongside Arcade Fire and a countless number of festivals such as Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza.

8.5

Standout Tracks: “Human Qualities” and “Trembling Hands”

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