Monday, June 06, 2011

Album Review: The Rosebuds - Loud Planes Fly Low

In the history of pop music, there are a number of albums considered to be classic break-up albums, Blood on the Tracks by Bob Dylan and Rumors by Fleetwood Mac being two of the most notable. The Rosebuds have now joined that list.

After the release of Life Like in 2009, the marriage between Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp came to an end. As the duo pushed forward, the resulting album is the beautifully somber Loud Planes Fly Low.

The album kicks off with the melancholy "Go Ahead" and the vibe carries through to the lush "Limitless Arms" and "Second Bird of Paradise." Right out the gate, a new element is introduced into The Rosebuds' sound, and that's the beautiful string parts arranged by Ari Picker of Lost in the Trees.

"Come Visit Me" is the first bit a musical uplift, featuring a nice groove and some great hooks, though the lyrics are still quite dark. Part of the chorus is, "And I want to feel something way out here, I need something to happen now, even if it fucks me up."

"Without a Focus" is one of the most stark, personal songs on the album. It centers around an acoustic guitar and Ivan's voice with some occasional instrumental embellishments. The lyric "I don't know how I am supposed to feel" is repeated throughout the song.

"Woods" is the only uptempo rocker on the album, with a soaring chorus, accented by staccato bells and keys and solid drumming.

The album's penultimate track, "Cover Ears," is one of the best songs the band has ever released. Ivan and Kelly's voices sound amazing together on the verses and the choruses are a beautiful wall of sound.

The simple, somber tune "Worthwhile" closes the album. It features the album's most straightforward lyrics about what the relationship is and could have been. It's exceptionally moving.

While Loud Planes Fly Low might not feature much of the bright pop of The Rosebud's previous albums, it's true that pain makes great art. The album captures raw, sincere emotion, and that makes this one of their strongest releases yet.

Loud Planes Fly Low will be released on June 7.

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