The handful of times I listened to All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone, the 2007 release from post-rock instrumentalists Explosions In The Sky, it was difficult to maintain start-to-finish interest. Explosions In The Sky tends to make albums meant to inhabit as opposed to listen, their melodies and harmonies surrounding you like sonic down, providing ample aural comfort. It sounds nice, but it gets monotonous. All elements are sort of draped in an angelic glow, so much so that the soft reverb and overwhelming distance drown out what the band actually pulls together. Even on those “rock” moments when the mix grows severe, it’s all too pretty to drive your fist into the air, and your Zippo tribute just chokes and gasps in the sound’s envelopment, struggling to find viable air.

I was expecting a return to this for the band’s newest album, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, but when the snare sound kicked in for the album’s first piece, “Last Known Surroundings,” less obscured by embellishment—clean—I kept listening. (Just a note: That snare sound had me online to see if Steve Albini had worked on this album. If you’ve heard Nirvana’s In Utero, Pixies’ Surfer Rosa or PJ Harvey’s Rid Of Me, you’ll recognize the similarity. Albini did not produce this album, though. Gratuitous observation.) With that little omission of polish, it’s easier to understand Explosions In The Sky in terms of song craft. Their chords still drift into space; keys fade into the ether. But, I feel anchored listening to this and not so liable to float away myself.

Better still, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care grows more interesting as the album plays. Though “Last Known Surroundings” and the grand pulsating gesture of “Human Qualities” carry on familiarly, “Trembling Hands” goes sort of dance punk, snare couplets and rolls accompanied by plucked chords and choral sections. Even better is “Be Comfortable, Creature,” which shuffles percussively while dueling, cherubic guitar swashes float through the air. It’s the most spare I’ve heard this band, and it actually demonstrates the positives of reduction, or editing. The song does eventually revert back to sonic walls of ethereal shock, but those moments don’t detract from the overall song.

“Postcard In 1952” also keeps to a level of minimalism before reveling in the soft and sonic debris. “Let Me Back In” closes the album out in a nice array of string play before the band glides into volume and then settles ultimately on drum taps and intermingling whales with light loops of sampled speech hanging out underneath.