The dB’s

Falling Off the Sky

Bar/None

Jun 21, 2012 Issue #41 - Yeasayer Bookmark and Share


Nineteen-eighties jangle lost its godfather with the retirement of R.E.M. in 2011, but it regained a venerable distant cousin to the Athens, GA greats with the reunion of The dB's. Falling Off the Sky, the act's sixth LP and their first in nearly 20 years, is astonishingly the first to feature co-frontman Chris Stamey alongside ex-R.E.M. sideman Peter Holsapple since the former's acrimonious departure subsequent to 1982's Repercussion.

Tracks such as "That Time is Gone" and "Before We Were Born" chime effortlessly and effervescently, the blithe instrumentation belying lyrical fixations on mortality, loss, and the deterioration of relationships over the course of time and distance. Closing track "Remember (Falling Off the Sky)" begins dark and mournful, initially evocative of Big Star's funereal "Blue Moon," before blooming like a cherry blossom into a brisk, sing-song number.

The record's title seemingly alludes to the Big Star box set Keep an Eye on the Sky and Alex Chilton's recent departure from this mortal coil. But this album never devolves into a self-indulgently morbid pity party. Instead it's a celebration of life, love, and the alchemical power of a great pop song. (www.thedbsonline.net)

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