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Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place

Alternative Rock and Miscellaneous album by Explosions in the Sky

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post-rock for lovers.

  • Feb 12, 2004
  • by
I feel my title for this review is very appropriate, but do not infer an incorrect suggestion. This is nothing like the asinine, cheesy music put out by new age artists who claim the ability to put its listeners into divine states of love and affection with sappy, pretentious synth pianos and ocean sounds.

This is truly beautiful. Explosions in the Sky is a four-piece (two guitars, bass, and drums) that gets lumped into the post-rock category, but they dramatically surpass the standards generally set for the idiom. They do the episodic build-build-build-climax-repeat formula like, say, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, but this music achieves something very different. The music is sparse and minimal with a genuine emotive power. The sparseness is present in the textural thinness (only four instrumentalists, remember), with guitars generally playing starry arpeggios with an empathetic rhythmic backing. With so much breathing room, the music fills the pockets of space left by bare instrumentation with simple emotional resonance that might not have prevailed with denser arrangements. The music is minimal not because it is in repetitive stasis, but because the song construction focuses on a collegial series of sounds development rather than linear evolutions.

Explosions in the Sky's first album was bleak with a glimmer of hope. Here, everything is brushed away and the beauty is fully exposed. Rather than describe each piece, I will just say that the music here evokes lovely images: spending time by the sea with a special someone, the earth in bloom, looking to the nighttime sky full of stars through a branchy canopy of trees, love & friendship, rebirth, etc. Just look at the song titles -- they have very fitting names.

Highly recommended, along with their first album, _Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever_.

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More Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place reviews
review by . January 31, 2009
posted in Music Matters
I really love Explosions in the Sky. This is one fantastic group. They appear frequently in movie soundtracks and have a style all their own. There is nobody like this group, nobody that plays the guitars this well.     What I found truly amazing, this album is available on Vinyl. Seek this out. It is a two LP package. The pressings are on very heavy vinyl. And this is something absolutely unique I have never seen, these guys worried so much about audio quality and making perfect …
About the reviewer
Clayton Reeder ()
Ranked #438
Rogue capitalist in search of all that is interesting, weird, or beautiful.      Collected here are my hundreds of reviews from Amazon.com, covering mostly music that is offensive … more
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"Will kill anyone whoever had a heart, never mind those who already love FX-pedal pushers such as Ride and Mogwai."
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Label: Temporary Residence
Genre: Alternative Rock, Miscellaneous
Release Date: November 4, 2003
First to Review

"post-rock for lovers."
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