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Blow Up Hollywood: Take Flight

Take Flight marks a distinct change of direction for Blow Up Hollywood. Stripping away influences of pop, rock and psychedelic that have permeated through their previous four LPs, the music here is akin to an ambient film score, allowing notes and moods to soar slowly and powerfully. While at times it's too repetitive and uninteresting, there are many moments that will inspire crushing awe, demanding the listener's complete attention.

This record was made entirely by Steve Messina and multi-instrumentalist Rich Kern, and it's inspired by the compositions they wrote for the documentary Mustang – Journey of Transformation.Take Flight may be a bit too stagnant, redundant and boring at times if thought of as a conventional album, but if considered as background music for dramatic storytelling, it's quite moving.

Actually, Take Flight is similar to the intermissive parts of post-rock or the opening flourishes of Sigur Rós, except that it never evolves once it starts; if you hear the first minute, you've heard the entire track. "RKK" begins a lot like "Starálfur" from that latter's Ágćtis byrjun. "States of Matter" includes some Radiohead-esque electric piano and electronica , marking an intriguing change for the album (which has been mostly string arrangement). The album actually gets more affective as it closes, with "Areal Shift" and "Because of Eva" tugging very close to the heart strings. Every piece on Take Flight accomplishes the remarkable task of inciting vast emotions with small everything (progression, complexity, etc). However, for many listeners, music like this can only hold their attention for brief moments, and Take Flight is anything but that.

For the shorter tracks, the level of momentum is acceptable; they engage you and cause some introspection before moving onward. However, some of the tracks stretch near the ten minute mark, and that's simply too long for so little to happen. It's not unexpected or unjustified for listeners to become impatient with Take Flight, wondering when the actual music will begin after being exposed to introductory sounds that never melt into what they seem to anticipate. Blow Up Hollywood have essentially crafted subtle bursts of heartache that last several times longer than they should. Tak

en in small doses, it's quite an experience to close your eyes, block out the world, and let Take Flight wash over you. It's the perfect auditory aid for reflection and establishing new appreciations for the good, the bad and the uncertainty of life. However, all of this is accomplished within the first minute or so of each track, and afterward, while the feelings still persist, nothing new happens. For the album to be wholly successful, the composers should have either shortened the tracks or increased the level of activity and progression exponentially. It's like watching a sunrise or sunset that's stuck midway through its course; although initially breathtaking, it slowly but surely becomes apathetically ordinary.


Track Listing
1. RKK
2. Eos
3. Phoenixes and Pheasants
4. Take Flight
5. John C Lilly
6. States of Matter
7. Pilots of the Canadian Lights
8. Solace
9. If
10. Areal Shift
11. Because of Eva

Added: November 1st 2010
Reviewer: Jordan Blum
Score:
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 381
Language: english

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