Sunset Tree

Sunset Tree

5.0 2
by The Mountain Goats
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

John Darnielle is a compulsive writer forever clutching his stomach as songs pour out uncontrollably into whatever recording device is in front of him. What sets him apart from other prolific artists in the indie rock world (Conor Oberst, Ryan Adams, Stephin Merritt) whose records/side-projects can't keep up with the flow of their pens, is his almost alarming gift for… See more details below

Overview

John Darnielle is a compulsive writer forever clutching his stomach as songs pour out uncontrollably into whatever recording device is in front of him. What sets him apart from other prolific artists in the indie rock world (Conor Oberst, Ryan Adams, Stephin Merritt) whose records/side-projects can't keep up with the flow of their pens, is his almost alarming gift for pairing quantity with quality. After dropping the devastating Tallahassee--a record that followed in gory detail the imagined demise of a Florida couple's marriage--in 2002, he turned his focus inward, taking an almost autobiographical stance on the follow-up We Shall All Be Healed, a framework that is applied tenfold on the riveting Sunset Tree. This is John Cougar Mellencamp's Scarecrow if it were set in southern California and narrated by Charles Bukowski. At the center is Darnielle's abusive stepfather, who slyly receives the album's dedication. He's a drunk, a misguided disciplinarian and a lousy role model for the young artist who plies away his days in a haze of liquor-fueled misogyny, wistful romanticism and good old-fashioned teen-angst, always aware that each night will end in violence. Darnielle's talent for writing an engaging narrative is matched only by the succinctness of the music behind it. This is especially true on standout cuts like "This Year," a near-perfect snapshot of youthful defiance with it's rousing, last road-trip-ever refrain of "I am gonna make it through this year if it kills me" and "Lion's Teeth," an uncomfortable moment of clarity that looks rage in both eyes without flinching, using a string-laden backbeat to up the suspense. Despite Sunset Tree's white-knuckle subject matter and salt-in-the-wound imagery, it's surprisingly accessible. It's a gloves-off catharsis occurring in real-time for the gifted singer/songwriter, and it leaves a mark on the listener as well.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

New York Times - Kelefa Sanneh
Extraordinary... it may be Mr. Darnielle's best album so far (which is saying a lot).

Product Details

Release Date:
04/26/2005
Label:
4ad / Ada
UPC:
0652637250824
catalogNumber:
72508
Rank:
22667

Related Subjects

Tracks

Read More

Album Credits

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >