Reviews

Album of the Year

Author: J.I.
09/20/2007 | Las Vegas Press
When the opening line of an album is, "The first time I met her I was throwing up in the ladies room stall," it's not going to be pretty. but Tim Kasher has never dealt in pretty. The Cursive frontman has, more often than not, focused on brutality with unnerving precision, wheter it be in crating epic hardcore dirges or soul-wrenching concept pieces that fit together like a soap opear ;ot. Even when he opts to indulge his softer side, with his mostly acoustic separate-but-equal side projects the Good Life, Kasher is so honest about his life and his shortcomings that it could never be considered pretty despite the fact that the music itself is as calming as white noise.

That alone would make the Good Life's fourth disc, Album Of The Year, interesting, if not wholly memorable. But the disc is sort of a revelation for Kasher. Like Cursive's 2000 Domestica, Album Of The Year is a snapshot of a group coming into its own. While the Good Life's three previous records were decent they were marred by Kasher's strange Robert Smith fetish and the feeling that, no matter how brilliant, the songs were all just Cursive castaways that didn't have the msucle to make it to the big leagues.

But Album of the Year brims with a confidence that's been lacking. Title-track opener—that of the bathroom puking mentioned earlier—is a five-minute miniseries that follows a relationship from start to finish. And like that love affair, the song starts out delicate—a few mild guitar strums, no beat—and gradually builds to euphoria then exuberant relief once it all falls apart. "Lovers Need Lawyers" is Kasher finally admitting to himself that he can be as clever a writer as he is revealing, banging out a jangly pop tune while begging someone to "take me for all I'm worth." He's even realized that sometimes it's best to take a step back when laying it all out, bringing in friend Jiha Lee to sing the harsh 'Inmates' before joining her midway through the nine-plus minute song to add extra punch. Yeah, the Good Life is still the little brother of Cursive. But with Album of the Year, Kasher has started to step out of his own shadow.
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