Saddle Creek | The Good Life | Reviews


Novena on a Nocturn

Author: mr. p
11/10/2000 | | | Album Review
With a little help from his friends, The Good Life is essentially Tim Kasher's solo project. Though not as immediately gripping as Kasher's other indie-punk project, Cursive, Kasher has created yet another bonified punk diary. But instead of the distorted guitars and soul-slicing rhythms of Cursive, Kasher opts to conjure the spirits with a stunning array of instruments and minimal guitar work.

Novena on a Nocturn evokes dark imagery intertwined with the sophisticated songcraft that has continually followed Kasher's songwriting. The album emits an eerie quality throughout, while a sense of hope and desperation fall in and out of the mix.

With less restrictions and more room for melodies, Kasher's voice is not only at its most flexible, but its most sincere. The visceral impact sustains with every vocal crack and strained note, while Kasher spouts off revealing lyrics with true conviction. Album highlight "What We Fall for When We're Already Down" is a testament to the power of his voice, as Kasher nails the lyrics home with burning resignation.

Though, the album seems to lack the teeth that should come with the bite. At times, the lyrics overpower the music, leaving no room for the music to tell the tale. And many of the songs have a similar tempo, so the variety is minimal and the songs' melodies blend together.

But despite the minor faults, in about 34 minutes, The Good Life weave tale after tale of heartbreak, grief, happiness, and everything in between. And although the album is a bit on the short side, it's more than enough time to get the message across. Brutally honest and painfully clever, The Good Life has produced an album that captures the spirit of the punk community and has reinvented it through the rock/pop medium.