2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Slow Burning Masterpiece,
This review is from: F# A# Oo (Audio CD)
the first thing i remember about listening to this album for the first time, was the poignancy of the monologue in the opening half of "The Dead Flag Blues" - a woe begotten lament which perfectly establishes "F#A#oo" as Godspeed You! Black Emperor's staple song. it seems to establish everything they set out to achieve: aching beauty played by the strings and weeping guitars put next to the ominous field recordings of the steam train passing into the slow funeral dirge of "Slow Moving Trains" and "The Cowboy".
the steady, ever growing majesty of the other staple "post rock" bands such as Explosions In The Sky and Mogwai never quite develops with Godspeed, instead, it meanders through movements, delicately establishing each section with brittle arrangements and a sense of intimacy which permeates throughout every inch of the album's opening gambit, if not their entire discography.
that said, "F#A#oo" doesn't intend on remaining this timid standard bearer for just being long winded for the sake of it. many pieces of music on this album rumble away with the best of them, the middle section of "The Sad Mafioso..." positively explodes out of the speakers, galloping into your head with an intent so deadly, you'll cower at the power these 9 (probably more) men and women are capable of producing. furthermore, whereas the band don't shy away from the fact their music is predominantly drawn out and deeply connective with the listener, there are aspects of the album which suggest a want for something more immediate.
the opening of final track "Providence" for example, yearns to maintain it's momentous glock refrains but just doesn't seem to have the mettle to do so. same can be said for the choice of spoken word interludes. often in their work, these passages contain familiarity; often commenting on some injustice or other with which the band take qualms (the aforementioned monotone in the opener for example proves to be the albums undoubted finest moment). however, some of these choice snippets really disallow the album to breath and therefore add a sense of frustration.
don't let this put you off though. if the development of music bores you and you desire a quick, impersonal fix of pleasure, please, don't waste your time with this band.
for those who want to delve into themselves and the inner workings of the deepest sadness and euphoria, look no further. F#A#oo will provide you with some of the most solemn, honest and steadily hard hitting music ever created, and for that, we can all take the time to pay close attention.