The Wrens
The Meadowlands


4.5
superb

Review

by AggravatedYeti USER (46 Reviews)
May 30th, 2010 | 895 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: You keep saying Jersey's not a home.

Music is often described as one of the few things that can really embody the essence of human sorrow. In some way or another, many of the best songs embrace their distress; instead implementing it as an appeal for the resilience of spirit. The Meadowlands, aptly titled, is the third record from New Jersey natives The Wrens, and it is a sprawling epic of morose imagery, defeated prose and superb guitar rock. Charles Bissel may be having a rough time, but the key heavy, reverb drenched, guitar-pop won’t allow him to hold The Wren’s down. That is not to say that Charles’ performance or lyrics are a determent, he is probably The Wren’s strongest asset. His weighted expulsions of divorce, separation from family, and the lack of a pay check with all that critical praise are near heart-breaking at one moment (“She Sends Kisses”) and positively uplifting the next (“Boys, You Won’t.”) It is sad when you consider how long it took them to develop much of a fan base; you figure a band who could turn divorce into a fist-pumping anthem (“Everyone Choose Sides”) would garner themselves a few more record sales. But as many die-hards will repeat feverously until their final day -- The Wrens can’t catch a break. That is the essence of their brand of super literal guitar-rock though; the perpetual malcontent, always distraught, always searching, but finding everything you can to love, and embracing the *** out of it. Their raucous live shows, rife with celebration, give no light to the assumption that they’re these awkward, nervous, failures they try to project themselves as on record. But boy do they ever wear the uniform well, and The Meadowlands is some of the best mopey rock you’ll find -- superbly written and constructed, it is less a documentation of sadness and more a celebration of the endurance it takes to move on, accompanied by oh-so-sweet melodies.



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user ratings (165)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
Mike Allen (5)
And it makes no difference now/as I help lift your bags out/that I'm lost and out of rope...

shaheen4444 (3.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
AggravatedYeti
May 30th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yes, this has a review already.

but I lurve this record.

klap
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2010


10545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

jersey's definitely not a home

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

AggravatedYeti
May 30th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I mean, The Nets : (

robin
Emeritus
May 30th 2010


4259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

cute.

AggravatedYeti
May 30th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

posh even.

Yotimi
May 30th 2010


6552 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

short and sweet. It seems like you've been on a review-spree of all my favorites lately.

Also 'Boys, You Won't' is one of my favorite songs of all time but doesn't seem to get as much love as some other tracks on here. The combination of dissonance and melody is perfect.

Digging: Sand Circles - Motor City

TheSpirit
May 31st 2010


17990 Comments


Although I don't really enjoy the same music as you, I LOVE your reviews.

Digging: The Speed of Sound in Seawater - Red Version

Dryden
May 31st 2010


13149 Comments


"members also liked
Neutral Milk Hotel In the Aeroplane Over the Sea "

k no thanks

AggravatedYeti
May 31st 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

lol dude doesn't sound too much like Jeff Magnum, but this still maybe not metal enough for you Dryden.

and thanks a lot Spirit, very much appreciated.

also, Yotimi that & 'Everyone Chose Sides' are always vying for my personal #1. Album is so fucking good though.

TheSpirit
May 31st 2010


17990 Comments


No problem. Recently I've also found the pleasures of shorter reviews, but yeah, this and your last one are amazing

tombits
May 31st 2010


3471 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The problem with this record is that it starts with "Happy" and then never reaches that kind of quality again. Still great though.

Cute review.

AggravatedYeti
May 31st 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

'She Sends Kisses' follows it and is the decidedly better song ;)
& also thanks

EVedder27
May 31st 2010


6088 Comments


Liking the length

AggravatedYeti
May 31st 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

liking the Mike.
also you need this record, this is def a MikeAllen LP.

plane
Staff Reviewer
May 31st 2010


6099 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"Hopeless" matches "Happy" I think but my favorite song isn't even on the album but it came as a bonus, which is "Such a Pretty Lie." I never got the feeling that this album was a celebration of enduring sorrow.. it kind of just sounded like enduring sorrow. Excellent stuff, great review.

AggravatedYeti
May 31st 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanks lewis.
and I guess I just attach how they play the songs on stage with the record. just something jovial about the whole experience. Even tho "The House That Guilt Built" is probably the most selfishly depressing song ever.

EVedder27
May 31st 2010


6088 Comments


I'll get on this

klap
Staff Reviewer
May 31st 2010


10545 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

just downloaded the pre-release edition of this ripped from vinyl. filthy

Douglas
June 9th 2010


9174 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i think doug might give this 4 and a half dougs...

AggravatedYeti
June 9th 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

shiiiiiiiiitttt thats a healthy dose of dougs



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