Raymond Fiore
April 16, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Twisting audaciously through ambient textures and avant-rock bombast, Tortoise continue to traverse a vast sonic universe on their thrilling, experimental fifth CD. Subdued, layered rhythms leap from indie-jazz lightness to manic psychedelia, often in the same song (”Salt the Skies”). Not nearly as thrashing as 2001’s Standards, the disc lulls and seduces with intergalactic vibraphone arpeggios and melodic guitar fuzz, stitching a thoughtful, evocative musical fabric without so much as a word.

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