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Classic Album Review: Stars of the Lid | The Tired Sounds of …

The Austin ambient tape-loop duo dish up two-plus hours of meditative beauty.

This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Self-deprecating title aside, the sounds that Stars Of The Lid produce on this sixth album are hardly trite and tired.

If anything, they’re the work of — and for — people who are tired of the typical pop music world of guitars, pianos, strings and horns. Which is not to say that this Austin ambient-drone duo don’t use those tools; just that they use them in ways you likely haven’t heard. Rather than playing traditional melodies, Brian McBride and Adam Wiltzie create subtle, droning tape loops and samples of the various instruments, which they gently blend into languidly paced multi-part suites that advance with the somnambulant pacing and subtle beauty of clouds changing shape as they drift across a clear sky at sunset. Granted, two CDs — and more than two hours — of their neo-New Age meditations may not be for everybody. But if your attention span lasts longer than the average pop song, this is the sort of stuff you can listen to 100 times and not get tired of.

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