Archive for the ‘Explosions in the Sky’ Category

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Explosions in the Sky – All of a Sudden, I Miss Everyone

Thursday, April 1, 2010

All of a Sudden, I Miss Everyone (2007)

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.

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Explosions in the Sky – The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place

Sunday, January 18, 2009
The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place (2003)

The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place (2003)

April 1, 2007. A day which will live in infamy (for me).
I was going to see Explosions in the Sky live at the University of Oklahoma (where I attend).

I was quite “stoked,” as one might say. Actually, for a while I thought it was a cruel April Fools joke. But when it was confirmed by others that Explosions in the Sky were in fact playing, I was pretty darn excited.

But I never got to go to that concert. I’m still a little sad about it – especially since EITS won’t be touring again anytime soon. They ran out of tickets – I was pretty sure they would have some leftover, but I got there too late. Lesson: always go Ticketmaster.

But on the way, I saw Munaf (a guitarist for the band) sitting with some members of the opening band on a bench outside the student union. My friend and I got a picture with him. I hoped it didn’t annoy him too much. I always get nervous around famous musicians (and people) for some reason. Not that they are exactly that famous..

Anyway, enough of my pity party. The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place was my introduction to Explosions in the Sky. It is their best release, in my opinion, but certainly there is something to love in everything they do.

For me, each song is a story.  “First Breath After Coma” is about a woman waking from a long coma, her husband sitting nearby, holding her hand. The first notes of the guitar mimic the metronome of a heart monitor beeping – the bass drum the heart beat. The beauty of the song builds up, a full celebration of a life not taken for granted in the least.

My favorite track is probably “The Only Moment When We Were Alone.” Just the emotions conveyed – the highs, the lows, the louds, the softs – is absolutely epic. Unlike the first one I don’t have a particular story to go with it.

Probably the fan favorite of EITS is “Your Hand in Mine,” which is played on Friday Night Lights. It certainly is a wonderful track, but the first two cannot be touched with their power.

A very beautiful accomplishment by one of my favorite bands.