Trembling Blue Stars

Exploring the Shadows EP

by Matthew Fiander

6 March 2008

 

Bobby Wratten’s Trembling Blue Stars’ albums can be very hit-or-miss affairs. Usually there are one or two stand-out moments to make the albums worthwhile, but consistency usually falls away in favor of overproduced, lackluster tracks that overpopulate the records. But here, the four tracks on Exploring the Shadows are consistently good. They’re not all excellent—opener “Beautiful Blank” is catchy but done in by cheesy lyrics—but on the whole it is a solid, and short, collection of Wratten’s rainy-morning pop. And it also has the requisite stand-out. “Outside Looking Elsewhere” is the best version here of Wratten’s insulated melancholy, as the dreamy, acoustic-driven background eschews the electro-by-the-numbers elements that so often derail the Trembling Blue Stars sound. The following track, “And the Shadows”, does manage to tip its predecessor’s careful atmosphere into something far more plodding, but overall Exploring the Shadows is a solid offering from Trembling Blue Stars that both long-time fans and the uninitiated can enjoy. Perhaps, in the end, the EP format is what best suits Wratten’s talents.

Exploring the Shadows

Rating:

//related
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work. We are a wholly independent, women-owned, small company. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing, challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. PopMatters needs your help to keep publishing. Thank you.


//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

U2's 'The Joshua Tree' Tour Reminds the Audience of their Politics

// Notes from the Road

"The Joshua Tree tour highlights U2's classic album with an epic and unforgettable new experience.

READ the article