Wednesday, February 07, 2007

"In hindsight, you're gonna wish you were here..."

I'm sure that there are going to be plenty of albums that I listen to after the fact and want to go back and put on my list of the best albums of 2006. This is the first, and it's a big one. Maybe even worthy of the top ten.
The Long Winters sound like a lot of people. Lots of people say Death Cab for Cutie. Nah. They're not whiny enough. I thought The Hold Steady when I first heard them. Nah. John Roderick actually sings, not just half-talks. He actually sings in such a way that I think he wants to be singing to each and every person who will listen to the record. There's an immediacy and intimacy to his voice that makes it intensely personal. The album is a great winter album, full of melancholy and hope in equal measure. The band never gets bogged down in itself, though, and the melodies here are sunny when you want to hear them that way.
The best thing about Putting the Days to Bed, though, is Roderick's lyrics. They're beautiful in an overtly poetic way but never seem like they should be living on a page rather than in a song. Some of my favorite couplets:

"I know that crime doesn't pay, but I don't know any other way."
"Did you say what you wanted to said, and now you're just putting the days to bed?"
"Tall orders from such small shoulders, and invitations on blue paper."
"Let the crowd press on the stage, and let the lights wash out their eyes, sixteen years ago I was completely mesmerized."

It's all I've been listening to lately, which probably means that I'm going to ruin the album for myself by running it into the ground. But hey, that's what I do.


Blogger Beaze said...

wow - this is good . . . no wait, greatmusic! Once again, thanks for the post.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

I feel this way about Midlake's
Trials of Van Occupanther. I love it. I liked it before, and dug the one song, "Roscoe," but lately I've been listening the heck out of the entire album and I cannot stop! I wish I'd put it on my list.

Since your recommendation, I've been enjoying a few of the songs on this The Long Winters album, particularly "Hindsight." Good stuff, but the album as a cohesive whole isn't top ten for me. Perhaps its a grower.

2:51 PM  

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