If I Were a Neutron Star
Bullets in Madison return with their new album entitled, If I Were a Neutron Star (and other stories from the few and far between). A sprawling yet urgent piece clocking in at seventy minutes, it's a record that explores the correlation between violence and beauty, claiming that violence is beautiful and destructive, and often, both at the same time. After all, the caustic death throes of a star also give rise to new life, and a neutron star (in a sense, caught in between astronomical life and death) is an interesting story. It's that theme and balance that sustains the tension of the album lyrically and musically. From the large-scale violence of apocalyptic exploding orbs ("The Streets," "The Sun Divine"), to the private, but no less cataclysmic destruction of exploding (and potentially exploding) human relationships ("The Contender," "Diego Dreams of Murder," "Sarah Is a State of Mind,") to the lost souls in between ("A Corner Where We Can Rise," "High Up In Black County Towers"), If I Were a Neutron Star is ambitious in scope and sound, yet subtle and delicately haunting at it's core. Told by the likes of seemingly innocent witnesses, ghosts stuck between worlds, vengeful angels and criminals-the narrative is as large and varied as the music. This is an album running the spectrum from celestial doom to human fall and redemption-from the turning of orbits to the turning of pistol chambers. Neutron Star is a timely soundtrack not only for our end times, but for all times. It is a record that gives voice to the paradoxical act of a heavenly sphere more alive in death than in it's prime-a testament to that all-too-human wish to become that dark star, crossing between what it once was and what it will soon become, caught in that state of unbridled chaos, destroyed by it's own power, yet always in control. If I Were a Neutron Star is really a misnomer-we are all neutron stars, not only harboring the potential to destroy others and ourselves, but harboring the potential to create and redeem, and at times, to get stuck somewhere in between.