Release Date: 4 November 2003
One of the most impressive aspects of The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place is that it feels constantly in flux, growing and transforming with every note. While this achievement would be notable in any genre, in the ceaselessly masturbatory realm of post/indie/prog-rock (really folks, let's just call it "music"), where bands either take far too long to arrive anywhere (Godspeed You! Black Emperor), or just don't have anyplace special to go (Mogwai), bands that avoid both seem increasingly rare finds.
With this album, Explosions in the Sky have constructed a sweetly melodic, inspirationally hopeful album for a genre whose trademark is tragedy. For the astute listener, under the CD tray, amongst the illustrated scattered leaves, lies the answer to the album's desperately optimistic title; it reads "Because You Are Listening." It serves as a poignant parting sentiment from a band whose music is as dramatic as finding hope.
- Hartley Goldstein, Pitchfork