Album of the Year
09/01/2004 | Skyscraper | www.skyscrapermagazine.com/
It's not your average guy that has enough misery in his life to keep two band fueled by angst and adversity recording and touring. Lucky for us, Time Kasher seems to have a pain threshold to rival Chris Burden. I sincerely hop things aren't as bad as they seem for him on Cursive and The Good Life records. But then again, it does make my miserable life seem that much more rosy, so rock on with your bad self, Mr. Kasher. While Cursive mines the veins of raw anger, The Good Life prefers to rip off some scabs and let the wound bleed raw, so pick your poison wisely. Lovers Need Lawyers came out as a four song EP a couple months prior to Album of the Year, with only the EP's title track reappearing on the full-length. It's an intersting perspective on these newest releases. The usual Kasher topics are covered: alcohol, obviously, his move toe Portland ans subsequent divorce, and the old fammiliar standby of cruelly flagellating self-depracation. Lovers comes off as too much of a little-too-obvious of a Bukowski caricature,jaunty calliope music with a hysterical grin lurching its way bulletproof toward the record's end. However, when you take Kasher and Co.'s misery spread over an albums' length, it's a lot more palatable. Album of the Year is a rcord of the time after the hysterical braggadocio wears off. It may very well also be a not so subtle turn of phrase, either way, it seems like things haven't got all that much better in Omaha. The instrumentation's different here, too. Much more muted trumpet and much less harrowing strings. This is the 4 A.M. contemplative version of the story. And not surprisingly, Album is a portrait of the artist as an asshole. It would appear a philandering, co-dependent asshole to boot. The extra seven songs really assert the whole concept much better, helpfully with many more great songs on it to sweeten the angst. "Inamates" is a duet with ex-Good Lifer Jiha Lee that sound just like This Mortal coil, and "You're Not You" may very well be the best conceptualized Good Life song yet. Kasher works better when he has a concept and Album of the Year comes off brilliantly. If your tastes lean towards the soul-baring or the thematic, this could be your album of the year.