Jackie Listens to: God is an Astronaut’s All is Violent, All is Bright (2005)


I like post-rock and I like God is an Astronaut.  Post-rock is generally instrumental, and I like to listen to it while I write, though when I write I usually don’t listen to whole albums (just a playlist I have on random) or pay attention much to what I’m hearing. This is the first time I’ve listened to this album all the way through.

What is post-rock?  Wikipedia has a long page on it and it’s origins, but the best description I can come up with is that it’s a form of experimental rock, usually without vocals, that uses instruments associated with rock music but using them in “repetitive build-ups of timbre, dynamics and texture.”

I really liked this album.  It’s ambient and meditative, while still being moving and emotional, all without the use of lyrics.  Now as a writer, I have a certain affection for words, so much so that to be able to move me without them is an admirable feat.  All is Violent, All is Bright is a coherent, masterful album that stretches the boundaries for what rock music can be.  It is at times beautiful and relaxing, at others stirring and moody, and each song builds and diminishes in intensity, taking you on a ride of sound. The lack of lyrics really makes you focus on the music itself, which is complex and layered in such a way that you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything.

Notable tracks for me were All is Violent, All is Bright, Fire Flies and Empty Skies, and Suicide by Star, though the whole album is great from beginning to end.  I recommend this album heartily to anyone who likes instrumental music, ambient music, and people who can see the endless possibilities of the rock music genre.


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