April 25, 2011

The Antlers - Burst Apart

Let's start with the most notable differences between this record and Hospice. Firstly, the tracks here are much more immediate. While Hospice required more attentiveness to how the songs were developing, and often the songs would just burst open out of nowhere with blazing drum beats and more pronounced vocals, here you know right off the bat how the whole song is going to turn out. In that aspect, I applaud The Antlers, as this is a record that plays in relaxed mode, and I can just listen to it without paying close attention to detail.

The next big difference is that Burst Apart is less moving than its predecessor, and the level of depression has gone way down, lyrics included. Another reason why this will make for an easier listening experience. Easier, but unfortunately less memorable. The first time I listened to Bear, I literally couldn't stop, I had it on repeat for days. Same goes for Sylvia, Two, Kettering, and almost all of the others. From this album, I'll certainly remember the raw scratchiness of the guitar chords on Parentheses or the catchy melody of Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out, but I can't say the same for the rest. It'll take a lot of listens for these songs to really stick. But this doesn't mean I don't like it. It's even one of the best things I've heard all year, and I can see myself returning to it several times in the future. And despite what I said about it being less moving, there are moments of sheer beauty here, like on the opener I Don't Want Love, Corsicana, and even Tiptoe, which puts me in a 1950s New York kind of environment, just kind of roaming the streets on a rainy night, and I love that. There are some other really chill tracks here too, like Rolled Together, which, to me, seems like it could fit in nicely with The Moon & Antarctica, and Hounds, which is one of the most touching, though one of the least memorable.

Overall, The Antlers have taken the safe route for this one, and I'm kind of glad that they did. Though much more accessible, these tracks don't hit as hard as most of the stuff on Hospice, but enough with comparisons. I definitely recommend this album to fans of The Antlers, new and old.

1. I Don't Want Love
2. French Exit
3. Parentheses
4. No Widows
5. Rolled Together
6. Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out
7. Tiptoe
8. Hounds
9. Corsicana
10 Putting the Dog to Sleep


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