Purple Mountains
Purple Mountains



by kukimonge USER (2 Reviews)
January 10th, 2020 | 10 replies

Release Date: 07/12/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The heartbreaking final statement of a truly great songwriter

It never seems easy to write concisely about what truly matters. The reason behind it may vary, but it is always hard for us to take a step back in order to process our feelings and indifference openly and without complicating ourselves with elaborate metaphors and allegories. In some circumstances, we are not even sure about what actually matters or not.

The "Why?" behind life and death seems unmanageable and inaccessible to us, and to confront ourselves in the midst of our existential ramblings and uncertainties towards being alive seems sometimes impossible. Existing is complicated and beginning to describe existence is even more so.

It isn't easy either to write about ourselves in an honest and conscious manner, or to pay attention to what the world wants from us (and vice versa), and yet, trying is sometimes the most appropriate way to deal with the vastness of oblivion occasionally appearing behind us.

David Berman, an artist renowned for both his poetry and music, spent his entire career trying to cope with this endless task of simply trying, writing introspective, sensible and emotionally charged songs and poems that, in addition to establishing him as one of the most celebrated singer-songwriters of the past few decades, gave way to the development of the legendary band Silver Jews, along with Stephen Malkmus (Pavement) and Bob Nastanovich.

Ten years after the separation of Silver Jews, and after dealing with addiction, depression, debt, friction with his controversial father and the separation from his wife, Berman finally breaks his silence with one of the most heartbreaking albums of recent memory, Purple Mountains, an immediately memorable and melancholic project that, after the tragic death of the artist just a month after its release, would become his last legacy, a painful last goodbye loaded with the most sarcastic, brilliant and bittersweet songs of his career.

Purple Mountains is, without hesitation, the most accessible, simple and introspective project from Berman, which represents the musical heritage of an expert composer who speaks deeply and concisely about the emotional ups and downs, failures and successes of his life, through a sweet and sour laconic speech that impeccably summarizes his experience through the years, and that, in hindsight, works as the final statement of a person who undoubtedly belongs to the select group of artists who somehow manage to combine suffering, wisdom, love and uncertainty in a few words, writing effortlessly about everything that really matters in life.

"The dead know what they’re doing when they leave this world behind", sings Berman in "Nights That Won't Happen", one of the most lacerating moments of the album. We all hope you do. Thank you, David Berman, for one of the most humane, thoughtful and devastating albums of 2019 and recent years. May you find presidency wherever you are now. Goodbye, you will certainly be missed.

user ratings (169)

Comments:Add a Comment 
January 11th 2020


Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent review

January 11th 2020


Album Rating: 5.0

@DANcore thank you so much for reading!

it's been a while since i've written anything, especially in english, but i felt this one deserved a proper review so here we are.

January 11th 2020


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Some of them we're people I was once, happy to know.

January 12th 2020


Album Rating: 4.0

Pos great review. This album desperately needed a rev and I dig the philosophic take

Digging: Caspian - On Circles

January 13th 2020


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Finally someone reviewed this, great job. I was thinking of doing it since he passed but I really struggled getting down what I wanted to say/how I felt about it. Those few weeks where I first heard this and then when he passed was just a whirlwind of emotions. I was so happy David was back and making great music again, but the lyrics were so troubling that I had reservations about it. And then it happened and that was that.

This is a powerful send off from one of the great singer songwriters of our time, but I find I have to be in a specific mood to listen to this now.

Digging: Allo Darlin' - We Come From The Same Place

January 13th 2020


listened to it immediately after reading the review.
feeling sad in the cold monday morning for the heartbreaking songs.

Digging: Broken Social Scene - You Forgot It in People

January 13th 2020


Album Rating: 4.5

love this i think

Digging: Various Artists (Ambient) - Mono No Aware

January 14th 2020


Album Rating: 5.0

Thank you all for reading!

I know it is a rather short text considering it is one of the most important albums of the past year for a lot of people. I really struggled to put everything into perspective and sit down to write about it, but I think there are still lots of thing to be said and talked about.

@tom79 feel you man. took me months of re-listening and crying to finally decide to do it, and writing about it was an unfathomable task for me. I guess everything seems easier to put into words if your name is David Berman.

January 15th 2020


Album Rating: 4.0

good to see that this finally has a review. this is very good and nights that wont happen is among my favourite songs of the year

Digging: Chelsea Wolfe - Apokalypsis

January 15th 2020


Album Rating: 4.0

Glad to see this get a review. I was of half a mind to do it myself but never got around to it.

"nights that wont happen is among my favourite songs of the year" [2]

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