First of all, let’s tip our pixellated hats to a guy who releases his album on cassette. On what? Luckily, at my house we still own a few cassette (what?) players, including one of those yellow sports Walkmen, which changes sides automatically and ran down many a set of 1980-90s batteries when I forgot to turn it off. For those of you who don’t have a cassette (?) player, it comes with a download code, and we all know what that is.
To the music! It’s like some lovely album that George Harrison never got around to making. Seriously. It opens with six seconds of promising jangle-guitar strum that stop so far short of what you want you feel your stomach drop just a little bit, like hitting a big bump on the highway. And thereafter? Oh, friends, it’s just two-and-a-half-to-three-minute pop gem after two-and-a-half-to -three-minute pop gem. There’s a little countryish lilt to things and just the right kind of Beatlesyishness (ie, the George Harrison kind).
Lyrically you get gems like this, in a slow and pretty acoustic number called “Nothing Take Her Place”: “She came in / Swinging a mace / She wanted to see / The look on your face.” Sung so delicately, almost sweetly, just a bit like that one guy from the Beatles.
Actually, I think I’m pushing the George Harrison thing too far, but I like George Harrison, and I like this album by Joshua Carpenter, so who cares.