Moonlit Sailor So Close To Life

The problem with bands that decide to follow an instrumental path is that it's far too easy to start throwing around terms like post-rock when in reality, all they're doing is writing longer songs without words. And that's very much the case with Swedish band Moonlit Sailor. The group, however, have completely committed to the choices they've made. Songs are christened with titles that have been selected to reflect the mood the band feel the music has captured, such as "Sunbeams" and "Hope." Yet most of the time, this adds expectations that aren't necessarily met because no matter how competently the music is performed, the songs often fall flat due to a lack of emotion and soul. They simply meander along until they finish, delivering a few bumps along the way instead of the soaring highs and plunging lows required. There are some tracks that work better than others, such as "A Week Without Sunlight," which is driven by rolling percussion and layers of guitar, adding the extra dimension the rest of the album sorely needs. As it stands, the rest is merely pleasant, and that isn't enough. (Deep Elm)