And yet... I was channel surfing the other night and happened to catch the video for "And The Rest Will Follow," on M-E TV (the sort of sad, slick-ish replacement for scrappy The Austin Music Network) and suddenly, this light went off in my brain. I finally got what the band was going for with this heady (and critically thrashed) concept album. Yeah, it's self-indulgent and a little clunky. (What concept album isn't, though?) Yeah, it's no Source Tags and Codes. Yeah the title track is not the best song, and a little out of place on the album. But if you blew off Worlds Apart, give it another listen away from the anti-hype and stinging blows of the Pitchfork review. What you hear may surprise you. Or I don't know, maybe not -- just humor me, yeah?
Another pleasant surprise was that I'd somehow also missed virtuoso violinist Hilary Hahn's guest appearance on the album. She's definitely a favorite as well; her interpretations of modern classics are fresh and thrilling without being irreverent or insousciant. And she brings just the right amount of bleeding-heart pathos to the so-familiar-it's-almost-trite Elgar Violin Concerto, of which I've posted the first movement below.
...and You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead -- And The Rest Will Follow
...and You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead -- Russia My Homeland (featuring Hilary Hahn)
Hilary Hahn -- Elgar Violin Concerto, Op.61, I. Allegro
(You can find Trail of Dead's entire ouevre at Insound. Hilary Hahn's take on Elgar's Violin Concerto & Vaughn Williams' A Lark Ascending with The London Symphony, Sir Colin Davis conducting, is available from Amazon.)