Album of the Year
Intellectual, poetic, and depressing as anything I have ever heard in my life. Tim from Cursive's side project The Good Life's new record is all these things in one twelve song meditation on divorce. We get all of Tim's terrific ironic lyrics, but in a more confessional musical setting that is at once intimate and terribly honest. The opener, "Album of the Year," lays the outline for the failed relationship from when the doomed couple first met until they were "laughing till it didn't hurt" as she packs her things. This Bright Eyes-esque folk indie blueprint is filled in by the proceeding ten tracks, all gorgeous in their own right, be they ballad, waltz, or wailing guitar lament. We learn how she grew to hate his alcoholism, how infidelity may have been a factor, and how mistrust and neediness ultimately broke the couple apart are backed by many different kids of instrumentation. "Inmates," the lone track with lead female vocals offers her side of the story, asking questions, probing, and reminding the listener that the pain of separation is not felt only by the party who can sing about it the best. When I saw Cursive a few months ago in SF, Tim Kasher mentioned how he had just gone through a terrible divorce, and making public such a trying time must have been hard. "Two Years This Month" closes the album with a cacophonous mishmash of samples from the previous 11 songs, reminding us again that the beauty we have just enjoyed was brought on as a response to a terrible pain, the breaking of matrimonial vows. I wish The Good Life hadn't already used the title Album of The Year, because I have been listening to this two or three times a day, and I was leaning towards naming this record that myself.
LP / CD / Deluxe CD / MP3