Reviews

The Game of Monogamy

Author: Tim McMahan
09/09/2010 | The Reader | www.thereader.com/ | Album Review
I write this crammed into a window seat flying straight into the heart of a hurricane named Earl, but I'm not worried. NYC will protect me. It always has. So if there's a sense of impending dread throughout these five reviews a look at the hottest indie release of the year, along with four new, strong albums from our friends at Saddle Creek Records I blame the weather and anticipation of my long-deserved vacation (or demise). See you on the other side of the storm.

Tim Kasher, The Game of Monogamy (Saddle Creek). Like most of Kasher's confessional catalog, it's an examination of his ongoing struggles with guilt. Guilt about his inability to commit, guilt for taking the easy way out, guilt over his unwillingness to accept contentment ("I'm Afraid I'm Gonna Die Here") and guilt over his unwillingness to change in the face of that dreaded contentment ("Cold Love"). Lucky for him, with that guilt comes numbness as a symptom of middle age. There's a certain sense of inevitable desperation that underlies this entire album, but don't feel sorry for poor Kasher. He knows (as we all do) that whatever misery he suffers, he brought on himself. Musically, it veers closer to The Good Life than Cursive. Fine. The differentiator is the baroque strings, the upbeat brass that reminds me of Madness, and the cool electronic claps on "Gonna Die Here," which would be a radio hit in any other universe. His tendency to occasionally throw too many words into a phrase makes for some clumsy moments, but those are few and far between. In the overall Kasher oeuvre, this is a minor, simple, but ultimately satisfying guilt trip.
The Game of Monogamy

The Game of Monogamy

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