Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
What Fun Life Was
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
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Melancholic, inspiring, graceful, dignified
John L Murphy | Los Angeles | 09/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You may wonder why so many reviewers are ranking this unfortunately little-known CD five stars when so few albums even by the most acclaimed artists deserve such accolades. Bedhead's self-effacing, restrained, and somber mien hides, if imperfectly, a steady pulse, a marching waltz-beat married to wistful vocals that come off not fey or strained but genuinely emotive. Low (Trance), Velvets (Syndicate), Seam (layers of sound stacked and growing), REM (South leaning by Southwest) all may come to mind, but there is more here: a dessicated, wide-open prairie spaciousness that seeps in to these panoramic portrayals of longing.
That much of this album is carried off neither at a whispery slowcore pace or a frenetic shouting bark, but that the golden, if often also greyly muted, mean recalls both extremes by its own moderation is no small feat, and I do not know how these five Texan young men hit the target this time, but they did.
Before I heard this, I thought their final CD, Transaction de Novo, was their pinnacle, but after repeated listenings, WhatFunLifeWas matches its peaks and gains a bit in the dead heat due to its more consistent mood. There's not a sound wrong on either record. (Also, find the records by their distinguished musical aftermath, "The New Year.") There are a couple of weaker songs, by comparison, especially "Foaming Love;" about a third of the songs on the CD sound as if the band's taking after Red House Painters in their marathon mopes, Replacements in their waning years, or REM in their muddled stage. None of these songs, however, are that weak, although I think I would rank the album lower than 5, about 4.5 overall.
But, as music for the morning after or after the night before, this should take the very short shelf of CDs to have by your bedside, or, for me, a long early-morning, pre-dawn commute, ideally on a still, overcast, expectantly silent atmosphere that wraps the music into its own hesitant air, as if waiting for a release of tension that will never arrive, but a state of expectation so deliciously sustained. The magic here is in the journey each song maps out."