Author: Alan Downes
The Good Life provide further evidence that Omaha, Nebraska is fast becoming the Seattle for a new millennium; for Seattle's Sub Pop label substitute Omaha's Saddle Creek, for Nirvana substitute Bright Eyes, for Soundgarden insert The Good Life. Members of The Good Life have spent time in Conor Oberst's side project Desaparecidos, and they seem to have returned to the fold with a dose of Oberst's anguish, leavened here by a scattershot pop ethic that allows intermittent bursts of electronica, energetic keyboards and hymn-like passages to co-exist in a vivid aural tapestry that brings to life the disappointment of a broken date, the realisation that the bar's closing and you're the only customer, and the dawning optimism of a new day. Frontman Tim Kasher's voice is pitched midway between the bruised melancholy of Eels' E and the tremulous anger of Oberst, the perfect vehicle for the uninhibited observational narrative of this song-cycle. It's a warm and beautiful thing, and it should be embraced.