been listening all afternoon and it's once again a Darnielle-masterpiece complete with a slightly darker atmosphere and perfect string arrangements. and Darnielle's explanation of the album is spot on: "If you have ever watched say a 70s occult-scare movie where one of the scenes involves a few people visiting a storefront fortune teller, getting their cards read, and then trying to feel super-hopeful about their predicted outcome when what they're visibly actually feeling is dread, then you have a pretty decent idea of what the album is all about."
There's no escaping the fact that it's that mainstream as hell folk/indie singer-songwriter hipster crap... that much is obvious. However once you come to terms with that, The Mountain Goats (aka John Darnielle) get a lot more enjoyable. As for where this album rests in John's lengthy discography? I'd probably somewhere about the middle; better than a good portion of his work, but ultimately weaker than his best stuff. 3.2/5
At first listen; only a handful of songs really stood out amongst the rest. Though from rlistening again, the songs begin to compliment each other almost like friends. The vocals, rpassion and diversity in music is enough for me. This album is superb. I'm am quite a rskeptic to these guys, don't get me wrong but one can't dwell in sophomoric thoughts. This rparticular piece is well defined, coaxial; humans making music.