Review Summary: The Eventually Home is the second solo release from the talented Manchester Orchestra frontman, Andy Hull. The album is based in slow, folky rhythms and is complemented with some of the best indie songwriting to have ever graced my eardrums.
One day, while utilizing some of my spare time to voyage across the swarming, bustling world of music, I unexpectedly stumbled upon a stone that was covered in earth and black soil. I spit in my hand and wiped some of the mud from the surface, only to uncover more filth. Determined and hungry for a glimpse of what lay beneath the caked-on exterior, I kept working at the hard, little mass in my palm. Soon, a deep blue light shone through the dirt with a great brilliance that could only be compared to gazing at the sun. I put the gem in my pocket and trekked home as fast as I could. Little did I know that what I had discovered was rare, authentic, and satisfyingly beautiful on massive levels. I had discovered indie-folk music at its finest.
The Eventually Home is a concept album so astonishing and brilliant that it is almost life-altering. Groundbreaking. Singer/songwriter and guitarist, Andy Hull, tells an enthralling tale of a Sixteenth Century sailor who is betrayed by his wife while he is out at sea. Some say that Hull uses the Right Away, Great Captain! series as a metaphor to portray his feelings of living a transient, nomadic lifestyle. Though, one of the most amazing things about the album is its simplicity. In fact, that is what's so attractive about this album to me. Its sheer straightforwardness.
Here is a brief analysis of a few of my favorite tracks from the album:
The record begins with the marvelously stirring track, "Down To Your Soul." With feelings of nostalgia and inspiration, Andy sings, "I'm a traitor to your flesh in a stone / You're gonna read about the way, the way a man can go / I'm a good man, are you a good man? Does a good man take you home? / With a rejoicing mouth I sing for you and pause." Descriptions of loneliness and longing arouse the listener to immediately identify with the sailor's emotions. A harmonizing piano eventually comes in about a minute into the song and makes for a truly remarkable track.
The album progresses into "Cutting Off The Blood To Ten" and is easily my favorite song. With simplistic chords and a basic melody, Hull effectively gets the song's message of angst and desperation across. Yelling the lyrics, "And I wished I could have told the Lord to sever me at the cord / Because the moment I left I would never come back no more," Andy's emotion soars and goose bumps are guaranteed. The song ends beautifully as well, with the lyrics, "For now I’ll keep my hands around this thing and wait for an apostle to sing, 'You're never allowed to come in' / So just sink or swim." Utter perfection.
The folky-as-hell "What A Pity" and "Oh No, I Tried" make for memorable and catchy tracks. The picked chords of "What A Pity" and the rhythmic bounce of "Oh No, I Tried" define the sobering lyrics of both songs without a hitch. With lyrics about religion, nature, and sorrow, Andy shows his true songwriting abilities that create deep ponderings and cogitations.
Finally, "Memories From A Shore." Words cannot describe this song and the emotion it evokes. Its simple riffs and raspy vocals turn this track into one of the most memorable from the album. The first verse's lyrics are eloquently written and make the sailor's environment really come to life. "After I ate I went outside to catch my air and to walk off my drink / And I rolled tobacco and watched as the smoke floated magically like you left me / I made a firm fist and pissed, thought it brilliant to throw my hand into the door / I knew I would have to admit that I was wrong, I decided to not talk no more," sings Hull. Effortless and elegant words.
I highly recommend this album. Not only is it the best indie-folk record I own, but it is one of the best records I own, period. The vocals are perfectly executed and the guitar playing is spot-on. Philosophical, intelligent, and metaphorical lyrics weave the details of the sailor's story into a masterpiece. The Eventually Home is a perfect release from one of today's best musicians.