The Rosebuds: Loud Planes Fly Low (Merge) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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The Rosebuds

Loud Planes Fly Low 


Jun 03, 2011 #36 - Music vs. Comedy Bookmark and Share

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The Rosebuds (Kelly Crisp and Ivan Howard) have never been "chipper." Upbeat surebut 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 marriagethey'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 tracksfrom 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. (

Author rating: 8/10

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June 5th 2011

Amen to the final sentiment. The Rosebuds are one of the great unsung bands of the last few years and have produced a string of albums dripping with romance, mystery and beauty. Just when you can’t imagine how they can get any better, along comes a new album which reaches higher, touches deeper, moves you more than the one(s) before. “Loud Planes…” is no exception, seeing Ivan and Kelly conjuring up a suite of songs filled with sadness, regret, acceptance… But most importantly, as the band said themselves on Twitter, “it’s a record about love.” As all the best ones are.

All respect to Ivan and Kelly for being able to work through their personal tragedy to produce such a beautiful album. May happiness follow in huge quantities for both, and may The Rosebuds continue to flourish.