Here Come the Rattling Trees

The High Llamas - Here Come the Rattling Trees
Critic Score
Based on 8 reviews
2016 Ratings: #702 / 760
User Score
Based on 5 ratings
January 22, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Drag City / Label
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This is a quietly ambitious and exciting installment in the history of a band who may be happy (or possibly even destined) to remain under the radar but deserve something far, far greater.

Here Come the Rattling Trees is a wonderfully delightful thing to have on in the background while doing just about anything. As a cohesive statement, though, the album falls short of gelling, piecemealed as it is from fragments of a larger artistic vision.

The Line of Best Fit

Absent any actors to push the narrative along, Here Come the Rattling Trees can drift by during its more passive instrumental passages, but never less than pleasantly so.

The songs themselves are the usual Llamas fare, with O'Hagan's lovely voice surrounded by clip-clopping percussion, all sorts of warm keyboards, and rich, aged-to-perfection arrangements.
We can admire him for staying the course all this while, but we also need to ask: Even when the music is wrapped up within the framework of a theater performance, will there be anyone listening?

Life in the town portrayed in Rattling Trees continues as it has, with little change, much like the High Llamas’ music. This can be comforting, but also a little dull.

Loud and Quiet
The organs, the delicate string arrangements, the lush, vaguely psychedelic air that permeates almost every track don’t so much borrow from ‘Pet Sounds’-era Beach Boys as transplant whole ideas virtually verbatim. If there’s to be a future for this project, he has to figure out a way to channel his influences into something more original and inventive than this.
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Track List

  1. Prelude
  2. Amy Recalls
  3. Here Come the Rattling Trees
  4. Runner Recalls
  5. Bramble Underscore
  6. Bramble Black
  7. Mona Underscore
  8. Mona's Song
  9. Decorator Recalls
  10. McKain Underscore
  11. McKain James
  12. Plumber Recalls
  13. Livorno Underscore
  14. Livorno
  15. Jackie Underscore
  16. Jackie
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Added on: January 3, 2016