Album of the Year
Author: Jedd Beaudoin
You know you're doing something right when Council Bluffs sounds as exotic in song as the Chelsea Hotel or Strawberry Fields. Tim Kasher, the songwriting force behind The Good Life, manages to do exactly that in the opening title cut of this outing, giving us a glimpse of life in the world beyond the edge of the world. Not only does he paint a vivid and stunning portrait in that song, he also manages to render the ordinary extraordinary - in "Lovers Need Lawyers," for example, the idea of driving across the river to Iowa for more beer seems as dangerous an act as a mysterious meeting across the river sounds in the work of Bruce Springsteen; in the gorgeous, Radiohead-on-U2 gone country "October Leaves" we stand beside the narrator who comes home to find that he'll never come home the same way again. There's more of that in the whimsical and melancholy "Under A Honeymoon," the dramatic punk-fed-on-psychedelia "Notes In His Pockets" and the palpable burn of "A New Friend."
This isn't the album of the year and Kasher's use of it here says more about frustrated artistic ambitions than it does about his desire to be crowned The New Face of Rock. Still, there's a good chance that he could achieve one or the other or both, for Album Of The Year is a fine record, filled with the stuff of great literature and great songs. Bonus points to Kasher mentioning Harold and Maude.
LP / CD / Deluxe CD / MP3