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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With their Second Full-length Effort, Red Sparowes Truly Shine
The L.A.-based experimental post-rock group known as Red Sparowes has done it again, having produced a second full-length album that proves to be even more elaborate and breathtaking than the first. Every Red Heart Shines Towards the Red Sun, to be released September 19, 2006, features 8 tracks, loaded with intricate, heavily layered guitar melodies and awe-inspiring...
Published on September 19, 2006 by bootzy

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Defiantly decent
Dramatic but not emphatic nor epic release seems to be reaching for something I just can't find much of; melodic maturity.
Published on May 12, 2010 by IRate


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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars With their Second Full-length Effort, Red Sparowes Truly Shine, September 19, 2006
This review is from: Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun (Audio CD)
The L.A.-based experimental post-rock group known as Red Sparowes has done it again, having produced a second full-length album that proves to be even more elaborate and breathtaking than the first. Every Red Heart Shines Towards the Red Sun, to be released September 19, 2006, features 8 tracks, loaded with intricate, heavily layered guitar melodies and awe-inspiring soundscapes that flow nearly flawlessly together. Every Red Heart contains plenty of mystifying melodies and mountainous crescendos much similar to their first release, At the Soundless Dawn (2005), yet seems to go a step further, adding more diversified layers and variety to the songs. Songs on Every Red Heart often change pace and contain a much broader range of beats and melodies. These additions make the 7-9 minute long tracks much more entertaining, avoiding issues like the sometimes monotonous and boring moments in their previous release.

Red Sparowes possess a keen ability to create vividly illustrated and often politically-aimed stories without the use of a single word, spoken or sung, in their music. Instead, the band chooses to create their stories through pure instrumentation, and uses long, descriptive song titles to help guide the listener. The same holds true for this album, which is based on the Great Sparrow Campaign, which was formed by the Great Leap Forward initiated by Mao Zedong in communist China during the late 1950's. In this campaign, sparrows were killed off in mass quantities in an attempt to preserve the farmland crops. Although the sparrows had been killed off, their primary prey, the locust, now had no predators, and thus began to populate China at an incredible pace. The locusts swarmed China for over two years, eating away all of the crops, and as a result a massive famine ensued which killed around 30 million people. With this new album being based on such a theme, it would be reasonable to believe that the band may have named itself after this very story.

With this background information about the album, it is easy to see how the title of each track fits into the story. Track one clearly describes the situation by mentioning "The Great Leap Forward," referencing the name of the Chinese campaign. The second track mentions "Our Leader," most likely a reference to Mao Zedong, having an "Unseeing Eye," symbolizing his lack of understanding of the real problem at hand. Track four mentions the people being carried away with "False Dreams of Endless Riches," signifying the promise to the farmers that crops would flourish if the sparrows were all killed off, which was obviously ultimately wrong. The title of track five is a quotation, real or fictional, and it is likely from Mao himself or some other figure of the government speaking to the peasantry, promising that they will flourish if the sparrows are killed. The sixth track, which serves as a sort of intermission soundscape, has a title that talks about the locusts taking over the crops after the death of the sparrows. It is not to our surprise then, that this track features sounds which vividly animate a scene of locust swarms hovering over crop fields at dusk. The name of the eighth and final track is quite possibly the most provoking of all. It speaks of the Chinese peasantry realizing that it had succumbed to "blind idolatry," meaning their complete obedience and faith in Mao, and that "only then did [they] begin to think for [their]selves," suggesting a revelation of Mao being a corrupt leader and the necessity to live one's life based on one's own decisions.

Having only emerged less than two years ago, Red Sparowes has already made a reputation for itself as a major component of the post-rock / instrumental scene, and Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun will surely do nothing less than strengthen that reputation. All storyline themes aside, Every Red Heart exhibits atmospheric instrumental rock music at its finest, with unrivaled complexity and outstanding melodic beauty. That said, there is certainly a great deal of significance added to this album by its historically based theme which is illustrated both in the music and the unusually long, descriptive song titles. It is clear that the band wishes to promote a lesson through this story: a lesson about the danger of blind obedience and the tragedies that can result from it. With only simple examination, the overall theme of this album seems to scream out "THINK FOR YOURSELF!" And perhaps that theme is even an ideal reflection of Red Sparowes themselves, a band that insists on finding its own way and settles for nothing less than instrumental perfection. With their second magnificent release, Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun, the agenda of the newly surfaced Red Sparowes is now clear: to create wonderfully artistic instrumental music combined with intriguing storylines that will make us all stand in awe for years to come. [...]
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super emotional, incredibly epic and grand, instrumental rock of the highest order., November 14, 2006
By 
This review is from: Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun (Audio CD)
Full length number two from epic post rock soundscapers the Red Sparowes. Sharing members with Isis, these guys tread similar sonic ground, although where Isis take their sound in a decidedly sludgy more metallic direction, The Sparowes move in their own, toward a much mathier, almost prog rock sound. Each track is massive in scope and composition, lengthy almost krautrock grooves lead into spacey ambience which lead into heavy crunchy "choruses". Riffs repeat and loop and slowly transform, multiple guitars weave in and out of the minor key melodies, creating dense harmonies, and strange rhythmic counterpoints to the motorik rhythms.

Red Sparowes are another band where it's hard to pinpoint just exactly what it is that makes them sound different or special, but that something is most definitely there. Sure it's slightly metallic, it's most definitely math rock or post rock. It's big and brooding, minor key and slightly melancholy, the guitars are big and thick, the drums simple but propulsive, but each one of those parts is transformed by the way they are assembled, the arrangements, the songwriting, imbue each of those elements with extra emotion, extra power. Which makes the heavy parts that much more riffage, the ambient parts that much more spacey and drifty, the sad parts that much darker. Obviously if you're into Isis and Aereogramme and Mogwai and all of that sort of stuff you'll for sure love this. But even folks who haven't been blown away by those bands should check these guys out. Super emotional, incredibly epic and grand, instrumental rock of the highest order. Like a more metallized Sigur Ros or like a dreamier dronier, WAY less metal Neurosis.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars read the first review, November 3, 2006
By 
This review is from: Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun (Audio CD)
The first reviewer down below did a great job at describing why this album is so good. If I may just paraphrase a few things and cut right to the chase.

1. This album is incredible

2. It is better than At The Soundless Dawn

3. The variety and flow in each track is mesmerizing and haunting

4. Every instrument has the perfect mix

5. The album artwork is great

6. This is one of the best instrumentatl post-rock albums.

7. Ever.

Do yourself a favor, read the first review if you need more proof. The sound samples wont do you any good as each song is around 7-8 minutes long and has far too much depth for a 30 second sample. Then go out and buy this album and set aside some time to listen to it...Maybe clean you room, or draw, or paint, or sit on the couch with the lights turned low and prepare to be taken away by the music. This album is an escape from wherever you are at the moment. A sonic tour de force.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sonic Boom!, October 2, 2006
By 
A. Olmos (Somewhere, Japan) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun (Audio CD)
Red Sparowes have created a truly epic experience with this album. It'll take you soaring over a sonic soundscape that you will never forget. I bought this album not really expecting too much, just some instrumental music to pass the time. What I got was something beyond my imagination. I couldn't have imagined that this album would deliver the sterile quietness it would or the complete sonic wall of sound it did. At times this a very catchy album. I feel Red Sparowes have succeeded at making this an album to remember.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best band going keeps the trend alive, September 19, 2006
This review is from: Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun (Audio CD)
I think that the first review really covers everything that I wanted to say, but I have to add some stuff.

First off, NO ONE ON EARTH creates a sonic landscape like Red Sparowes does...do...whatever. The sounds are always SO BIG, no matter how many instruments and/or tracks are running.

Secondly, there is something for everyone on here. I don't want to over explain that, so I'll leave it there.

Finally, the atmosphere in all of these songs is absolutely unmatched by any other band on earth. There is something about that steel guitar, coupled with the gigantic distortion, coupled with...etc...that makes this CD feel warm and dark and comforting and sad and...you get the idea.

AMAZING disk. Pick it up.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Post-Rock, June 8, 2007
This review is from: Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun (Audio CD)
I'll just start by saying that this album is indescribably better than At The Soundless Dawn, which didn't showcase any of the fascinating melodies that make this album so great.

All the reviews below describe this very well, but i just wanted to say how good this album really is. It was the first post-rock album i ever bought, because id read good reviews and i liked the front cover, and it was the best surprise ive ever had from an album.

Every song has its on melodic buildup, emotional climax and sense of complacency. And that doesn't mean the songs all sound the same, really its the opposite. The tracks each revolve around a singular melody or feel, and they all are sprawling epics, perfectly played, produced and most of all written.

The best songs are: Like the Howling Glory..., Annhilate the Sparrow... and And By Our Hand...

The best Post-Rock, and one of the greatest albums ever. 5 Stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting, July 1, 2007
This review is from: Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun (Audio CD)
Theres never a dull moment on this CD. Throughout the entire 61 minutes of this CD you will feel happy, sad, excited, angry, entergetic...at least I did. I would definently recomend this CD over the soundless dawn, though, that CD is really good. The Red Sparowes pushed the envelope with this one. Awesome!!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Leap Forward, November 1, 2006
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun (Audio CD)
Very atmospheric music, setting you in places only they, the band, could have thought of. Every song has its own sound, and every sound it resonates puts me through incredible states of emotion and nostalgia. The quiet plucking of the guitar has never sounded so beautiful, so well executed. Their best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Instant Classic., August 14, 2007
This review is from: Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun (Audio CD)
This album has been reviewed in depth already. I have to agree, this is a tremendous album. It was rumored in 2006 that post-rock was becoming extinct. Releases were starting to become overwhelmingly variants of the same thing. Personally, I was starting to lose interest. A year later, post-rock is not dead, but starting to evolve. But before there was any hint of this though, one band released an album which was instantly the pinnacle of decades of experimentation. The Red Sparowes were back, and this time, with a much more serious sound. This release isn't for everyone. Even fans of post-rock may find it dry or monotonous. It's not a fun, upbeat album with 3-minute radio-friendly songs. However, what it does display is amazing song writing -- something that's growing more and more uncommon these days. If you like this quality in music and you're a fan of post-rock, you should check this out. Don't expect to be blown away by your first listen. This is a deep, epic album with a dreary tone. Stunning, melancholy music which tells a sorrowful story without any lyrics. It's an instant classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful and complex post-rock, February 16, 2008
By 
V (Ontario) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun (Audio CD)
this album is amazingly lyrical despite not having any lyrics -- the song titles give each song just enough of a frame to let the listener fill in the details, and every song paints a complex swirl of emotion that rewards repeated listening. it's a work of art with a heartbeat.
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Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun
Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun by Red Sparowes (Audio CD - 2006)
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