Author: Tizzy Asher
3/4/2002 | Magnet Magazine | Album Review
It was only a matter of time before the tail end of Generation X formed a culture based on the music of its childhood. Take, for example, the Good Life's Tim Kasher. While the hardcore, po-mo side of this Omaha songwriter appears in his band Cursive, the part of him that spent its formative years huddled up with the Cure emerges on the Good Life's sophomore record. With a warbling, whining voice that seems perpetually ready to explode into tears, Kasher easily replicates the Cure's intimate confessional atmosphere. Black Out's lyrics are less abstract than Robert Smith's yet somehow manage to convey the same romantic confusion, self-denigration and general chaos. On "The New Denial," Kasher sings, "You die a little bit each time you smile/So grit your teeth, they like you happy." On "After O'Rourke's 2:10am," he wails, "I've been trying to tell you that I've been a terror of a man." The music is expansive and deep, with guitars and strings billowing out like giant wings. All of this isn't to say the Good Life is derivative; rather, the band uses recognizable sounds to create something that, like the god Janus, looks backward and forward simultaneously. As a new generation hits its mid-20s, we may be wise to learn to appreciate that skill.
CD / MP3