Before I begin this post, I think it’s necessary to issue a warning of sorts to with short-to-medium attention spans; this is not an album you’ll like. You need patience, time, and a very real appreciation of the core elements of music to enjoy this album, and not just because of the two-hour runtime. If you possess all those things, then get ready to take a leap; Stars Of The Lid’s latest album, And Their Refinement Of The Decline, should be right up your alley.
Refinement is their first album in six year, and expectations are understandably high. Refinement handily meets them; there’s something that’s hard to put into words about this album, but easy to understand once you hear it. When the instrumentation swells, you feel something inside you swell along with it; when a song fades out, you can feel it fading out. It almost feels as though the music is triggering some type of primitive reaction in your brain, just as the track titles would suggest. But the album’s most enjoyable part is also the part that requires the most patience. As you listen to each track, it seems like each one means something; that if you listen just a little bit longer, you’ll come to some sort of revelation through the tracks. I can’t say whether or not that moment ever comes, but trying to get there is half the enjoyment of Refinement.