on 13 June 2007
Six years since there last album, with two very fine solo albums, one each from Brian and Adam, in between then and this new double CD release. Worth the wait? Oh yes.
Their last album, `The tired sounds of' has become an album I return to time and again. And Brian's solo album, `When the detail lost its freedom' is without doubt one of my most played and favourite CDs. Adam's `The Dead Texan' is also very fine, though not perhaps as 'personal' as Brian's release. So I was eagerly awaiting this release more than any other from anyone else.
This new album is somehow, well, more refined, confident, assured, whereas `The tired sounds of' was perhaps tentative in that it was the groups first real sortie into new musical realms, using classical instruments as well as thier guitar sounds.
Here they have refined there abilities even more, and their sounds and how to get them, producing a masterpiece.
Another `Tired sounds of? No, although some tracks from both that album and this one would sit comfortably together for sure. The tired sounds of is slower, quieter,I suppose the best way to put it is that that album is, well, tired sounding, as in you just want it all to go away, you just want to be quiet in your mind, just go away and leave me alone - that sort of tired sounding.
This music is calming, most definitely, yet somehow uplifting, inspiring, and often very emotive, and it's all done with such subtle brilliance. It is music for this awesome, amazing, spinning world. It's music that says that the world will go on spinning no matter what we do to it while we scurry madly around it. This music is big and magnificent and awesome like our slowly spinning beautiful world. And yet it is also heartfelt, being also about our trials of life as human beings, about our failings towards one another (send in the clowns, don't bother they're here), about relationships and everything that comes with them.
This music is as cool as a snow leopard, beautiful, awesome, powerful, grand, stately, inspiring, somehow both sad, vulnerable, and yet uplifting in a way that only Stars of the lid can produce with thier sounds.
I have to have my `fix' from it most days. And although I play it so much, I never tire of it, and it has the same effect on me every time. Long after I've heard it the sounds reverb through my mind and soul, having not only heard it but felt it. It is like nothing else and no one else's music sounds like it.
I would give `The tired sounds of' 5 stars, and do love most tracks from it, but there a couple of what I find depressing tracks on that album. There are no depressing tracks here.
I'm sorry, but there is so much naff, bland rubbish out there that just doesn't even come close. Any one who has an ear for art and quality should find this nothing less than impressive. And anyone who cares too much and thinks too much will be comforted by this beautiful music. But we're all different and we are all moved and touched by different music. And we all interprit music and sounds differently, and it makes us think of things differently from one person to the next.
What I really can not understand though is why music such as this, as my good friend put it, music that is a work of art, does not get the air play and recognition it so deserves. As is the case for so many of the other fine artists recording on the Kranky music label. Come on!
Another six years until their next one?
5 big awesome stars.
Oh, and by the way, I have tried to refine this review time and time again, and still feel that I have not said what I want to say!