Explosions In the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care Explosions In the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

Foreword

My college years were spent learning laughing, loving and listening to post rock albums. It is true, I listened to other things but if plotted out in a pie chart, post rock would take up a sizable portion. The post rock years also overlapped with a rudimentary audiophile phase and a subsequent obsession with vinyl records.  If an album had to be bought, vinyl sounded and felt better. It did not matter that our turntable was old and our speakers unreliable, it was about the experience of listening to an album whilst staring at the ceiling.

Our weekends were spent lying on various floor to the beautiful sounds of post rock crescendos. Our after-parties always brought the loyal and devoted which sprawled out on the floor; turning living rooms into introspective shooting galleries. We spoke to other people about beauty and transcendental qualities of albums they had no desire to listen to. We compared songs to romantic landscape paintings and put our trust in grand narratives. This was the time when I developed an aesthetic for minimal album art and extensive packaging. My vinyl library became a collection of cardboard sleeves and pictures of birds etched on the vinyl surface.

A good friend came over once cradling a Godspeed You! Black Emperor vinyl and showed us the penny flattened by a train which came inside. We became collectors of ephemera; both mundane and poetic.  Nothing could be said without lasting 7 minutes, a paragraph title and at least one sequel. I applied to Pitchfork while using Explosions In The Sky’s “All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone” album as a review. I typed up something similar to the above paragraph and gave the record a 10/10 without talking one word about the band, songs or any relevant information. This was the state I currently lived in.

Completely swept off my feet by a musical style which reduced all deductive reasoning to emotion and the art of experiencing.  My time spent with post rock gave me the penultimate appreciation of experience and the faith in the life altering album. While I have carried these philosophies to other forms of music it was conceived on the carpeted floor while “Rockets Fall over Rocket Falls” entered its 17th minute.

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Explosions In the Sky - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

Explosions In the Sky - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

Explosions In the Sky is massive and not just for someone in college with a penchant for grand music. The band’s music has been integrated into a variety of media from television movies and commercials. Few can argue this integration as the cinematic quality of Explosions in the Sky has not only been influential but it contributed to the standardization of the genre. Post rock was no longer an artsy abandonment of conventional structure, rather it was the soundtrack to an epiphany. Mogwai, sigur rós, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Explosions In The Sky invariantly laid out the course for further bands to travel. The understated wonder and amazement soon felt weakened when expected and demanded. Explosions In The Sky did not help as the band soon fell into its own creative trappings filled with redundancy.  All Of Sudden I Miss Everyone cemented their fate in the predictable; the same format which worked so well in the past now felt weak and uninspired. 4 years later the Texas wonder-nauts prepare another epic voyage into the recesses of longer than it has to be instrumental rock.

“Take care Take Care Take Care” boasts 6 tracks and a turning time of 46 minutes. This is not surprising as Explosions has become known for their long cinematic landscapes. Two 8 minute tracks welcome you as three 8-10 minute songs lead you out. “Last Known Surroundings” and “Human Qualities” do nothing interesting as these two further sink the band into uniformity. “Trembling Hands” breaks this tradition with a short 3 minute single which introduces vocals (as instruments) for the first time in Explosion’s history (film dialogue/mundane car dialogue withstanding). The album sadly reverts back into two more adequate tracks before reaching the 10 minute closer “Let Me Back In.” The heart-wrenching closer has not been felt since 2003’s “Your Hand In Mine” sewing the last stitch in “Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place”. “Let Me Back In” does not quite sew that stitch but its melodies are memorable and use of noise in the crescendo is refreshing.  The closer is the closest thing one gets to the near amazing quality of older records. This positive sense could also be because the track deviates from the greased rail that has run in one direction since the mid 00’s. “Take Care, Take Care, Take Care” does not disappoint as much as All Of Sudden I Miss Everyone, perhaps because expectations were significantly lower than 4 years ago.

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Afterword

Truth be told, the same alum which I initially gave a 10/10 for the Pitchfork application soon turned into one of my least favorite record from the band. The perfect rating was more based on the hope that the quality would equal the level of anticipation held for months before the release.  I believe the world would implode if “All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone” was anything worse than mediocre. I look through pictures of the “Take Care Take Care Take Care” vinyl packaging boasting a foldable 3d version of the album cover. If “Take Care, Take Care, Take Care” came out in 2007 it would always be folded in its deluxe edition, sitting on a shelf, being my central point of focus while I laving on the floor of my college apartment.

Explosions In The Sky’s Take Care, Take Care, Take Care Tracklist:

  1. “Last Known Surroundings” – 8:22
  2. “Human Qualities” – 8:10
  3. “Trembling Hands” – 3:31
  4. “Be Comfortable, Creature” – 8:48
  5. “Postcard from 1952” – 7:07
  6. “Let Me Back In” – 10:07
Explosions In the Sky - Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, reviewed by Kaptain Carbon on 2011-04-12T16:28:41+00:00 rating 3.2 out of 5



2 Responses about “Explosions In the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care”

  • Bryce says:

    More of a great thing shouldnt disappoint as much as you lend it too. If this album was released in 2003 before TEINACDP would you have given it a 10/10 for being great? 7 years does not change great music. If this is just an extension of previous works, then so be it. to me that can still be great music. I dont ask that EITS tries to expand the genera or step into new shoes or transcend media in new ways, all i ask is for them to make great music…. and they did that here

  • Ben says:

    @Bryce
    Call it the Radiohead’s razor. When a band demonstrates the ability to create genre defining or changing music they are held to a higher standard. I don’t disagree with you that’s inherently unjust, but it’s the burden of greatness.
    Additionally I think the point Carbon made about TEINACDP is that it was during a time in college where his mind was being open to a different philosophical views and that EITS was a conduit into that mental exploration. As such he naturally viewed it as more significant at that time than he objectively would now. I guess that would allude to the thought that if EITS didn’t act in that fashion than whatever was next in his post rock quiver probably would have seemed more significant. I don’t thin it’s a knock on EITS just a comment about growing up through music. Hell I used to think Tool songs held the meanings to life.