...It Falls Apart
f everyone tries to emulate the reality that is theirs and creation is, indeed, the great mime, ...It Falls Apart was pasted together while engulfed in that callous post-breakup phase, where faces are sallow, brows are knitted and reason finds itself being thrown to the wind, so that bare-faced sentimentalism may be embraced all the more wholeheartedly. The album sees For Stars uprooting the pastoral guitar romps and fey campfire folk hues of their past, to plant maudlin elegy's of quivering piano, shrilled trumpet and imploring cries set against dry nipping winds of despondent electronics.
Not a single feigned note creeps into the recording, however, and this utter sincerity is the cherub that saves the work and feelings expressed therein, regardless of how feverish and hysterical they might seem. And there are certainly some beautiful moments to be chanced upon. "In The End" awakes with sleepy-eyed piano and Carlos Foster's shaky drawl buried below a melodic duvet woven by a gritty generator hum and Tom Casey's raspy sax. Before long, a keyboard begins to flutter like a gay birdcall in spring and is answered by a coda of plucked harmonics. In staccato fashion, these tweeting electronic calls coalesce with rustling guitar arpeggios and saccharine vibraphone into a wild iridescent haze. Then turn towards the irregular ambient textures of "If It Falls Apart" with its striking pitch configurations and boisterous crystalline tones and another reason for repeat listens is found. Indeed, wherever ones attention is placed, what becomes apparent is maturity in sound. It's a virtuoso performance full of muted notes, plucked resonance, bristling clusters, elliptical melodies, rolled chords and tremolos. Such instances craft a demeanor more compressed yet spontaneous, while carrying a sad sense of inevitability as it snakes and swirls through a fluid progression of dramatic events.
But, sadly, this brazen sentimentalism is the album’s seraph and devil. For as honest and beguiling as Foster's almost feminine falsetto might be, the themes being touched upon and, more importantly, the way in which Forster dabs at them so simply ("You don't seem to understand I'm the only who cares" and "I guess you won't be calling anymore"), causes this otherwise fine artistic expression to be slandered significantly. By the time ...It Falls Apart’s conclusion, with "If It Falls Apart" and "Lend Out Your Love", more thought seems to have spilt into the words, but by this point many of the blemishes are permanent.
"Lend Out Your Love" is the album’s denouement, fashioned by a simple, silky acoustic guitar as Forster sings with the innocence of a child who has just memorized his first nursery rhyme. The song has a simple charm—its only fault brevity. Much more might have been developed given time and thought. The same can be said of ...It Falls Apart.
Reviewed by: Max Schaefer
Reviewed on: 2004-07-14