Trampled By Turtles: Stars And Satellites

Written by April 18th, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Trampled By Turtles
Stars and Satellites
(Banjodad/Thirty Tigers)
Rating: ★★★½☆

Are Trampled By Turtles showing signs of age? Or are they simply making the executive decision to pace themselves? Whatever the reason, it’s a welcome change to the world of this Minnesota-based outfit to find them tempering the blistering speed of their stomping bluegrass on their sixth full-length. Don’t get too nervous, TBT fans; there are still enough speedy tempos and glorious banjo/mandolin picking to go around here (the instrumental “Risk” is a particular delight). But the rest of Stars and Satellites is given over to meditative songs that open up petal by petal, revealing a soft heart within. Leader Dave Simonett obviously had a great deal on his mind when crafting these songs. His lyrics are filled with poignant observations and philosophical musings. “We come into this world/alone/We go out of the world/alone,” he sings on “Alone” over a glistening stream of music, underpinned by Ryan Young’s slow melting fiddle. And on the lovely closing track “The Calm and the Crying Wind,” he bewails on getting older while learning to appreciate the simpler pleasures of life and the planet. This is the sound of growing old gracefully while still maintaining a sparkle in your eye.

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