File Under: M
Date Released: 09/18/2012
Date Received: 09/10/2012
Play: 1-Plumage, 8-Tantalus, 3-Pique, 4-Boton, 5-Heavy Is As Heavy Does, 9-Don’t Mess With Latexas
RIYL–Morphine (sax solos), of Montreal (art school rock), Neutral Milk Hotel (bodily imagery-bones & teeth)
Their fifth album and first without Brent Knopf, who really balanced out the band with a kindness. Sure, there are still plenty of airy piano lines, but the whole album is waaay more sexual, almost uncomfortably so. Album opener “Plumage” begins “Animal. I’m just an animal. Looking for another animal.” It continues on like an episode of Nature on the mating habits of the Pacific Northwestern Male Hipster.
Boton (4) is a somewhere between a twisted Hail Mary prayer and an airing of grievances. “I Wish I didn’t have to rob a grave to hold you near…. I wish that codependence could sustain us thru the years. I wish that wrecking fantasies could pass for a career.” It’s sad, funny, dark, but kind of sweet all at the same time.
To be sure, this is an album of longing. On Heavy Is As Heavy Does (5), “Among six billion people, I want the ones who never wanted me.” But maybe the standout track is Tantalus (8) a retelling of the Greek myth. Tantalus was cursed to stand in a pool of water under a fruit tree for all eternity. Whenever he bent to drink, the water would recede. Whenever he reached to grab the fruit, it would extend away from him.
In a nutshell: still plenty of drum loops, ripping saxophone, disfunctional relationships, existentialism, dark humor, and clever wordplay.