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Wintersleep - Welcome to the Night Sky Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 10
Musicianship 9.25
Lyrics 9.25
Production 9.75
Creativity 8.75
Lasting Value 10
Reviewer Tilt 10
Final Verdict: 96%
Member Ratings
Vocals 10
Musicianship 9.5
Lyrics 9.25
Production 9
Creativity 9.75
Lasting Value 9.75
Reviewer Tilt 10
Average: 96%
Inside AP.net

Wintersleep - Welcome to the Night Sky

Reviewed by: Klatzke (07/16/09)
Wintersleep - Welcome To the Night Sky
Release Date: October 8, 2007
Record Label: Labwork

This hobby of mine, reviewing, can be quite a complicated procedure at times. Depending on how much I like an album, it can vary from extremely easy to ridiculously difficult, and for those that aren't really familiar with the process, the albums that qualify for certain difficulties can be kind of surprising. Most people would think that the mediocre, on-the-fence albums would be the hardest to review since my opinion can hinge either way from time to time. However, that's not the case. The real difficulty in reviewing lies when I find an album I truly love, an album that makes it impossible to step back and take the objective look expected of my critiquing. When one of these albums takes hold, I can't simply dissect the album, and glorious praise seems to fall short of my personal feelings. Quite obviously, (since we're in this thread), I'm talking about Wintersleep and their latest release Welcome To the Night Sky.

Some would write Welcome to the Night Sky off as just one of many indie-rock albums to hit the scene in 2007, and on one level, they're correct. It is just a simple indie-rock album, and the band doesn't really break any new ground in it's execution. It's the perfection of that execution, however, that makes this album so delightful.

While Wintersleep's previous two albums had garnered them a fairly steady fanbase, it was Welcome To the Night Sky's polished sound and the band's mastery of their craft that make it truly stand out against the others. This album is truly beautiful from start to finish; from the emotional opener "Drunk On Aluminum" to the much more upbeat closer "Miasmal Smoke & the Yellow Bellied Freaks," there's not a stale moment. The whole thing flows fantastically. Led by delicate guitar leads and the ever-present emotion-laden vocals, the tracks each delicately close and meld into the next one. This consistency is a major strength, and the entire album can easily be digested in one sitting. Wintersleep know how to keep their tracks clear and concise; instrumental sections are placed perfectly, and cumbersomely long intros and outros are avoided completely. In fact, the longest intro included is in the aforementioned closer, and its hopeful melody helps to set up perfectly the energetic last half of the track. Their arrangements aren't overly complex, and whether it be the fairly straightforward (albeit, excellent) drumming or the guitar arrangements, they remain intelligent and magnificently orchestrated, controlling the time and life of the tracks.

One of the most dynamic albums I've ever heard, Welcome to the Night Sky has such variation in the types and sounds of songs that nearly every track conveys a different feeling, mood and energy. The albums premiere track, "Weighty Ghost," is a catchy and happy affair, while it's follower "Murderer" opens with an edgy intro before preceding into the somber second half. "Search Party" proves the vocalist's aptitude at somberly conveying the despair behind his saddening lyrics, and "Laser Beams," seemingly about the vocalist's myriad encounters with love and purposelessness, gives him the best chance to flex his lyrical prowess across low-fi instrumentation. His lyrical abilities deserve recognition, and lines from "Laser Beams" that always seem to tug at me emotionally can vouch for that:

"How did I ever get so goddamned dumb?/ A foreign lick, from a familiar tongue./ It's not one you love, but it's familiar enough./ Mouth full of teeth chewed up and spit on the ground,/ when I speak, are my words just white naked sound?/ Carelessly rendered and scattered around./ Random, animal, clumsily stitched together./ Forever alien and forever altered./ Flowing in absolute time and space /.../ and nothing really matters, anymore."

The vocal delivery certainly drives these home, and the the singer's ability to convey feelings of everything from sadness ("Search Party, "Murderer") to eagerness ("Weighty Ghost," "Miasmal Smoke & the Yellow Bellied Freaks") really lends his lyrics life.

As I'm sure you've noticed, my "objectivity" in describing this album was thrown out the window about five listens in. I can't profess my love for Welcome To the Night Sky enough. Wintersleep has created an album that is both varied and consistent throughout. Whether it's just a random personal connection to the album or the charm of the album itself, I've taken quite kindly to Wintersleep and cannot wait to see what else they can release. I'm not alone in my love for this album but, frankly, if I were, I wouldn't care less. I'd simply jump in my car later tonight, crank up my radio, and be immersed in the heartachingly sad, yet strangely joyous album that is Welcome to the Night Sky.

Recommended If You Likea subdued Ladyfinger (ne); Canadian indie-rock; Great Lake Swimmers


Myspacehttp://www.myspace.com/wintersleep
 
Displaying posts 1 - 11 of 11.
12:53 PM on 07/23/09
#2
Jeremy Aaron
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This album is great. Not 96-great for me, but I do love it.
04:36 PM on 07/23/09
#3
Klatzke
Don't give me no hand me down love.
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This album is great. Not 96-great for me, but I do love it.
I love love love this album (obviously).
12:18 AM on 07/25/09
#4
AMackChuck
I am...Bakerguy
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I'm suprised more people haven't written rave reviews about this album and their untitled. I'm going to give the nod to the untitled as my favorite. Wintersleep definetly deserve more recognition. Are they even still together? Haven't heard anything about in a year or so.
07:11 AM on 07/25/09
#5
Klatzke
Don't give me no hand me down love.
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I'm suprised more people haven't written rave reviews about this album and their untitled. I'm going to give the nod to the untitled as my favorite. Wintersleep definetly deserve more recognition. Are they even still together? Haven't heard anything about in a year or so.
They still have updated tour dates on their myspace.
09:31 AM on 07/25/09
#6
Neo Cassady
Let's go exploring!
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RIYL Great Lake Swimmers made me interested before I even read the review. But good review! I'll definitely be checking this out.
11:26 AM on 07/25/09
#7
Klatzke
Don't give me no hand me down love.
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RIYL Great Lake Swimmers made me interested before I even read the review. But good review! I'll definitely be checking this out.
Great Lake Swimmers is really for lack of a better comparison. However, I'd say you'll like this.
08:58 PM on 07/29/09
#8
thedondeluge
We are Beggars all.
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Saw them live. Good band.
09:09 PM on 07/29/09
#9
Klatzke
Don't give me no hand me down love.
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Saw them live. Good band.
If they every come within an hour of Cinci I'll be there. haha.
01:47 PM on 08/06/09
TangledUp
crazy cat lady
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I will be looking into this.
05:35 PM on 08/11/09
thedondeluge
We are Beggars all.
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If they every come within an hour of Cinci I'll be there. haha.
Drummer is so good live, and they remind of me of Manchester Orchestra's I'm Like A Virgin Losing a Child at times.
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