Spanish Love Songs
Schmaltz


4.5
superb

Review

by stasar USER (7 Reviews)
October 9th, 2018 | 3 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Life ages faster than you do.

A new period of life yields both excitement and dread. A new school, a new job, a new hobby, all of these beget a nervous but hopeful state of mind, where new possibilities emerge. But few talk about the time after that transition, the melancholy and monotony that follows, or care enough to sublimate their wallowing to artistic expression.

Spanish Love Songs basks in this schmaltz, the sentimental and tired abyss that comes from doing absolutely nothing with your life. Pushing on middle age and realizing his achievements amount to little significance, he details the depression gnawing just behind his forehead. Knowing his natural laziness, he wishes that life events would force himself to do anything at all besides eating the same food and refusing social events, dragged by deaths and former addictions.

“I’m spending a year out of my comfort zone. I don’t think I’ve ever been comfortable in my life or my own skin, so I spent a decade painting myself blue, running from any hint of the truth,” he says, trying to explain his passivity by a lifelong depressive episode.

Few albums—or songs, for that matter—can pull emotion from me consistently over the course of a year. Released in March, Schmaltz has followed me through ending senior year to starting college. Now, all the big changes in my life slamming the brakes before an annoyingly red stop sign, I feel that schmaltz more than ever. Chewing some rather bland and unripe fruit, a craving for It’s Not Interesting overtook me. As the motifs of the album came together in a moment-stretched melody, I felt a shiver slide through my shoulder bones, relaxing all the way down to my lower back.

“And I don’t think I can fix this if I find god, and there’s no drug in the world that could possibly wash this off!” he shouts, fury forcing his throat closed to produce a gritty and raw sound.

The album tackles a variety of themes: depression in Nuevo, aging so fast that it separates you from the world in Bellyache, begging for help in Buffalo Buffalo, the death of someone so integral to your life that you couldn’t previously imagine moving on in Otis/Carl, wasting your life in The Boy Considers His Haircut, passivity in El Nino Considers His Failures, someone leaving you in Joana in Five Acts, depression in Beer & Nyquil, but nothing holds it together quite like the track It’s Not Interesting. It concludes to agree, hey, he wasted his life, but he could reclaim it if he could just get his life together for the next half hour.

And there’s something valuable in moving forward. “I took forty-five steps today,” he shrills, begging for a high-five or a proverb to motivate him forward. Yeah, the time after transitions can feel boring, but now I know to appreciate merely being fulfilled, enjoying the tedious routine that I’ve constructed for myself, rinse and repeat. Not sure I would’ve without Schmaltz. As It's Not Interesting puts it so well: maybe, I'll be happy in the end.



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user ratings (113)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Atari STAFF (5)
Like walking backwards, these wasted years...

Soupy (4.5)
I've done nothing the past ten years......


Comments:Add a Comment 
Feather
October 9th 2018


4764 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review for one of my favorite releases of the year. I like that you summed up all the song themes. I had never considered them individually and had only thought about how the album makes me feel as a whole.

maxer
October 9th 2018


220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pos'd



This record is spectacular, cool to see a new review of it. I've been listening to it daily for the last few weeks. I started 'college' as well, so the review is surprisingly relatable

tom79
October 9th 2018


3650 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely one of my favourite records to come out this year. Saw them a few weeks ago with Iron Chic and they were great.

Digging: Pinegrove - Skylight



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