Awake In the City, the fifth studio album by post-rock band The American Dollar, is an emotive, gorgeous album. It is purely instrumental (with the exception of some wordless “ahhhs” and “ooohs” on track 5). All the tracks are pretty similar in style and form – if you like one, you’ll probably like all of them. Then again, that can make the album as a whole somewhat monotone and boring. But for radio play, any one of these tracks would be a good choice. They are also named really well, so you can’t go wrong by picking a track based on what the name indicates it would sound like. A lot of the songs end with 5-10 seconds left, so beware. RIYL: Explosions in the Sky. No FCCs. Recommended: 1, 5, 9|
1*. 4:27: Calm, soothing soft, pretty. Purely instrumentals. Some light guitar strumming included. Soaring, haunting.
2. 4:15: Soft, quiet start, then picks up a little at about :23. Light drums, then at 2:01 they go heavy and the guitars come roaring in. Despite the heavier instrumentals, it still feels calm and controlled. Purely instrumental. Song ends with 10 seconds left.
3. 3:32: Midtempo, ethereal.
4. 3:40: clap beats, builds from airy and light to passionate as it adds instruments, intensity, and picks up speed.
5*. 2:08: sounds more industrial, electronic. Chimes. Haunting “ahhhh”s in the background.
6. 2:03: can be played right after 5. Ends with 8 seconds left.
7. 3:09: light percussion beat, some grittiness. A guitar that comes in near the end is the only “string.” Xylophone at the end, which is cool. Ends with 6 seconds left.
8. 3:33: nothing new here. Kind of boring, mid-tempo. The kind of song you forget you’re listening to.
9*. 4:03: slow, soothing, calming. Then picks up at about 1 minute in, with some interesting guitar. I could imagine this being the title song for a TV show. Fades out; by 6 seconds left it’s pretty much silent.
10. 2:38: more uptempo, tense. Ends w/ 8 seconds left.
11. 3:36: slow, twinkling, peaceful. Then builds to a faster, but still peaceful mid-section. At the end adds in melodic guitar and drums, before softly fading out.
12. 3:18: Can be played continuously with track 11. Starts kinda slow, then picks it up through to the end.