Friday, 18 August 2017

Stars Of The Lid - The Tired Sounds Of (2001)

Two hours of modern-classical infused ambient drift at its most magnificent.  Brian McBride & Adam Wiltzie's mature masterwork came out 16 years ago, and had an almost-as-good followup 6 years later; whether they'll record another album together is anyone's guess, but at least they've both been keeping busy since.  Anyway, here's Tired Sounds, arguably the high watermark of both their' careers to date.

With the long, weightless guitar treatments that had become SOTL's stock in trade now fleshed out by judicious strings, Tired Sounds opened up a new and sophisticated landscape straight away with Requiem For Dying Mothers.  Movingly funereal in its first part, defiantly elegiac in its second, this opening piece sets the tone for the rest of the melancholy, sometimes unsettling first hour.  This reaches its darkest depths in the 12-minute middle section of Austin Texas Mental Hospital, with the strings remorselessly sawing away at the patient's psyche, although some respite does seem to come with the gentle organ-like swells of the final part.

The second disc of Tired Sounds is a slightly more relaxing, Eno-esque drift as a whole, but only once you've come through the colder-than-death Mulholland, sounding like its been recorded from within a body chiller in a morgue.  The mellower highlights of this second hour-long trip into inner space definitely include Piano Aquieu, with its Harold Budd-esque piano intro, but the melancholy still persists in huge, endless waves.  For an album that I've previously described to bemused acquaintances as "suffused with death", on digging it out today Tired Sounds does at least still live and breathe (audibly, in its final minutes) with some hopefulness towards its end.  Beyond essential.

Disc 1
Disc 2


  1. Beautiful music. This and, especially, AND THEIR REFINEMENT OF THE DECLINE, have saved my life on occasion.

  2. Great album. Beethoven of the modern world.