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Good News for People Who Love Bad News

Good News for People Who Love Bad News

4.4 36
by Modest Mouse

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Nearly four years have elapsed since Isaac Brock last treated Mouseketeers to a full-blown collection of mercurial musings on everything, including the kitchen sink. Plenty of things have changed in that period -- chief among them, Brock exorcising some of his more personal visions via the one-man-band Ugly Casanova and founding drummer


Nearly four years have elapsed since Isaac Brock last treated Mouseketeers to a full-blown collection of mercurial musings on everything, including the kitchen sink. Plenty of things have changed in that period -- chief among them, Brock exorcising some of his more personal visions via the one-man-band Ugly Casanova and founding drummer Jeremiah Green flying the coop -- and Good News reflects that. Earthier than any previous Modest Mouse disc, it boasts a plethora of agreeably jaunty additions, notably the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, which buoys the impeccably catchy "Float On" and the jagged, Tom Waits–esque "The Devil's Workday." Brock also indulges his fondness for the rustic a bit more than usual, most effectively on "Satin in a Coffin," which has enough plucked acoustic instruments to pass muster in O Brother, Where Art Thou? territory. There are holdovers from days of yore: Brock's fascination for the spiritual bobs to the surface on the fascinating "Bukowski," while "Bury Me with It" slips gently into the sepia-toned mist of The Lonesome Crowded West. There's nothing but Good News here.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
After more than a decade with Modest Mouse, Isaac Brock still sounds young and weird and searching, and never more so than on Good News for People Who Love Bad News, which follows the band's meditative The Moon & Antarctica with a set of songs that are more focused, but also less obviously profound. The occasionally indulgent feel of The Moon & Antarctica allowed Modest Mouse the room to make epic statements about life, death, and the afterlife; while Good News for People Who Love Bad News is equally concerned with mortality and spirituality, it has a more active, immediate feel that makes its comments on these subjects that much more pointed. The band hits these points home with a louder, more rock-oriented sound than they've had since The Lonesome Crowded West, particularly on "Bury Me with It," which embodies many of the contradictions that continue to make Modest Mouse fascinating. For a song loosely about contemplating death, it sounds strikingly vital and liberated; Brock delivers finely shaded lyrics like "We are hummingbirds who've lost the plot and we will not move" with a barbaric yawp; it's nonsensical but oddly climactic, conveying how what seems trivial can be anything but. "The View"'s angular bassline and scratchy guitars underscore the Talking Heads influence on Modest Mouse, but since the Heads have become a more trendy touchstone (mostly for bands with less creativity than either Talking Heads or Modest Mouse), it's nice to hear how Brock and company take that influence in a different direction instead of just rehashing it with less inspiration. Feeling stuck is a major theme on Good News for People Who Love Bad News, but the same can't be said about the album's sound, which spans the forceful rock of the aforementioned songs, to the pretty guitar pop of "Float On" and "Ocean Breathes Salty," to the lovely, rustic "Blame It on the Tetons." That's not even mentioning the contributions of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, who open Good News for People Who Love Bad News with the aptly named "Horn Intro." They also add a theatrical jolt to the wickedly funny, Tom Waits-inspired "Devil's Workday," which along with the noisy stomp of "Dance Hall" and "Bukowski"'s witty self-loathing, underscore that Modest Mouse haven't lost the edge that made the band compelling in the first place. Other standouts include "Satin in a Coffin," a creatively creepy mix of rattling bluegrass-rock with a tango beat that nods to the group's backwater roots; "One Chance," an unusually open and straightforward ballad; and the dreamlike "World at Large," on which Brock sings, "I like songs about drifters -- books about the same/They both seem to make me feel a little less insane," once again proving that he's a past master of lyrics that are both abstract and precise. Even though this album isn't as immediately or showily brilliant as The Moon & Antarctica, Good News for People Who Love Bad News reveals itself as just as strong a statement. By drawing an even sharper contrast between the harsh and beautiful things about their music, as well as life, Modest Mouse have made an album that's moving and relevant without being pretentious about it.
Rolling Stone - Barry Walters
On the group's fourth proper album, a mightier Mouse refine their weirdness and become a pop band while grasping at dark truths that pop ordinarily denies.
Tracks - Nick Catucci
Modest Mouse's fourth album proper may be their masterpiece. Having matured just enough to unclench his jaw and let go of some anger, Brock now vents his confusion in expansive tracks as dreamy as they are gritty.

Product Details

Release Date:


  1. Horn Intro
  2. The World At Large
  3. Float On
  4. Ocean Breathes Salty
  5. Dig Your Grave
  6. Bury Me With It
  7. Dance Hall
  8. Bukowski
  9. This Devil's Workday
  10. The View
  11. Satin In A Coffin
  12. Interlude (Milo)
  13. Blame It On The Tetons
  14. Black Cadillacs
  15. One Chance
  16. The Good Times Are Killing Me

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Modest Mouse   Primary Artist
Flaming Lips   Banjo
Dirty Dozen Brass Band   Horn
Dennis Herring   Accordion
Isaac Brock   Synthesizer,Banjo,Guitar,Piano,Ukulele,Vocals,Human Whistle,fender rhodes,Guitar (Baritone),Group Member
Dann Gallucci   Guitar,Percussion,Piano,Glockenspiel,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Timpani,Mellotron,Pump Organ,Drum Loop,Group Member
Eric Judy   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Percussion,Background Vocals,Mellotron,Pump Organ,tin whistle,Group Member
Benjamin Weikel   Drums,Group Member
Tom Peloso   Fiddle,Standup Bass
Milo Chaska Judy   Vocals
Rising Star Fife & Drum Band   Drums

Technical Credits

Flaming Lips   Instrumentation
Dennis Herring   Producer
Clay Jones   Engineer
Modest Mouse   Composer
Sean Macke   Engineer
Stuart Sikes   Engineer
Jacquire King   Engineer
Juan Carrera   Management
Isaac Brock   Composer,Lyricist,Whistle
David Emmite   Cover Photo
Dawn Palladino   Engineer
Nathan Provence   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Good News for People Who Love Bad News 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Its about time the music industry puts out something with talent and meaning, this is the best album I have purchased in nearly two years every song is great no skipping necessary!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This cd is pure beauty. I loved every second of it. By far the greatest of the whole year.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Modest Mouse rocks! I really enjoyed World at Large and the View. This group stands out from others in its category because they have such a unique voice! Definetly recommend this CD!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Many people would say that this album is far from Modest Mouse's best work, and that it is an attempt at mainstream success, but that does not diminish the fact that this is an incredible album. Their upbeat music combined with their dark, often depressing lyrics makes for an interesting, and rewarding listen.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Modest Mouse has a sound unlike any other: one you can't stop listening to! I look forward to listening to their old CDs
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is still the best mainstream thing out there. But it is nothing compared to their earlier work. What made MM so great was the unpolished and roughness to their sound. The confusion. Which is now basically gone. Its still good, just not the greatness it was.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Its a good cd but some of the songs get anoying after a while. Its not a cd u would wanna listen to for very long. Some of the songs on this cd are just awsome.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ignor the flawed dialectic of the hipster dillettants and their tired battle cry of "they've sold out"(or see you on MTV) and give this a listen. Does the album have a little more production value to it? Yes. Is the sound a little fuller, dare it be said mature? Yes. Is the same insite, irony, and depth of understanding still there? YES! I'm not saying that we haven't all been burned by having a formally brilliant band come crashing to the ground in that inexorable dash to mediocrity. And who knows, it could still happen with MM. It is not the case here.
Guest More than 1 year ago
These guys are amazing. I heard them play 'Float On' and 'The Ocean Breathes Salty' on SNL one night and I was just enthralled. The next day I bought the CD, and I wasn't disappointed. 'Dance Hall' is the coolest tune I've heard in a long time, and 'The World At Large' makes me cry. Definately a must-have if you like beautiful, eclectic, intelligent music!
Guest More than 1 year ago
the cd is outstanding but some of the songs are a bit wierd but in a good way!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this cd is the best one i have and i have alot of cds. its a little depressing but some songs are happy too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Still not as good as the moon and antartica but still a great and VERY listenable cd.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Modest mouse seems to have abandened all of the musical elements that made them so unique. On "Good News" M. M. has an over-produced, generic sound. Where are the whammy barred harmonics and phrenetic lyrics? The playful, walking basslines? The seat-of-the-pants drumming? Overall, the excited, creative feel of their better work is not represented here; this themeless, disjointed album is clearly an attempt at mainstream acclaim. Oh well, what could they have possibly done to top "the Moon and Antarctica?" Three years, the loss of the rhythmic core, and an extraneous band member didn't help the effort. See you on MTV.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Modest Mouse is the best!!!! They are the leaders of the indie rock era. Dance Hall is my absolute favorite. Float on is great and "Back Cadlacias," is a great one too. you must listen to this cd, it has a little bit of different style at first, but music grows onto you sticks with you
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this CD. It is so mellow and soothing, but the music's still good to listen to even if your not in the mood to relax. Check it out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album would get 5 stars except it loses it's feel towards to the end and doesn't really finish off (which is annoying). The song's are also too similar to other artists. "Bury Me With It" sounds so much like 'The Pixies', "Float On" is really 'Talking Heads' and "The View" sounds 'Franz Ferdinandish'. But apart from that it is a great listen. "The world at large" is the best and a lovely song with meaning. You won't be disappointed with this album (particularly if you like the pixies)
Guest More than 1 year ago
In past years Modest Mouse albums have been decent yet disappointing. Not since, "A Long Drive For Someone with Nothing To Think About" have they made an album that keeps people thinking. Now with Good News I was yet again blown away by Modest Mouse and my faith has been restored.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"The good times are killing me," Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock claims on the closer of Good News for People Who Love Bad News. It's a valid assertion: after all, who can argue otherwise? Just as Brock and co. placed their angst-flag on the distant, mysterious moon and/or the cold, lonesome South Pole with their previous album (The Moon and Antarctica), which had a theme of existential antagonism, the group is more of a pragmatic postal service (no, not like the group) on their latest work, dishing out equal doses of good news and bad news in adequately maudlin parcels. From the upbeat single, "Float On", which is charming without being obnoxious, to the eerie "Devil's Workday", Modest Mouse is no longer looking at the sky but to the earth. The soothing second track, "The World at Large" (the first is the aptly-titled "Horn Intro") is somewhat misleading as to the feel of the rest of the album, what with the "ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-baah"s, but it quickly became one of my favorite tracks. Other personal favorites include "The View", "Black Cadillacs" and "One Chance", all of which sound like amalgamations of Deathcab for Cutie, Built to Spill and/or pre-Good News Modest Mouse... all with a new Modest Mouse twist. The group also dabbles in the newer indie-rock subgenre of dance-punk (The Rapture et al). "Bury Me with It" starts out with a dancy swagger but quickly hits a jarring chorus and later shifts into full rockin'-out mode. On "Dance Hall", which is as catchy as "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes", Brock boasts that he's "gonna dance all dance hall everyday" over a kick-snare-kick-snare beat. Other cuts, such as "Satin in a Coffin" and "Bukowski", are 'acquired tastes', so to speak, but they are no less spectacular. "Blame It On the Tetons" is another gem, although it could be out of the Sparklehorse songbook-- save for Brock's lyrics. Just as on The Moon and Antarctica, Brock's unconventional yet affecting lyrics and lyricism create images as stirring as the music itself-- "'...for your sake I hope heaven and hell are really there, but I wouldn't hold my breath'/You wasted life, why wouldn't you waste death?" he sings on "Ocean Breathes Salty". Furthermore, the band has matured, both musically and philosophically, as Brock claims that he is "...done, done, done with all the circ-, circ-, circling 'round" and that "As life gets softer, awful gets softer/Well it feels pretty soft to me". The album ends with the haunting beauty of "The Good Times Are Killing Me", which starts out as a twee indie-pop excursion to build into a complex orchestral climax before fading out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Don't think I'm just jumping on the bandwagon here, but I'm new to Modest Mouse. After hearing the single "Float On", I was absolutely entranced. I didn't know what to expect out of the album, but after I got a copy of it, I was blown away. My favorite of the year so far.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this cd it is awsome. I like the songs float on, ocean breates salty, bury me with it, the view, and black catalacs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first Modest Mouse cd that I ever listened to and I fell in love. Every single song on this cd rocks. I would recommend it to everyone and anyone willing to listen
Guest More than 1 year ago
Modest Mouse and frontman Isaac Brock return after a nearly-four year hiatus with a streamlined yet eccentric effort that ranks amongst their finest works. Seemingly more pop than their past efforts, especially the buoyant "Float On", repeated listens reveal a darker undercurrent of uncertainty, loss, and schizophrenia. Impeccably well-written songs (Ocean Breaths Salty, Bukowski, Black Cadillacs) and strange detours (Dance Hall, The Devil's Workday) create an album full of tension as well as moments of surprising tenderness. This album may well alienate some older fans at first listen, but great albums tend to grow on you. This one will.
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