Lovers Need Layers

Author: Austin
04/20/2004 | | | Album Review
It's painfully obvious that Tim Kasher lets his less inspired ideas trickle down to his side project, The Good Life. But then again, even Kasher's less inspired ideas have merit. The new EP from The Good Life, Lovers Need Lawyers, is a six song return to the depressed, self-deprecating world of frontman, Tim Kasher. This time around, he's ditched most of the electronic backing that had been The Good Life's staple in the past for more conventional instruments. For those of you scratching your heads, wondering, "what the hell is the difference between The Good Life and Cursive then?" well not a lot now, I guess. They seem to be a less intense version of Cursive with a poppier sound. That means less screaming on Tim's part and less distortion on his guitar's part.

On "Leaving Omaha", a country influenced song (complete with steel guitar), Kasher chronicles the love/hate relationship he has had with his hometown throughout his life. The song sees Tim on the day of his high school graduation, with all the excitement of leaving town to go to a university. It also visits the bitterness he feels upon returning home, and takes a late night drive to visit a friend who made it out of Omaha. Tim finally follows a lover to Portland and "made his escape". In the aftermath of that, Tim states "Omaha, you never looked so good". "Entertainer" sounds like a Cursive b-side, with pretty much the same instrumentation and vocal style as anything off of The Ugly Organ. The song is a diatribe against the idea that he could never be a real artist because he's a rock musician. He states that his job is to just to "keep the customers drunk".

Kasher has always been his strongest when he writes his Cursive concept albums, a la The Ugly Organ and Domestica. Well, on the title track, Kasher sets up a trial scene comparable to the last song on Pink Floyd's definitive concept album The Wall: Kasher is "on trial" for allegedly cheating on his lover. In what probably turns out to be the strongest song (lyrically at least), his character remembers going to a bar and talking to a woman until last call, when they both leave in search of more alcohol. Tim protests that he's innocent, that he "still went home alone". The backing track includes very Cure-esque music with verses that are set over stark, keyboards and build up to a shouting, pulsing chorus. On the closing track, "For Love of the Song" Tim once again offers a self-mockery of his songwriting skills, like much of The Ugly Organ. He explains how he wrote some of his other songs in the past and basically tells us he's just going through the motions with lyrics such as, "I thought I'd start this simple song, with something you could sing along, like na na na na/ But then I felt a bit cliché, I started 'Beaten Path' that way." This refers to a song off of The Good Life's last full length Black Out.

All in all, this is a pretty good EP and probably well worth the 8 bucks you'll pay for it, but I've just come to expect so much from Tim Kasher after the last Cursive album and this EP just seems to pale in comparison to his past accomplishments. But also, I think maybe Kasher's shtick may get a little tired if he doesn't change up his subject matter. I just don't know how many more songs he can write about his divorce, or the self pitying songs-about-songs that seem to have been a trend since Cursive's last EP.

Lovers Need Layers

Lovers Need Layers

CD / 10" / MP3