Loud Planes Fly LowAlbum |
Former couple rise above heartbreak.
On their four previous albums, the North Carolina duo of Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp crafted classy indie pop with a restless, kinetic core. After the silky New Order grooves of 2007's quasi-political Night of the Furies brought forward their dancefloor urges, its still solid follow-up Life Like presented more standard Merge Records indie fare. Loud Planes Fly Low follows in its immediate predecessor's likeable footsteps, with one very important change: Howard and Crisp's long marriage dissolved prior to the album's writing and recording, though the former couple resolved to continue performing together. All things considered, the new songs are admirably not particularly bitter, although they do seem to exist in some dense romantic haze. Those looking for unbridled angst will have to make do with the brooding, contemplative "Go Ahead" or the melancholy vocal interplay of "Waiting For You." Elsewhere, "Woods" proves to be one of the band's strongest tracks to date, with a strong melody and uncharacteristic dashes of electric guitar. Despite the duo's admirable artistic focus, much of Loud Planes Fly Low is difficult to distinguish from some of their breezy indie compatriots, ranging from recent entrants The Love Language to longtime labelmates The Clientele. But despite never being indie rock groundbreakers, their consistent knack for mature, cohesive pop now shows intriguing traces of a dark underbelly.
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