Review Summary: Never sleep, remember to breathe deep
It has been stated more times that one can count that change is the only constant. Well, I call bulls
hit! If only Albert Einstein had studied the indie music universe instead of the cosmic one he would have found his missing cosmological constant in the form of The Mountain Goats. John Darnielle's creative outlet has nary evolved since his days sitting in a Claremont, CA apartment singing songs about cows into a boombox. Obviously he now takes advantage of more modern production techniques (gasp! He records in a studio now!) but if you compared his work on an album like, lets say, Sweden
or Nothing For Juice
to what he's putting out now it's still the same songs by the same man shining in the same magnificent glory. John Darnielle's formula of intensely personal, eruditely literate, and elegantly simplistic songs has turned him into one of the indie music world's most respected troubadours. John knows what he does best and that's exactly he delivers, every damn time like clockwork.
All Eternals Deck
is exactly what those already accustomed to John Darnielle's nasally timbre have come to expect. Every song opens like a wound: torn open from god-knows-what sort of traumatic event that one has come across in life, exposing our inner makings blood, guts and all. Over the course of the album his words burrow ever deeper into the wounds that are par for the course for living, be they his own stories or just figments of his imagination it doesn't matter, until they eventually expose the bones that hold us together. But just as soon as he has broken down the human experience into it's darkest bits, he starts tying it all back together with a string of hope. It is this which makes The Mountain Goats canon so transcendent. No matter what happens to make our lives unravel, there is always a single thread of hope present to put it all back together.