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Review: Red Sparowes – The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies the Answer by Jayson

I do love what they call post-rock.

2010 seems like the big year of stylistic departures so far, and the new Red Sparowes continues the trend. The songs on The Fear… sound more like individual pieces, rather than movements of some greater composition. The sheer volume of their previous albums is diminished here. Instead there’s a more quiet, more personal sound. Thinking about the earlier albums, this is a soundtrack to more personal events than of a large scale drama.

The song titles are a hell of a lot shorter too.

These are subtle changes though, the Red Sparowes sound is intact, if a little more delicate. The more personal direction seems to carry over in the theme of this album. The liner notes discus the uncertainty of the current times and the deliberate fostering of misinformation to allay fears. It’s reads as a more personal conflict that the wider ones explored on previous albums, which explains the changes in the sound. I don’t want to give the impression this a meek album, or an entirely quiet one, it just sounds more focused. There are still loud, bombastic moments. Also, I continue to love the steel guitar, it’s more prominent than it was on Every Red Heart and I’m glad.

Non-fans seem to disregard post-rock as background music, but in doing that, they miss out. There is a range of complexity here that reflects the breadth of human emotion. The Fear… has an almost Expressionistic quality to it. You owe yourself a good listen with this one.

Red Sparowes – The Fear is Excruciating, But Therein Lies the Answer is out on Sargent House.

– Jayson

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1 Comment so far
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Listening to this now, I hear what you’re talking about. I always like how the Sparowes stuff has a strong sense of narrative, but if their previous stories were sweeping, epic-scale novels, this is a series of short stories about smaller events and lives, but with no less weight. I dig this heavily.

Comment by ymatt




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