The third LP from Seattle's Long Winters combines the lyrical intimacy and melodic complexity of the "Ultimatum" EP with the guitar pop rave-ups of the band's previous full-lengths. The two sides of songwriter John Roderic... more »k come together to create the most compelling Long Winters release to date. This is a big, very rock record, but underneath the guitars you'll find the bones of mellow folk, psych, and orchestral pop.« less
The third LP from Seattle's Long Winters combines the lyrical intimacy and melodic complexity of the "Ultimatum" EP with the guitar pop rave-ups of the band's previous full-lengths. The two sides of songwriter John Roderick come together to create the most compelling Long Winters release to date. This is a big, very rock record, but underneath the guitars you'll find the bones of mellow folk, psych, and orchestral pop.
John Roderick's Pain Is Your Listening Pleasure Gain
James A. Moore | Edwardsville, IL | 11/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dysfunction in self breeds great art. Dysfunction in relationships breeds great pop songs.
Three years ago I was drawn to The Long Winters release When I Pretend To Fall by a quirky pop song called Cinnamon. Once I listened to it a couple of times I figured out that Cinnamon wasn't even close to the best song on the disc. Several other songs stood out but it was the track Stupid that sealed my being a John Roderick fan for a very long time. There are several layers to making a good pop song. A catchy melody, great lyrics, and raw emotion are the three that stand out to me. Rarely do all three meet at the same time, but on the aptly named track Stupid, they certainly do. Roderick, despite the fact that his voice is irritatingly whiny to some, manages to churn out a cement mixer full of emotion on many of his songs and when his opening line on Stupid is, She has no idea she can make me do anything, you know you are in for a long ride on an unhealthy personal journey.
Skip ahead to Putting The Days To Bed and the same formula has worked on me again. I was drawn in by the quirky Fire Island AK, found out that it wasn't even close to the best song on the disc, and was absolutely moved to chills on the track Hindsight, a song I believe to be the singer's response to 2003's Stupid. It appears that John has recognized that a true relationship will never come to pass and he has to let it go. However, his only way of doing so is convince himself that she'll one day be sorry she let him slip through her fingers. With lines like: But I'm bailing water and bailing water 'Cause I like the shape of the boat, and If you're my anchor then I'm throwing you over the side Before I have the time to say I never wanted anyone this way it's clear that the pain of moving on may be too much for him to bear. The entire lyrics to Hindsight could not be more perfectly written and the way Roderick's voice is able to grind it through the emotional mill leaves me absolutely speechless.
The disc starts out strong, stumbles through the middle, and manages to find it's footing for the remaining three or four songs. The two songs after Hindsight, to me, are the low points of the CD, but that's probably because you're left on such a gut-wrenching precipice it takes two more songs to get you back. I find it odd that the title to 2003's release can be found buried in the lyrics of Stupid and the title to 2005's release can be found buried in the lyrics of Hindsight. I'm guessing that few people notice that. Whereas 2003's release had a smattering of bad relationship songs, it's central to every song on Putting The Days To Bed. For those of you that can't stomach the pain, this may not be for you. For those of you that realize that pain and suffering equals exquisite music, enjoy John Roderick's pain."
A fireside chat regarding our friends, The Long Winters.
Meghan Elizabeth | New York City | 07/25/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Oh! Hello. I didn't see you there. Let me just take these expensive headphones off. Turn this thing off, here, and--oh, what's that? What am I listening to? Why, this is the latest platter from The Long Winters. Hot off the presses. Well, I don't know. I don't know if they actually use presses, I just--it's an expression.
Naturally, I can't help but compare it to the preceeding Long Winters albums. I find this album to be the most danceable of the LDubs discography. Mr. Roderick's philanderers, criminals, and smartmouths still fill out the corners of his lyrical world, but this time around they're having themselves a nonstop dance party. The nervous sprawl of "Give me a Moment" has given way to the power-trio power-line power-bar fuzzy-drum beats of "Fire Island, AK" and "The Sky is Open." Even "Ultimatum" (formerly a delicate little wisp of a heartbreak found on an EP of the same name) has exchanged its crinolines for cutoffs.
Yes, there is more to dance to. But you want to know about the hooks, don't you? Of the hooks, let me just say this: you won't be able to escape. Before you know it, you'll be turning to your best girl and growling, "you should have been a rich wife!" and she'll be all, "What?" and you'll realize that no, you didn't mean that, you just can't get this frickin' "Rich Wife" song out of your damned head so WON'T YOU LET A MAN BE?
So that, plus a healthy dose of album-wide sky and cloud imagery, and that's what you've got. At least, that's what you've got so long as you purchase this album immediately."
Rentz Leinbach | Goshen, Indiana | 01/05/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This absolutely floored me with its catchiness. Great lyrics like "Now I'm smoking cigarettes when no one else does" and "You never told me your secrets, so I guess they're still safe with me" provide new novelties to enjoy after the initial catchiness of the music wears off. That's gonna take a while, because this is one of the catchiest cds I've heard all year. "I like the old days, but not all the old days, only the good old days." Great cd."
Great Pop Music, period
More M | Pittsburgh, PA USA | 12/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think this one is at the top of my list for 2006. Really great pop music, with maybe a bit more power than their first 3 discs. The lyrics are a bit more abstract, in a good way. The harmonies are fantastic...this disc reminds me a lot of Zumpano, or Joe, Marc's Brother with the harmonies. The songs are just terrifically written and fleshed out. The production is 1st rate, and if you crave power pop of a higher order than most of the current indie pop/rock out there, don't pass this one up! Ear candy of the highest order!!! You will be singing along with those high-note leads and harmonies!!!"