Monday, August 2, 2010

Damien Jurado - Saint Bartlett

I still can't tell if Damien Jurado is good music for sad, rainy days. On the one hand, his songs tend to impose upon listeners an immense sense of sorrow and heartbreak... but on the other hand, he convinces you that he has it worse. It's folky blues meets emo. I don't know why I enjoy this quality of his music; it's likely just my appreciation for his ability to so forcefully express sadness in his music.

That said, Jurado remains effective in expressing these emotions with Saint Bartlett. However, impressively, he does so without making me want to die. :D

The new album takes the rough, lonely sounding music of Jurado and nestles it into a bed of well orchestrated pillows. You still get plenty of the acoustic tracks like "Rachel & Cali," "Pear," "Kansas City," and "With Lightning In Your Hands." But you also get the thick, softening sounds from compositions like "Throwing Your Voice" and "The Falling Snow."

I particularly enjoy the way that Jurado ushers you into the album. The opening track, "Cloudy Shoes," is a dreamy, reverberant song that sounds like it marks the rolling of the credits to a bittersweet drama. You are just finishing a touching and heartbreaking story and this is what you're left with.

As I write this, I'm listening to track 2, "Arkansas." I was simply going to comment on the similarity between this song and the famous "Stand by Me" (seriously, check this out). But then, I swear to God, 1 minute in, he sings "Fade out, this is where the credits roll." I DON'T MAKE THESE THINGS UP, PEOPLE. I wrote the previous paragraph and then realized that the "Fade out, this if where the credits roll" line is the CHORUS OF TRACK 2. Awesome.

All in all, this album takes the genius of Jurado to another level and it's organized perfectly to get you through. And where does it leave you at the end? Wanting more.

Well done, Mr. Jurado, well done.

No comments:

Post a Comment