Texas instrumental rock band Explosions in the Sky are back in soaring cinematic territory with their sixth studio album Take Care, Take Care, Take Care. Like their previous offerings, it explores the loud and soft dynamics of mingling guitars and push/pull melodies, but with more emphasis on drum work and a harder edge. The best way to describe Take Care is that it comes off as the soundtrack to a dramatic film, exploring all emotive qualities from heartbreak to redemption to love to loss. There’s even a bit of terror thrown in there.
If you were to take the first song “Last Known Surroundings,” with its slow build up of orchestra tunings pre-concert, and apply it to a film, it would be used in a pivotal scene near the end, where two ex-lovers discover that they were both wrong and they have the final rush of gleeful courage to set things right. “Human Qualities” has a similarly reflective angle with gentle heartbeat mimicking tom hits before pretty finger-picking and a last minute siege of cymbal crashes. “Trembling Hands” hits hard and fast with the closest thing to vocals that you’ll find on this album. It’s urgent and emotional, the perfect setting for a dramatic run alongside a bus while the girl gets away.
The floaty “Be Comfortable, Creature” lives up to its warm name, with soothing undertones and notes that soar, while “Postcard from 1952” has a charming, cathartic quality in its lengthy buildup of tambourines taps, guitars that dance with each other, and poignant bass tones that finally explode in a stunning crescendo.
The last song, “Let Me Back In,” possesses a vague sort of horror underneath the contemplative guitars in the form of creepy, backwards talking. It’s a sad and slightly unnerving end to an album built on the highs and lows of the listener’s personal journey. Take Care, Take Care, Take Care makes you feel, makes you think and makes you reflect. It could be the soundtrack to your life.