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 drummerSee more details below

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Overview

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.

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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.

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/06/2004
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998712515
catalogNumber:
87125
Rank:
21114

Tracks

  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

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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

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