Help Wanted Nights
Author: Rebecca Raber
09/01/2007 | CMJ New Music Monthly | www.cmj.com
| Album Review
After three albums of aching, intricate pop, you'd think Time Kasher's the Good Life—named for his home state's motto—would have outgrown its tag as a Cursive side-project. But, unfortunately, Kasher's more mellow output has always been relegated to second-string status thanks to the long shadows cast by Cursive albums. The Good Life's fourth full-length, however, is about to change those perceptions. Originally intended to score a movie Kasher was writing, Help Wanted Nighte became a concept album (of sorts) about life at a small-town watering hole. And with its non-linear, yet terribly specific, tales of love lost it represents the finest writing of Kasher's career. Gone are the British new wave influences of earlier records and in ther place is an appreciation for sprawling Americana. Help Wanted is rich in dusty acoustic guitars, shuffling, easy rhythms and an obvious reverence for Bruce Springsteen—Nebraska-era, naturally. From the first arpeggiated strains of opener "On The Picket Fence," Kasher sets the boozy, late night scene. He sings with a new-found restraint, and his yearning whisper on lines like, "I ain't asking for redemption and this ain't no cry for help," immediately pulls listeners in to his fully imagined world of darkened bar corners and weary, wasted patrons.