Tortoise – It’s All Around You

2004 – Thrill Jockey


As the rain creates its own symphony against my house, I dryly sit inside. Cocooned away, enjoying a few minutes of my vacation day allowing Tortoise to blend with nature and create a completely calming environment. “It’s All Around You” was the first Tortoise album I heard, and perhaps because of this, it is my favorite of their albums.  The instrumentation and layering of sounds represented here are nothing short of marvelous. As each sound creeps its way in and out, you are left with a feeling of completeness. This fullness, to me, is the essence of Tortoise. Their music takes you on a journey that you feel an integral part of. It doesn’t seem like you are just along for the ride, you are enveloped in their sound and partake in the quest through the two sides of vinyl. The use of space is also phenomenal. As I listen through this LP for the umpteenth time I am still surprised by little bits of sound that were previously unknown to me. This is where the use of space comes in; with something new hitting me every time, you would expect the music to be cluttered, but it is not. Everything has its place and allows everything else to breathe. Do yourself a favor and check this album out, you won’t be disappointed.