All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone

Call Explosions in the Sky anything but cynical. With its last and nearly perfect collection, The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place, the band revealed itself as the instrumental post-rock frontrunner outdistancing such solidly great acts as Mogwai, Tristeza and Godspeed You Black Emperor. All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone appears bereft of the immense hooks and epic gorgeousness that cascaded openly and repeatedly from every second of Earth. Oddly, this album’s production favors the drums, which at times distract from the song and throttle pristine ringing notes and picked strings. Among the many things that work are the intermittent plunked piano patterns providing a subtle, sad resonance on “So Long Lonesome,” and “What Do You Go Home To?” All of a Sudden melds the directions and influences from all of the band’s previous albums into one bold, wondrous summary chapter. Fans will find plenty to love and revisit, but this one isn’t likely to lure legions. Explosions in the Sky just might have a classic album in them, but for now this one’s a strong suggestion that the best is yet to come.