Sunday, October 18, 2009

Music Review: The Mountain Goats - The Life of the World to Come (**1/2)

"When you’ve written roughly 18,000 songs, I suppose it’s inevitable that you’d arrive at an album like The Life of the World to Come. Thing is, John Darnielle has spent the better part of his career leading the Mountain Goats through a series of loosely defined concept albums, so shouldn’t a move like this have been somehow preordained? After all, Darnielle has always had a very prominent spiritual bent to his confessionals, both as a home-recorded solo artist and as fully integrated band leader. An entire album based on verses from the Bible shouldn’t be that surprising, right? Surely Robert Pollard would have attempted a similar feat had he not been drunk for nigh on 20 years now. And oddly enough, after spending a good amount of time with the record, I’m not even sure if my early life—raised as I was in both a religious household and multiple private schools—let alone my Mountain Goats fandom, has skewed my opinion of this album in any way. The fact remains, The Life of the World to Come is a deeply penetrating, earnestly manifest song cycle applicable to just about anyone willing to open themselves up to Darnielle’s penetrating realizations." [Continue Reading]

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