While some of Constellations lulls a bit, seven-minute suite "Steerage and the Lamp," a snow flurry of Lowe's rolling piano arpeggios accentuated by subtle strings, captures the classical wonderment of Balmorhea at its finest.
Constellations is only remarkable when it is given your absolute attention, but it doesn’t come up with enough ideas to keep it on its own, lulling the listener with too many serviceably dramatic but non-descript piano-led pieces.
Part of what was so enjoyable about All is Wild, All is Silent is how unexpected it was in the first place, and such a pronounced departure for the band. Constellations, while not as much of a surprise, is no less pleasant.
Constellations begs for more rather than delivering all of the goods all of the time. Perhaps that's an old-fashioned concept-- demanding the sort of patience and attention that technology's made obsolete. But at this point, it's exactly the move Balmorhea needed to make.
If "All Is Wild" is the sound of humanity trying to conquer the elements, then Constellations trades that pioneer spirit for a greater sense of awe and hushed contemplation of our place in the universe.