Loud Planes Fly Low
Jun 03, 2011 #36 - Music vs. Comedy
The Rosebuds (Kelly Crisp and Ivan Howard) have never been "chipper." Upbeat sure—but their tastes of joy have always been tempered by the shadows dancing around the edges of the nightclub. Now, with darkness threatening to engulf their personal lives— the pair called it quits on their marriage—they've reconciled to create their fifth studio album.
Surprisingly, Loud Planes Fly Low is neither a therapy album, nor an unfettered mope-fest. The outing is once again filled with retro-leaning rhythms, propelled forward by waves of synths, echoey vocals, and tambourines. But while the backbone of The Rosebuds' catalogue has always been dance rock (peaking with 2007's Night of the Furies), here the hooks are all strictly after-hours. An ode to the minor key, a sense of unease unites all 10 tracks—from the soft-focus reverb of "A Story," to the slowed-down slink of "Waiting For You."
But the lyrics tell a different story. Confirming the depth of their relationship angst, there's an equally strong calling for, if not reconciliation, then at least acceptance and a peaceful parting. While dotted with painful pleas ("Go ahead and be my world/and everything will be okay," Howard sings in opening track, "Go Ahead") there's an equal number of bittersweet gestures. "I don't know how I ever ignored this," Howard admits in heartbreaking acoustic track, "Without a Focus." Meanwhile, Crisp pleads for a release from numbness on "Come Visit Me." With both parties fighting their personal demons rather than each other, perhaps it's fitting that the album closes with an earnest attempt to reach out, Howard's voice cracking with a painful verisimilitude as he sings, "All I want is to make this all worthwhile." In all, Loud Planes Fly Low is a mature and fitting send off for a romantic relationship. Here's hoping it's not a requiem for The Rosebuds as well. (www.therosebuds.com)
Author rating: 8/10
Average reader rating: 9/10