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The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi

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Album Review

Not many bands could conceive of building an album around the twin poles of family breakdown and astronomer Johannes Kepler's tonal theory of the planets. Even fewer, at least not since the heyday of prog rock, would dare attempt to record such a thing. But that's precisely what the Receiving End of Sirens have done on their sophomore set, The Earth Sing Mi Fa Mi. The title refers to Kepler's hypothesis that Earth's tonal signature would shift back and forth in orbit, with the dark suggestion that those tones — "mi, fa, ma" on the scale — stood for misery and famine. His misery, however, referred to emptiness, and TREOS take up that theme on the opening "Swallow People Whole," further incorporating it into "Obliette (Disappear)" and "Smoke and Mirrors." Kepler's famine, meanwhile, referred not to starvation, but a desire for things. And indeed desire is the subject of "The Crop and the Pest," while lust and craving drive "Saturnus." "The Salesman, the Husband, the Lover" sets the stage for the album's other concept, with its web of disintegrating relationships woven through the set, and is based on a story written by Brendan Brown. This theme reaches a nadir on "The Heir of Empty Breath" as the band pleads to be taken away from the emotional wreckage, with the album closing with the haunting "Pale Blue Dot" and its repeated refrain, "There's no place like home." Thematically, this is a complex set, and musically even more so, as the band weaves a dense tapestry of sound, multi-shaded and many colored. This was true of their debut as well, but here they exude confidence and take it to a whole new level. "Swallow" revels in Depeche Mode territory before spilling into prog rock, pomp-rock organ swans across "The Crop," while tinkling, delicate melodies trill through "A Realization of the Ear" and the blurry, underwater instrumental "Music of the Spheres." Big guitars splay across "The Heir," and rousing choruses abound everywhere, while the band's dynamics fuel the entire album. All told, a superb set meant to be savored over and over again.

Customer Reviews

Nothing like it!

If you've been a TREOS fan for as long as I have (for as long as I can remember), you've been waiting as impatiently as I have for this album. After the bitter loss of Casey Crezendo to The Dear Hunter, I was worried that TREOS' magic and wonder would have slipped away with him. But I couldn't have been more wrong. The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi is much more melodic than Between the Heart and the Synapse and much better put together. 1. "Swallow People Whole" is a strange way to start off an album, but what else would you expect from them? It's quiet temperments is not what you would expect from the first song on any album, but it's nothing to complain about, as TREOS always delivers. 2. "Oubliette (Disappear)" is anything but fantastic. It's harder rock doesn't pull any punches as it delivers what I expect to be their first single. 3. "The Crop and the Pest" is just phenomenal. It reminds me a lot of This Armistice, which was one of my favorites from their first album. Words can't describe how much I love this song. 4. "The Salesman, The Husband, The Lover" is my favorite song on the album. It is the definition of harmony. You can listen to this as many times as you like and you will never be able to find the slightest flaw in this song. It's about a father who walks out on his family as a drunkard and a cheat and left his wife and kid alone, and how the kid wound up just like his father. 5. "Smoke and Mirrors" is a great flashback to TREOS' first album. It has the same heavy sound and heart pounding chorus that Dead Men Tell No Tales or The War of All Against All have, and is one of my favorites on the album. 6. "A Realization of the Ear" really caught me by surprise. When I started listening to it, I thought I was listening to some techno music or something off of The Ghost in the Shell. But more than anything, it's an intermission--just a soothing enchantment of everything that this group can bring. 7. When TREOS wrote "Saturnus," they must have been going for the home run, because the guitars of this song start off stronger than anything else. I could swear I heard Casey in this song as I think this song tops ...Then I Defy You, Stars from their previous album. This is a definite must for anybody. 8. Although "Wanderers" isn't my favorite song because of the soft approach to it, the lyrics are nothing to be frowned upon. As always, TREOS delivers with an amazing set of words to wrap your mind around. 9. "Stay Small" does anything but that, as it is an explosion of true sound and a lyrical masterpiece. It's about a father telling his son not to get "too big" in today's culture because the world could rip him apart especially because the father couldn't do anything to save his daughter. "You'll be raped of any evidence/Of ever owning any innocence/This culture's a vulture/And you're prime candidate for prey." 10. "Music of the Spheres" is just that--music of the bells. Nothing fancy here, just a lot of bells. 11. "The Heir of Empty Breath" is another of my favorites on this album. It's over 7:30 long without a second wasted. It's a long song about being taken away from everything and escaping into a wild dream where the heart meets the senses. 12. "Pale Blue Dot" is an apology to a lover, as the pale blue dot represents the woman walking away and him only able to see her pale blue dot as she leaves him forever. If I was forced to choose, and believe me, I'm forcing myself, to pick 5 songs to get from The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi, I would get these: Oubliette (Disappear) The Crop and the Pest The Salesman, The Husband, The Lover Smoke and Mirrors Saturnus However, you should definitely buy this whole album because there is not *any* reason I can think of not to pick up one of the top albums of '07 (easily) and one of the best bands of this generation. While you're at it, you may want to go check out The Dear Hunter, Casey Crezendo's new band who have put out two amazing albums as well. But TREOS will always be TREOS, 3 steps ahead and above of everyone else.

Small expectations lead to wondeful album

With the departure of guitarist/vocalist Casey Crescenzo last year, I lost all hope for TREOS. When I heard Casey's highly recommended new band The Dear HUnter, it was evident just how big of a part he played in TREOS. I was devastated that he left but it seemed like everything he brought to the table in the past with these guys was resurrected with his new band. Fast forward five months. I just saw TREOS play in Nashville with Saosin and I must say in regards to their new style, Casey who? While I still may favor The Dear HUnter a little more, I must say, this album blows Between The Heart and The Synapse away. It's cohesive, catchy, and epic. Highly recommended.

TREOS does it again

TREOS 'The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi' is nothing like their first album 'Between The Heart and The Synapse' While some fans will be disappointed with the lack of heavy moments, double bass, and breakdowns, the new cd sounds more complete and cohesive. Each song flows smoothly from one song to the next. It is one of the most "complete" albums I have ever experienced. The only disapointment is waiting for the next TREOS record. For fans of Thrice, The Dear Hunter, Circa Survive, The Mars Volta


Formed: Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Boston's the Receiving End of Sirens preferred the first-name-only approach. In 2003 Alex, Andrew, Brendan, Casey, and Nate put out a self-released, self-titled EP that defined their approach to the post-hardcore/emo axis. Triple Crown Records noticed, and signed the band up. Their full-length debut, Between the Heart and the Synapse, appeared in April 2005, and TREOS enjoyed comparisons to contemporaries like Thrice, Mae, and Emery. Much touring ensued and, by the fall of 2006, the guys welcomed...
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The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi, The Receiving End of Sirens
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