If you’re expecting another deep and intricate narrative from the Antlers on its fourth full-length release, well, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Burst Apart is a self-proclaimed “collection of songs,” all assembled beautifully by the Antlers who also took on the production aspects of the album. Though it doesn’t use the previous narrative form, the album is cohesive in its sound while using subtle experimental elements.
Where 2009’s Hospice dwelled on a sad story, Burst Apart signals the moment where the narrator moves on. The old sadness isn’t forgotten, as some tracks still have that melancholy feel of “Everything still isn’t quite all right.” The group utilizes more electronic parts in its compositions this time around, but it certainly doesn’t detract from the soundscape as a whole. Every component of the music meshes to create a rich, complex texture. It results in ambiance punctuated by Pete Silberman’s passionate voice and acoustic guitar.
Silberman’s versatile voice shines on “Parentheses” where he creates a falsetto similar to Thom Yorke and shows how easily he can sing in both higher and lower registers. He puts all his energy into “Every Night My Teeth Are Falling Out,” where his drive is contagious. It never seems as though Silberman is putting on an act with his vocals because there’s an undeniably genuine quality there. Nothing on the album seems as though it’s been done for the sake of doing it. Every element has been placed carefully, from the horn tracks on “Rolled Papers” to the soulful vibe of “Putting The Dog To Sleep.” Burst Apart is smart and calculated without feeling as though you’re being duped by artificial feelings.