Album Of The Year


aec.sdle64.2 8/10/04 New

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    Album Of The Year Saddle Creek Records

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Review Text The Good Life follow up the excellent Lovers Need Lawyers EP with their best record yet and maybe the best indie rock record of 2004. Album of the Year is a concept record of sorts, one song for each month, each song a heart-rending essay of love found, lost, broken, or ripped apart, ranging from the puppy love "Album of the Year" to the depressed, resigned-to-loss "A New Friend" and "Two Years This Month." Tim Kasher has found his voice, and almost all traces of previous Robert Smith-isms are gone; instead, he whispers, hollers, cajoles, and confesses in a voice stripped of artifice and plugged right into the listener's soul. The record is perfectly constructed. Based around acoustic guitars, the songs are colored in with keyboards, various percussion instruments, and glockenspiel, and made dramatic and often breathtaking. Songs like "You're Not You" and "Album of the Year" are pocket epics, created out of atmosphere and dynamic shifts in mood. Most of the songs are relatively downbeat, but a few, like "Lovers Need Lawyers," show that the band can write snappy pop songs as well. Kasher's lyrics are incisive, personal, and about as honest-sounding as rock music can get. He doesn't flinch from any topic -- not sex, lack of sex, divorce, self-mutilation, or his own shortcomings -- and manages to never pen anything that leaves the listener queasy. He gives the most self-lacerating song, "Inmates," to guest vocalist Jiha Lee to sing "lover done wrong" style before they sing the second half together like an indie George and Tammy. The attention to detail in the production, the punchy melodies, and the sympathetic performances by the group -- along with Kasher's writing that is nothing less than gripping and often head-shakingly brilliant -- make this record an indispensable artifact for anyone who likes indie rock with a real emotional punch. The record comes with a second "bonus" disc that presents the songs in their acoustic demo form. It is a nice addition, but you will find yourself listening to the first disc more often simply because of the wonderful production values. ~ Tim Sendra

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Album of the Year - 5:10
  2. 2. Night and Day - 3:29
  3. 3. Under a Honeymoon - 5:52
  4. 4. You're No Fool - 4:50
  5. 5. Notes in His Pocket - 4:42
  6. 6. You're Not You - 6:38
  7. 7. October Leaves - 5:57
  8. 8. Lovers Need Lawyers - 3:40
  9. 9. Inmates - 10:39
  10. 10. Needy - 4:52
  11. 11. New Friend - 3:29
  12. 12. Two Years This Month - 5:44
  13. 13. Videos

CD: 2

  1. 14. Album of the Year - 5:56
  2. 15. Night and Day - 3:15
  3. 16. Under a Honeymoon - 5:58
  4. 17. You're No Fool - 4:07
  5. 18. Notes in His Pocket - 4:52
  6. 19. You're Not You - 5:09
  7. 20. October Leaves - 5:56
  8. 21. Lovers Need Lawyers - 3:42
  9. 22. Inmates - 9:10
  10. 23. Needy - 4:55
  11. 24. New Friend - 4:36
  12. 25. Two Years This Month - 1:25

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