Album of the Year
09/01/2004 | Status Magazine
Leave it to Cursive front man Tim Kasher to craft one of the most intelligent albums of the year. His blunt, matter-of-fact style of singing downplays the sheer brilliance of some of his lyrics, and his approach translates surprisingly well into The Good Life, a Midwestern style of indie rock. "Album of the Year" is a thematic work of art, intimately diving into the inner workings of a relationship, from the moment Kasher and his girl meet (the opener, "Album of the Year") to the moment they have an awkward,cordial reuniting ("Two Years This Month", an emotionally draining closer). Sandwiched in between are the highs and lows of a relationship that we have no business listening in on, but Kasher lets us voyeuristically take in ever clandestine moment of the time spent while they were together. "Album of the Year" strikes every emotional chord on the scale, and make sure to bend it around for good measure. The album's optimistic, upbeat beginning warms you up inside...as much as Kasher's dark lyrics will allow, anyways. Kahser manages to create lyrics that suck you into the depth of his love, not buy using tired love song cliches but by unfolding the slightest details of his relationship, the things that seem to linger in you rmind after it's done. Tracks like "Night and Day" are so personal that I feel guilty for even listening to it. "Album of the Year" is a story for your ear,s and the backing soundtrack is a perfect fit. The Good Life can lull you to a fals security or unnerve the hell out of you, and they seem to do it with such ease that it would embarass half of the 'diverse' acts out there. "Lovers Need Lawyers" has a Beatles-esque feel to it, with charming keyboards and upbeat drums, but hidden underneath Kasher's cynical, damn-near depressing words. Somehow, it works. Despite the artistic creativity and range of the group, "You're Not You", one of the simpler tracks on the recor, is the most powerful. The track leaves you feeling like you've been kicked in the gut, and Kasher's desperate, hurt singing clings to the most sentimental parts in your sold. "A New Friend" is equally as gloomy, but a beautiful listen. "Album of the Year" is hard to take, a bittersweet chronicle of everything that went right and everything that went wrong. There is no perfect ending, and every somber smile that the album paints across your face turns to be just nostalgia. The Good Life has released an album that is painfully honest, and distressingly realistic about it all, as if every moment was expected just like days on a calendar (which, as it turns out, is the theme for some of the best artwork you will EVER see). This definitely isn't for hopeless romantics, but life isn't either, so it's a perfect memoir for the rest of us to remember the best and worst of times.