The Blue Aeroplanes

Altitude

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In conjunction with the re-release of the Blue Aeroplanes' landmark 1990 offering Swagger in January of 2006, frontman Gerard Langley elected to reunite for Altitude. While the resulting studio disc doesn't soar to any new heights for the band, it feels refreshing and alive just the same. Langley's acerbic, poetic rants are front and center and don't break from tradition as evidenced by "Bright Star Catalogue" and "Hexanal," where the Aeroplanes fly free of turbulence courtesy of spirited indie rock guitars. It's little surprise that Langley's pipes are better served in this environment, as he loses much of his magic in the confines of the sweetly toned, fiddle-laced "Tree Full of Starlings." Just the same, it's an anomaly overridden by the likes of the muscular "Raise the Roof High," which fulfills the promise of its title with ease.

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