Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven by Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Genre: Post-Rock. Review #1028. Date: 22.1.2023. 22:12.
Let me start this off by saying that this album isn't just music. It represents life, emotion, growth, sadness, grief, happiness, and death. It covers all of those things with the most mind-blowing progressive instrumentation you could imagine on any record. The layers, textures, and structures of the songs are out of this world. The way the different parts of the tracks transition with each other is masterful.
Post-Rock is a genre I am a fan of, and this has to be the most beautiful representation of how beautiful it can be. This record is flawless, front to back, in every way, shape, or form. Stunning production, distant ambiance, beautiful guitars, groovy basslines but also triumphant strings, horns, and pads. The 20-minute songs go by in what feels like a few minutes, with how entertaining and full of ambitious ideas they are laced throughout.
The way I like to interpret this album is what really made me fall in love with it in the first place. I saw this on Reddit and thought it made so much sense. It's like a metaphor for one's life.
1. "Storm". Starts off with an uplifting tone, representing the birth of an individual. The innocence of childhood, the cheeriness, the happiness, and the carelessness of a child. It's beautiful and vibrant. It has a brilliantly powerful and uplifting force. It's imaginative just like a child would be. As we get towards the end of the track though, it gets a little darker. Starts off with people talking, with a somber ambient piano kicking in completely changing the tone. As the child grows, it realizes the harsh truths of life. It starts to become hopeless, empty, and dark. That's the sense the track ends on, perfectly transitioning into...
2. "Static". Now the child has grown up into a young adult. Turning into a cynical person, who isn't satisfied with their own life, working the same job every day, being restrained by the rules of society, and being now fully aware of how unfair and harsh life really is. The individual has a hard time accepting these truths, leading to depression and darkness. Under the grip of the corrupted modern society, one contemplates life going through different phases of disappointment, darkness, and hopelessness and ends up in a state of major emptiness, which the sound of the track resembles absolutely perfectly and beautifully. It's not as musical and beautiful as the first track, and that's for a very good reason.
3. "Sleep". This track is the turning point. The adult breaks free of the monotonous tasks and starts to do what he/she truly loves and helps out as many people as he/she can. The person starts to grow, and accept the truths of life, and instead of taking everything in negatively, he/she sees the beauty in life. At the end of the day, it's an opportunity to be grateful for, despite all its tough times. After the person finds a stable life by getting married, starting a family, and doing what he/she loves, he/she is becoming fully aware of the positives and negatives in life and accepts both. The track feels like a progression through adulthood, transitioning into the last song.
4. "Like Antennas To Heaven...". This is where it all ends. All the hardships, all the good times, and all the experiences are now coming to an end. The closer represents the elder, passing along the lessons learned from his/her life and finally accepting his/her fate and can die knowing their life had a purpose. At peace, they let out their last breath, with every single memory replaying in his/her head, with the final goodbye said to their his/her family, representing the end. An end of something tragic, yet beautiful. They step on the elevator, which finally leads him/her to a place called Heaven.
And the best thing about this album is that everyone can think of it a different way, that's just the way I like to perceive it.
Such a beautiful masterpiece. It feels beyond just music. Beyond just an album. It feels like there is something meaningful in this album that will stick with me for the rest of my life. A casual music listener might be a little confused by this album, I mean the songs are over 20 minutes long, and it's probably very hard for one to process. But once you understand it, once you get sucked into the world of life this album represents, you truly realize how beautiful and stunning of a masterpiece it really is. A true work of art that feels extremely special. It takes me on a journey, it takes me to a world. But unlike some other albums that take you to a fictional place (which I love too), this one takes you to a place you're very familiar with. It's called life. That's what's so special about this work of art. It represents existence, which every single soul on this planet can relate to.
I guess my last words would be that I already appreciate this album so much, even from a 1st/2nd listen. I already know how big of an impact it's going to have on me, and I'll be sure to update this review then. Thanks so much to everybody that has read my reviews, commented or followed. It means a lot, truly. This is such a great platform to not only express your own thoughts but to interact with others about the thing we all love, which is music. So thanks to everybody who read this or any review of mine, highly appreciate it and hope I can talk to some of you about music more. This is the longest and most in-depth review I've ever written and put in the most effort. And there is no better album I could've picked to do that on, than this one. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I feel more complete after listening to this, it feels like I needed this in my life. So again, appreciate everyone here, whether you agree or disagree, it doesn't matter.
FAV TRACKS: Storm, Static, Sleep, Like Antennas To Heaven...
LEAST FAV TRACKS: nope not happening