POZ Review: Tim Kasher - Adult Film
“American Lit” opens the album, and it has just the right amount of bounce to catch your attention. It’s a fun, somewhat danceable number that showcases Kasher’s sarcasm and lyrical charm. “Truly Freaking Out” quickly follows, equally as bouncy and clever. “I was six years old learning how to swim/then I was thirty-six wondering how I sunk,” Kasher sings almost jovially, adding stark contrast to the song’s bubbly tone.
“Where’s Your Heart Lie” keeps in line with the darker lyrical themes in the form of an elegant piano ballad. It is slow and beautiful, almost relaxing at times, featuring soft and dainty harmonies from Laura Stevenson. Her voice blends perfectly with Kasher’s creating a graceful yet gut-wrenching piece reminiscent of The Good Life’s “October Leaves” or “Night and Day.”
“The Willing Cuckold” and “Lay Down Your Weapons” are Adult Film’s standout tracks. The former is a more simplistic track focusing on acoustic guitars with hints of electronics, but it hits the hardest. Its chord progression is bright and alluring while its chorus is catchy, using lyrical repetition to make a point stick. The latter is an eerie, gloomy track with a taste of tribal tones in its drumbeats. Its lyrics are filled with intense imagery that create vivid mental pictures. “The problem lies/ Not in that we fight/ But the weapons that we choose,” may be some of Kasher’s most profound and powerful lyrics to date.
Adult Film also displays hints of Kasher’s heavier side, incorporating sounds that echo Cursive’s inherent heaviness. “Life in Limbo” and “A Looping Distress Signal” both seem as if they could fit into Cursive’s latest, I Am Gemini, with their dissonance and intensity, while still displaying the same ominous feel Cursive has become synonymous with on other records.
The album closes with “A Lullaby, sort of,” a melancholy track filled with reflection. The guitar work is sophisticated, and is similar to that found on “Run, Rabbit Run” from Kasher’s solo EP, Bigamy. Kasher’s voice takes on a somber tone, woefully crooning about cancer, loss, and grudges.
While ending on a heavyhearted note, Adult Film is a wild ride through Kasher’s emotions, displaying his personal ups and downs vibrantly and boldly. His ability to keep his struggles sounding fresh while keeping a sound that is specifically his own proves he is a forced to be reckoned with, and that he is capable of writing more than one Album of the Year.
LP / Deluxe LP / CD / MP3