Album of the Year
Author: Marisa Starr Bardach
01/01/2005 | Interboro Rock Tribune
Puke is an intriguing—albeit repulsive—opening lyric for an album that claims to be the best of the year. Strangely enough, it's an appropriate start. Continuing on the same bar crawl since forming in 2000, the Good Life's frontman Tim Kasher spews drunken sob stories—and not much else. On their third record,Kasher's rhetoric drones and whines like a stale AA meeting until Kasher finally stops talking about drinking and actually picks up his pint. Stomping synth keys and drums mimic his racing heartbeat on "Notes In His Pocket," on which Kasher accuses his lover of a rampant affair. "Lovers Need Lawyers" likens love to legal battles, a depressing soliloquay as Kasher vows to hang himself and be accepted, for "better or worse." Surprisingly, the song ends with a cheerful meoldy as cheesy handclaps back Kasher's loyal vow: "I could never take another's hand." These seethingly vengeful, anguished songs show The Good Life's puls is still throbbing with vigor, but the breed is so similar to Cursive that it begs the question: why bother having both bands? "Inmates," the moving and gorgeous album closer, answers that question. The slow, dreamy song is the Good Life at its most sensitive, provocative and unique. With guest vocals from Jiha Lee, she and Kasher ask each other first-date questions like 'Did you date alot in high school?' The ballad vacillates between hostile and sweet dialogue, as the two act out a true lover's quarrel.