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Rook

4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 3, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Austin's Shearwater return with the follow-up to "Palo Santo". "Rook" meditates on man's intersection with the natural world; the world after human beings are gone. A dark fairy tale encased in a cycle of songs. Jonathan Meiburg's bold, soaring voice still anchors the songs, which broaden his pastoral prog-folk chaotic celestial mindfuckery into new realms. Beyond the continuing touchstones of late Talk Talk, Nico, and John Cale, there are now allusions to Van Morrison and hints of Joni Mitchell. All set in a newly lush sonic gorgeousness of harp, strings, and woodwinds atop the magnificent rhythm section.

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On their breakthrough release Rook, Shearwater provides each number with more dimensions than most bands demonstrate on entire albums. The Austin quartet's follow-up to 2006’s Nico-inspired Palo Santo springs to life with "On the Death of the Waters," which unfolds like a sleepy ballad, swells into an orchestral maelstrom, and contracts in a cluster of minor-key piano chords. Like the best opening tracks, it commands attention, but "The Snow Leopard," where they combine the grandeur of Sigur Rós with the flamenco-inflected heartbreak of Forever Changes-era Love, serves as the centerpiece of this ecologically-oriented song cycle. Singer/ornithologist/ex-Okkervil River keyboard player Jonathan Meiburg, who recalls folk troubadour Tim Buckley, and collaborators Kimberly Burke, Howard Draper, and Thor Harris work their magic through evocative imagery, modulated vocals, and fluid instrumentation. The opposite of ragged and spontaneous, the four-piece occupies the more rarefied realm of the theatrical and the cinematic, and it comes as little surprise to find that 2008 also marked their first foray into features (indie romance In Search of a Midnight Kiss plays out to Shearwater’s mournful melodies). Augmented by 14 guest musicians, Rook unfurls like a dream, a poem, and the soundtrack to a flickering old film about lost frontiers. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. On The Death Of The Waters
  2. Rooks
  3. Leviathan, Bound
  4. Home Life
  5. Lost Boys
  6. Century Eyes
  7. I Was A Cloud
  8. South Col
  9. The Snow Leopard
  10. The Hunter's Star


Product details

  • Audio CD (June 3, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B0017R5UH8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,188 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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on January 2, 2013
Format: Audio CD|Verified Purchase
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on November 20, 2015
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on January 6, 2009
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on June 3, 2008
Format: Audio CD
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on December 23, 2010
Format: Audio CD
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on June 5, 2011
Format: Vinyl
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on April 23, 2010
Format: Audio CD
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