Author: Pete D'Angelo
02/18/2002 | CMJ Weekly | Album Review
Tim Kasher is a busy man. Besides fronting the emphatically solid post-hardcore outfit Cursive, the singer and guitaristís second and more intimate project, The Good Life, has now come into its own as an equally important, yet stylistically divergent supergroup with links to Desaparecidos, Bright Eyes, and The Faint. On the follow-up to 2000's stripped down pain fest Novena On a Nocturn, Kasher and co. weave a sordid tale of a drunken night punctuated by numerous black outs that give a concept record feel to parts of the disc. Amid instrumentation that shifts from solo guitar to lush full band workouts and even to electronica oriented beat experiments, Kasher's breathy tenor is in fine form, and his lyrics are almost frightfully realistic and confessional. Black Out sees the narrator stumble through joy and pain, give up on just about everything, and eventually find himself laying face down on a bar motioning silently for a final drink without even the recollection of what started his problems in the first place. It seems like a bleak ride, but the music often manages to smile through the pain making for an enjoyable experience that becomes more deeply affecting upon closer listens. It's safe to say that The Good Life has eschewed side project status, and with material this strong, the group really has nowhere to go but up.