Three years ago, on April 1, I waited in line to see Explosions in the Sky play in Norman, Oklahoma. Anticipation was high. I was a freshman, and the whole world was before me. Finally, after all this time, I would at last see one of my favorite bands live.
Yet disaster struck, because they sold out. I was told by a friend they would have plenty of tickets, so I didn’t go Ticketmaster. I guess you could say I was fooled on this worst of days. April truly is the cruelest month…
Anyway, I couldn’t decide what album to review, so I decided on this. Today, I’m not as into Explosions in the Sky as I once was. Which might seem kind of weird, because the album art is my profile picture thing. I really like the album art for this one.
But for a while there, I listened to Explosions way too much. All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone I would often listen to while falling asleep. The music is peaceful and transcendent, the kind of stuff one would expect to hear in the post-rock genre. But while it is nice to listen to, and is very pretty, it really doesn’t try anything new. It’s musically similar to their previous album, The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place.
But other than that, All of a Sudden… is solid, depending on the mood I’m in. Sometimes, I find Explosions in the Sky hopelessly boring. But other times, when the mood strikes, I’ll put them on and it’s very relaxing and helps me concentrate on working – whether it’s homework, writing, whatever. They’re great background music, and when they’re at their best, can be very emotionally moving.
The only song on the album that moves me is probably “The Birth and Death of the Day.” It begins soft, and then explodes in melody, like the sun creeping above the horizon, banishing night for another day. The post-rock genre thrives on creating mood – and nowhere else on this album does Explosions do it more successfully than on this song.
The rest of the tracks are good – but merely good. Nice to listen to, but nothing too special.
Today, I’m not the adorer of this band I once was. But still, I respect their talent, and I’ll remember the nostalgia. Their best songs are breathtaking – but more often than not on All of a Sudden, Explosions doesn’t live up to their potential.