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Antlers, The - Burst Apart Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9.5
Musicianship 8.75
Lyrics 8.75
Production 8.75
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 9
Reviewer Tilt 9
Final Verdict: 88%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.31
Musicianship 8.81
Lyrics 8.81
Production 9.13
Creativity 8.75
Lasting Value 8.56
Reviewer Tilt 9.06
Average: 89%

Antlers, The - Burst Apart

Reviewed by: Jeremy Aaron (05/11/11)
The Antlers Ė Burst Apart
Record Label: Frenchkiss
Release Date: May 10, 2011

Iím shamelessly one of Greg Graffinís 21st-Century digital boys. With the speed of knowledge propagation, itís hard not to be an information junkie, constantly craving the latest scoop on music, sports, technology, politics and pop culture. I sometimes imagine the AP.net readership as a legion of zombie-eyed Kurt Cobains transfixed by the glow of PC monitors absently chanting, ďhere we are now, entertain us.Ē Yet the sea of stuff bombarding our synapses seems to have, at least for me, a nerve-deadening effect. But at those times when I think Iím no longer capable of having feelings more profound than ambivalence, something like Hospice comes along to strike down those thoughts like a lightning bolt out of the darkness. The Antlersí 2009 breakthrough has the rare power to play with listenersí emotions like some sort of kidís toy. Unlike My Chemís use of the vague concept of death as an excuse to don creepy makeup, Peter Silbermanís account feels heartbreaking and crushingly real. Itís the type of record thatís so powerful, I suspect even those without proper contextóthat is, having had the misfortune of seeing a loved one breathe their lastócan still appreciate the anguish. Hospice makes for a stark embodiment of the hopelessness and despair that well up inside as we see the end approach, as it inevitably must. Whether itís spoken or tacitly understood, such moments are also a nagging reminder of our own mortality and its surrounding fears, fears the non-manic depressives among us largely suppress save for tossing out now-meaningless cliches like ďlive each day like itís your last,Ē taking the ďeven though it isnítĒ part for granted. Like us, Silberman can only allow his morbid fixation to last so long.

The Antlersí new release Burst Apart marks a move away from the stifling bleakness; I doubt Silberman is even capable of delivering songs that donít sound fragile and fraught with emotion, but thereís less in the way of pure desolation on this new set. It often seems like the case of the man behind Hospice, having experienced the joys of love and the agony of loss, moving past the grief, but at the same time erecting walls as a preventative measure against future heartache. The title of ďI Donít Want LoveĒ says it all, and he closes ďFrench ExitĒ with, ďdonít try to fix my heart.Ē A sense of loneliness and emptiness pervades most of the albumís ten tracks, but you get the impression that, for Silberman, thereís some solace that through this emotional detachment, he can avoid the soul-sucking torment heís been through before.

Like itís predecessor, Burst Apart is simply an incredible sounding album. Thereís a breathtaking elegance to The Antlersí sound that recalls Talk Talkís uncanny ability to be simultaneously intimate and intense and to say seemingly so much with so little. Like Talk Talkís Mark Hollis, Silberman has some otherworldly range, and his vocals often serve as another instrument in the beautiful sonic whirlpool (see especially the head-shakingly gorgeous ďNo WidowsĒ and ďHoundsĒ). The end product is exceedingly easy to get lost in, but unlike Hospice, it doesnít hold us rapt with feelings of unease and dread but is instead rather comforting. Hospice is a record we can praise for its hauntingly ethereal sound and harrowing depiction of brutal reality, but itís not something we can revisit without a sense of discomfort. Burst Apart retains all the bandís compositional prowess and aural splendor, but itís also a record we can truly celebrate. Granted, itís definitely not sugar-coated optimism, but more an apology for doing what you have to do to get by. And with that sense of moving on comes at least a faint ray of hope for the life we have left.

RIYLMewís No More Stories; Sigur Rosí Takk; Talk Talkís Laughing Stock

Track Listing1. I Donít Want Love (3:19)
2. French Exit (4:03)
3. Parentheses (3:26)
4. No Widows (5:17)
5. Rolled Together (4:37)
6. Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out (3:23)
7. Tiptoe (2:21)
8. Hounds (5:17)
9. Corsicana (3:39)
10. Putting the Dog to Sleep (5:47)


Preview/Buy the album at Amazon MP3.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 28
09:42 AM on 05/11/11
#2
red8ge
@JohnxHill
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Didn't figure I'd see an Antlers review on AP.net.

Great review, great album.
09:49 AM on 05/11/11
#3
Blake Solomon
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that first paragaph, just... no words. brilliant interpretation of this band. brilliant.

09:55 AM on 05/11/11
#4
topher465
every shining time you arrive
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Wow. Great review. Much better than what I've been recently over the last year on here. I listened to this record today, and I agree with you about what moving past what he dealt with before in Hospice. I find this record, however, to be hauntingly depressing and beautiful. He doesn't hint at the emotion or tip-toe around it like some artists tend to do, but instead he plunges your head into the cold bucket full of ice, and the effect is that as your inside, without breath and surrounded by cold and the muffled silence of the water, you realize its not all that bad.
10:11 AM on 05/11/11
#5
youngmountain
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Hospice is one of my favourite albums of all time, but I was slightly underwhelmed by this on first listen; I think I need to play it a lot more before I can really pass judgement though.
Good review.
10:23 AM on 05/11/11
#6
Steve Henderson
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I am in love with this album and your review did it justice. Excellent writing, Jeremy.
10:40 AM on 05/11/11
#7
brenByah
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This is a big AOTY contender for me, I absolutely love it (as shown by my avatar and user title). Great review!
10:51 AM on 05/11/11
#8
Ari Christos
blowin on that endo
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Jeremy might have just fucked around and became the greatest. Great review - perfectly describes how I feel about the record. Probably my favorite album of the year so far.
11:25 AM on 05/11/11
#9
NarcolepsySmile
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This record is hit or miss for me. Still good though.
11:33 AM on 05/11/11
Jeremy Aaron
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I am in love with this album and your review did it justice. Excellent writing, Jeremy.
I miss me some Steve Henderson. Hope you're doing well, man.
11:53 AM on 05/11/11
JimmyAveningo
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I love this record and band. I really enjoy your review except I think there is too much on Hospice. Great record but there is almost as much time dedicated to that and not the new ish
12:08 PM on 05/11/11
bandnamexmyname
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"Putting the Dog to Sleep" is fantastic.
01:03 PM on 05/11/11
Clark
Dirk Nowitzki's Beard
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Holy crap. I think this may be the best review this site has ever posted. Well done.
01:11 PM on 05/11/11
Jeremy Aaron
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It seems like even this blind squirrel finds nuts on May 11th
03:17 PM on 05/11/11
gr33ndayfr3ak
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Absolutely fantastic review of what is easily my AOTY so far.
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