Owen
At Home With Owen


4.0
excellent

Review

by Ben Greenbank USER (41 Reviews)
December 27th, 2006 | 143 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Another quality release from Mike Kinsella. Bringing a fuller and more complex sound to the dance this time out, "At Home With" is one of his finest records to date.

Within the right circles, the Kinsella brothers are thought of extremely highly, while throughout there career there has been no mainstream success to speak of, having cut their teeth in the Punk of Cap’n Jazz, the Rock of Joan of Arc and more laid back acoustic stylings of American Football, they have carved themselves out quite a niche within the alternative scene. Running solo this time out is Mike under the name Owen. The music created is quite complex although not exactly earth shattering. Repeating drum loops provide a solid backdrop for the intricacies of the acoustic and occasionally electric guitars. The use of strings is equally prevalent throughout this record and creates an atmospheric feel not dissimilar to American Football. Vocally Kinsella sings with a kind of withdrawn emotion, never bursting into a furore but remaining passionate and emotive, as would be expected from a mainly acoustic album.

There is a dark feel to this album that might not be expected at first glance, especially lyrically where rather than embracing the sound of the music with a more positive feel, Kinsella has gone for almost completely the opposite. On the opening track “Bad Day” Kinsella sings, “Whatever it is / you think you are / you aren’t / a good friend / unique, well-read / good looking or smart / well now you know.” The words introspective and a very personal reflection on himself, which far from conflicting with the music as one might expect, provide a glaring yet refreshing contrast. “The Sad Waltzes of Pietro Crespi” is a big standout, combining social awareness with great storytelling, which is a challenging skill to master without coming off as extremely pretentious, even more impressive when the song title is taken into account. Lyrically the content tells of the author’s worries about whether his wife will continue to love him into old age, “I’m only asking because I don’t want to die, alone.” The blunt guitar picking remains clear behind a wall of strings; it is clear there is a big mid-west emo influence on this album, sounding rather like Mineral with more textures and less vigor. Another great song is “Bird in Hand,” a daunting seven minute anthem of sorts, containing atmosphere and staccato guitars in abundance.

This is probably Mike Kinsella’s least eclectic work to date, but for me, it is also his most enjoyable, honest and downright greatest. When compared with previous releases under the Owen moniker it seems far more produced and more a studio album. Where as “I Do Perceive” had a raw edge to it, “At Home With” has a fuller sound. The arrangements are more complex and less upbeat than before and the build up is slow burning rather than fast hitting. However this better suits the vocals and essentially makes a less accessible but generally more attractive album. For the long time fan maybe this won’t tread enough on new ground, there is progression but it’s still the same band. For most fans however, myself included, this will only leave you wanting more.



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user ratings (278)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Hogan CONTRIBUTOR (5)
An adventure down a path of pure elegance and beauty....

robin EMERITUS (4)
...

Cadaveric (4.5)
Mike Kinsella created a beautiful album that is simple and complex all at once, and is engaging enou...


Comments:Add a Comment 
The Jungler
December 27th 2006


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cool, very good review. I quite like what I've heard of Cap'n Jazz, this sounds good.

mx
Moderator
December 27th 2006


733 Comments


'Bad News' is a great song. I don't like how bitter most of his vocals are though

team7disorder
December 27th 2006


40 Comments


nice review. owen are one of my ultimate 'you can chillax to' bands.

BringHomeTheBacon
December 28th 2006


248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

One of my favorite 2006 releases. He's really a great songwriter, I love the lyrics throughout this album.

Cadaveric
February 28th 2007


152 Comments


this is cool, but cap'n jazz destroys this

PietroCrespi
March 12th 2007


105 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is really good, but I think I like No Good for No One Now and I Do Perceive a little better.This Message Edited On 10.09.07

Cadaveric
June 29th 2007


152 Comments


this album is amazing. i take back my earlier opinion, i'd say owen is equal or maybe even better than cap'n jazz. if anyone has his self titled i'd kill to have it. or just send you something in return. hahah



charlesfishowitz
August 12th 2008


1794 Comments


i dig this.

it digs me back.

Kiran
Emeritus
August 12th 2008


6002 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

really cool

Digging: D'Angelo - Black Messiah

fireaboveicebelow
August 12th 2008


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it kinda sucks when the first song is the best but it's got the best cover of femme fatal I've heard too

joshuatree
Emeritus
August 12th 2008


3742 Comments


pretty good album

rasputin
February 1st 2009


14555 Comments


this is nice

EasternLight
July 26th 2010


2704 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

listening to this for the first time, just finished the sad waltzes and omg this is already blowing my mind.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
November 19th 2010


17231 Comments


5'd

ShadowRemains
November 19th 2010


21660 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

whoa

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
November 19th 2010


7025 Comments


wat

Jash
November 19th 2010


4244 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awww shit a 5!?!? I need to get this asap

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
November 19th 2010


7025 Comments


I will be listening to this soon in the context of Adam giving it a 5.

ShadowRemains
November 19th 2010


21660 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i need this

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
November 19th 2010


17945 Comments


my boy charlesishowitz loves owen but i find it really hard to care about anything kinsella related because cap'n jazz are so horrible



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