Tanglewood Numbers

Tanglewood Numbers

by Silver Jews


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Tanglewood Numbers

Back after a much-too-long four-year absence -- during which David Berman struggled with substance abuse, depression, and a suicide attempt -- the Silver Jews return with Tanglewood Numbers, an album full of the wry, insightful storytelling for which the band is beloved, as well as some striking differences. The album's polished sound will come as something of a surprise to fans who have been around since the Starlite Walker days, as will Berman's urgent vocals on tracks like "Sometimes a Pony Gets Depressed." However, these changes work in the album's favor and give an anthemic heft to the most gripping moments, most of which are about confronting troubles and fears head-on: On the album's opening track, "Punks in the Beerlight"'s "burnouts in love" fight to stay that way even when it gets really, really bad; "There Is a Place" closes Tanglewood Numbers by moving from despair to hope with a thrilling, white-knuckle chant of "I saw God's shadow on this world." But, even on the album's most desperate, searching songs, Berman's unfailing eye for detail remains, and Tanglewood Numbers is populated with young black Santa Clauses, girls in special economic zones, and guys who work in airport bars. Funny couplets like "Sleeping Is the Only Love"'s "I heard they were taming the shrew/I heard the shrew was you" and lighter, more typically rollicking Silver Jews tracks such as "Animal Shapes" and "How Can I Love You if You Won't Lie Down" keep Tanglewood Numbers from sounding too much like a recovery journal (not to mention that Berman is too talented a writer to need to rely on strictly autobiographical subject matter). Nevertheless, the dark undercurrent that runs through the album makes sweet moments like these all the sweeter. Hopefully the circumstances around Tanglewood Numbers will never repeat themselves, but there's no denying that this is a uniquely powerful and moving set of songs.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/18/2005
Label: Drag City
UPC: 0781484029724
catalogNumber: 297
Rank: 103249

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Silver Jews   Primary Artist
David Berman   Track Performer
Pete Cummings   Track Performer
Duane Denison   Track Performer
Bob Nastanovich   Track Performer
Tony Crow   Track Performer
Will Oldham   Track Performer
Mike Fellows   Track Performer
Bobby Bare   Track Performer
Paz Lenchantin   Track Performer
Azita Youssefi   Track Performer
William Tyler   Track Performer
Cassie Berman   Track Performer
Brian Kotzur   Track Performer
John St. West   Track Performer

Technical Credits

David Berman   Producer
Michael Fellows   Composer
Mark Nevers   Engineer
Gerônimo   Drawing
David Henry   Vocal Engineer
D.C. Berman   Composer
Alexander Graham Bell   Drawing
Cassie Berman   Composer
Jessica Jackson Hutchins   Drawing

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