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The Good Life - Album Of The Year (Cover Artwork)

The Good Life

The Good Life: Album Of The YearAlbum Of The Year (2004)
Saddle Creek Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: ZackZack
(others by this writer | submit your own)

My girlfriend and I have our two year anniversary coming up at the end of this month. We normally try not to go overboard with gifts, but when we were in a record store together recently, we decided to get each other CD's. After much searching, she bought me Van Halen's first release, and I picked.
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My girlfriend and I have our two year anniversary coming up at the end of this month. We normally try not to go overboard with gifts, but when we were in a record store together recently, we decided to get each other CD's. After much searching, she bought me Van Halen's first release, and I picked up the new Good Life album for her. We listened to Van Halen two or three times that weekend, but only got through two songs on what was apparently the "Album of the Year." After an amazing EP release (Lovers Need Lawyers), full of great pop hooks and upbeat, happy songs, earlier this year, the low key Album of the Year was not what we expected. However, I realized Tim Kasher has never released the same album twice, and I decided to go back and give this another listen. I am glad I did.

Album of the Year is a giant leap forward for Kasher as a songwriter. A concept album, each song deals with one month of a relationship, from puppy love to break up and the subsequent picking up the pieces. The lyrics are, in every way, absolutely the best Kasher has ever written. They are heart-felt, clever, euphonious, and the running theme of the album allows him to tell a richer story than he ever has before. Although Kasher has said all of his albums are concept albums, they have never been this well-defined, structured, and focused. Kasher is also at his most introspective, examining his painful past, views towards women, and personal shortcomings for his audience. There is a somewhat eerie voyeuristic element to the album, listening to him describe his infidelity, dishonesty, and abandonment; however, similar elements have been present in his work before, and instead of being off-putting, hearing his flaws and pain make every word he sings seem more true and real.

The music is a perfect match for the lyrics, with a melancholy, moody quality that persists no matter what style of music they tackle. Ranging from 50's rock to accordion-driven folk songs to Beach Boys-esque pop melodies, they do it all and they do it all well. Always subtle and well-arranged, most of the songs have an orchestral quality that reminds me of label mate Conor Oberst's Bright Eyes. Producer Mike Mogis, as always, adds so much to the record, through both his beautiful production and his great mind for instrumentation.

This is just one of those records where everything clicks. I am hesitant to give it a perfect score or declare it "Album of the Year" (ironically) because it is so new, but this CD has the potential to be a true classic. This is such a giant leap forward from Black Out that there is really no comparison. Mature, subtle, intelligent, this is music that requires a lot from the listener, but pays them back tenfold.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Cursive - The Ugly OrganCursive - Happy HollowAlkaline Trio - Alkaline TrioWeezer - PinkertonThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Alkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Get Up Kids - Something To Write Home AboutThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldThe Weakerthans - Reconstruction SiteCursive - Domestica

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
thegreatestmanalive (August 15, 2007)

this is the hardest fucking album to find

Anonymous (December 7, 2005)

all of you idiots are retarded. talk shit and call something cliche..then you go and say "fuck emo". if you didnt know...emo is short for 'emotion'. and if you hate all music that evokes emotion, then you're a god damn idiot and you dont deserve to even know what music is. Tim Kasher is awesome. could any of you asshole make music that perfect and meaningful? dont fucking think so. and the postal service is like gay/pop/techno...nothing similar to the good life. Black Out is the best album though. so buy that one instead of this one. but still an amazing band.

fritobandito (December 2, 2005)

this was tied with Circle Takes The Square's new LP for my favorite album of 2004. easily.

I don't know what the hell is wrong with some of you kids. Hate on the music style all you want, but there is nothing typical about Kasher's writing style.

Anonymous (October 13, 2004)

I got the new EP just about exactly when it came out and was, for the first time, disappointed with this band. I picked up the full length two weeks ago hoping it would not be more of the same. The record has since seen little else other than the inside of my various CD players. Holy shit balls was I waiting a long time for a record like this.

Anonymous (September 14, 2004)

anyone who thinks they might like this record, just do yourself a favor and buy the Violent Femmes s/t.

this is nothing but a crappy ripoff.

Anonymous (September 14, 2004)

i bought this cd based oin the review.

this cd fucking sucks.

the lyrics are the shittiest aspect, but don't be fooled - the rest is pretty fucking shitty too.

yet another egotistical asshole vocalist that i would love to punch in the face.

BOO.

bluetunehead (September 14, 2004)

I've heard the PJ Harvey album called a concept album by some people and not by others. Oh well. Lot's of stuff is broadly considered a 'concept album' nowadays.

Anonymous (September 14, 2004)

the music is good. kasher is a mess. makes for miserably beautiful record. nice review.

jd

Anonymous (September 14, 2004)

I don't consider "PJ Harvey - Stories..." to be a concept album. In a concept album, all songs contribute to a single effect or unified story and that's not the case in "Stories From The City..."

By the way Album of the year is great...

Anonymous (September 13, 2004)

dumb fucks who dont know what your talking about: the album title is not cocky...in the story he jokingly tells the girl he's going to write the "album of the year" and then ends up writing an album that chronicals their relationship about their year together. and to the dude who said this sounds like the postal service.....youve never listened to this cd

Anonymous (September 13, 2004)

awesome review, nice work

Anonymous (September 13, 2004)

and in my original post i said concept albums about 'relationships' was a tired subject. not sure what drove him to force me to single it out, as if it makes a damn bit of difference. frankly it doesn't matter whether it's one or many, making a concept album about love isn't exactly a startling change of pace. almost every album that comes out is about love.

either way, i still picked out 2 'concept albums' dealing with a relationship.

johnnydanger (September 13, 2004)

good one BSD hahahahahhaha what a funny funny guy, you crack me the fuck up

Anonymous (September 13, 2004)

That's not what he said. He said concept albums that deal with one relationship, not relationships. Difference!

Score is for BSD.

Anonymous (September 13, 2004)

ok, two that come to mind quickly are....

pedro the lion - control
pj harvey - stories from the city, stories from the sea

hell, a lot of people view most of tim kasher's work to be concept albums about relationships. my 1/2 star score was for music in general, and it was sarcastic, not about this album in particular.

Anonymous (September 13, 2004)

" honestly, i'm a little tired of 'concept albums' that deal with relationships. so you take almost every single album ever released and put the songs in order of how relationships go. that's not exactly breakin ground here folks"

To the music expert below me: Can you name at least two concept albums that deal with one relationship? (for the definition of a concept album: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concept_album)

Score is for the music!

Anonymous (September 12, 2004)

honestly, i'm a little tired of 'concept albums' that deal with relationships. so you take almost every single album ever released and put the songs in order of how relationships go. that's not exactly breakin ground here folks.

this score is for music.

Imposs1ble (September 12, 2004)

it's a damn good album, all you emo fucks know you'll gobble it up, don't pretend like you didn't cry when bambi's mom died. we can see through your disguise, and i know for a fact you have your first kiss marked down on your calendar. so just buy the cd and save us all the meaningless online squabble.

CrankWillDestroy (September 12, 2004)

haha
you got all pussy-hurt.

Anonymous (September 12, 2004)

your face is horrible.

CrankWillDestroy (September 12, 2004)

horrible name for an album.

Anonymous (September 12, 2004)

What the hell is the deal with such a good review for such an un-deserving band? I feel like I'm reading a review in Rolling Stone or something!

Anonymous (September 12, 2004)

I thought the ep was ok but the songs ive heard from this just sounded like the postal service to me. and all i have to say is FUCK THAT.

- I Hate The Kids

Anonymous (September 12, 2004)

this record is really quite good.

Anonymous (September 11, 2004)

Tim Kasher is as dumb as Conor stupid Oberst. Fuck you all.

-BSD

hey_sailor (September 11, 2004)

Yeah, notice the calendar of the cover...this is album is about a year in a man's (Tim's?) life.

Anonymous (September 11, 2004)

Yeah I love how everyone has to assume that "Album of the Year" is implying that this is going to win an award for Album of the Year or something... the title of the album probably coincides with why each song is labeled after a month... hmmm just a thought.

Anonymous (September 11, 2004)

"Nobody gives a fuck about your little anniversary party, fairy. Why does everyone have to write there stupid "slice-of-life" reviews where they compare an album to an event in their life, as if to astound us with their genius. Talk about the music more, please."

That's what I love about this site. The closet Nazis are never more than a few words away. Delightful.

Anonymous (September 11, 2004)

I liked that review...

Anonymous (September 11, 2004)

It's called "Album of the Year" 'cause each one of the twelve songs represents a month in the year. Duh.

Anonymous (September 11, 2004)

i love you, tim kasher. never stop what you do.

artwork on the disc fucking rules too.

(on a side note, anybody get this cd with the bonus cd? it's basically acoustic demos of the songs. that is to say, pretty much the exact same sounding songs, most of the time. i don't know, just didn't really make sense to me. but whatever.)

Anonymous (September 11, 2004)

...sorry, lost my head for a minute there. keep the unfunny one liners coming. i mean, some of 'em have to be funny some of the time, right?

Anonymous (September 11, 2004)

sometimes the wittiness of the readers of this site makes me want gouge my eyes out with a spork. you should stop, seriously. everyone these days thinks they should be on last comic standing.

to the bitter fuck down at the bottom that is probably most sad because instead of buying him cd's for their two year anniversary his girlfriend fucked his roomate, shut the fuck up it was a well written review that focused mostly on the music.

MrLuke (September 11, 2004)

I'm going to make an album titled "The Best Album Ever Written" What? No I'm not cocky.

Anonymous (September 11, 2004)

BSD rules!!! like, San Dimas High School Football Rules!!!

Anonymous (September 10, 2004)

bsd, you're a fucking homo.

Anonymous (September 10, 2004)

If I may state the obvious:

More like The Bad Life!

-BSD

Anonymous (September 10, 2004)

Ummm...if you don't like reviews that have a story in them then that is fine, but I am not sure how it makes me a fairy, and I have no idea why you think it is me trying to show I am a genius. It takes a genius to buy a CD? have a girlfriend? Maybe those things are impressive feats of mental prowess to you, but most of us can accomplish them without too much thought. Of course, given the completely retarded nature of both the content and structure of your comment, I can see how it might seem like an act of genius to you.

Anonymous (September 10, 2004)

Yay!!! More punk reviews!!!

Anonymous (September 10, 2004)

Why is he an idiot? We came to read about the album, not the reviewer's life. I personally don't really care (because it wasn't more than a few sentences) but really intros should be background on the music, not the reviewer.

Anyhow, I'm interested in hearing this album but hesitant in buying it. In the past I haven't been too thrilled with the Good Life. I guess I'm more of a Cursive person.

TrailerParkJesus (September 10, 2004)

erm, 2 below me, now.

TrailerParkJesus (September 10, 2004)

the guy below me is an idiot.

good review, pretty good album.

Anonymous (September 10, 2004)

"Nobody gives a fuck about your little anniversary party, fairy. Why does everyone have to write there stupid "slice-of-life" reviews where they compare an album to an event in their life, as if to astound us with their genius. Talk about the music more, please."

Instead of criticizing reviews why don't you try and write one. Oh wait, you can only express your "genius" through unwarranted criticism.
I think the intro to the review was fine since the other 3/4 of the review DID talk about the music.

Anonymous (September 10, 2004)

Nobody gives a fuck about your little anniversary party, fairy. Why does everyone have to write there stupid "slice-of-life" reviews where they compare an album to an event in their life, as if to astound us with their genius. Talk about the music more, please.

The good life's only great album was novena on a nocturn. The new stuff is cursive lite.

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