By Rob Pearson
The midsummer campfire light is glowing away to embers; Fanny has taken her load off, the pebbles have all been tossed, the winds have ceased their blowin.’ The night appears to be winding down to its sleepy conclusion, and that’s when the acid kicks in. The last, ill-remembered lines of whatever classic sing-along meander a bit, someone finds a glockenspiel — before you know it the sun is rising like a sunflower locomotive, and the whole gang is chanting “look inside your heart” with the sincerity of a rural youth group being slain in the spirit.
The End of That was one of the most cathartic break-up albums of all time, and returned Plants and Animals to a more straightforward approach to songwriting, aesthetically and thematically echoing The Band’s The Last Waltz. Luckily for us, that was far from the end of that, and Waltzed in From the Rumbling keeps pace with Plants and Animals’ rambling, rose-smelling career. Orchestral, but not over-produced, this album explores new ground sonically by taking familiar folk-rock clichés like a strumming acoustic guitar, or a catchy singable hook, and forcing them to the background. This has allowed them to build on the foundation they’ve worked hard to construct, without repeating themselves. The band has become masterful at guiding the listener’s emotions by using the common musical language of midcentury American rock and roll as the raw material to express a vision, which is enormously more complex. In an age of profound egotism and instantaneity, this album makes lasting progress in art while still paying tribute to its ancestry – lighting fireworks with Rolling Stone magazines.Plants and Animals, Waltzed In From The Rumbling