The sense of melody is undoubtedly intact, but with some excursions into previously unknown territory. Without a doubt an album that will be listened to for a long time. There are not that many bands comparable to The Shins. Spectacular musical refinement on their second offering, while still keeping their unique lightness and flow. Further honing of the art on the third album, reaching a pinnacle of creativity in both words and music. The eighties was indeed a wonderful period for Australian rock music, with so many high quality acts that I could fill an entire blog post just by naming them.
Sporting a cover with a dinosaur menacing a scantily clad woman, depicted in comic book style day glo colours, this is a veritable treasure trove of inventive, highly energetic and melodic rock music. I still remember being thoroughly blown away by this fast paced delicacy when the needle hit the groove of my imported vinyl LP some 30 years ago. Impossible not to love and so much what rock music is about.
Big rhythmic fun. Playful and inventive, full of great songs and melodies, simply the sound of a band doing almost everything right. Contemporary American author born in Mississippi in and educated at Bennington College together with amongst others Brett Easton Ellis. Described as a murder story in reverse, it was in many ways an original debut that I, contrary to almost universal acclaim, found to be well written but not extremely engaging. Again dealing with murder going unpunished, its storyline often felt unbelievable and unnecessarily sprawling.
Although many years has passed since reading it, I seem to remember having a hard time shaking the feeling that the book had a little too much of teenage crime mystery in it for its own good. The opening pages with the protagonist Theo Decker holed up in a hotel room in Amsterdam, anxiously scanning Dutch newspapers for mention of some for us yet unknown events involving bloody murder, sets the tone. A beginning not that unfamiliar to her two previous novels, managing to grab your attention and pique your curiosity of whatever could have led up to this.
Theo survives and experiences some life-changing moments when he before the explosion sees the girl Pippa, and after the blast shares the dying moments of her caretaker Welty, who gives him a ring and an address to a New York antique shop and asks him to take one of the museum paintings with him, which he does. Grief-stricken and alone in the world Theo ends up at the home of the Barbours, the socialite family of school friend Andy, in what seems to be a temporary arrangement.
Following the dying words of Welty in the museum, Theo goes to the antique shop and presents the ring given to him to the proprietor — a furniture restoration expert called Hobie. The two become friends and Theo gets to meet the girl Pippa again, who apart from recovering from serious injuries from the blast also like Theo suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome. Theo is more or less in limbo, with the painting as his only comfort, until he meets the energetic Boris, neglected son of a Russian mining engineer living a nomadic life with brief stops in remote places all around the globe.
Sharing a camaraderie fuelled by vodka, drugs and shoplifting they become inseparable until unforeseen events makes Theo flee back to New York.
Appearing at the doorstep of Hobie, Theo is taken under his wing and finds a place taking care of the business part of the antique store.
Opiate addiction and ill-advised shady dealings together with a reunion with Boris eventually leads to the trip to Amsterdam, where we found him at the beginning of the novel. Much drama follows, of which I avoiding further spoilers will say nothing. Let me be clear about this at once, I really like this book. The vivid and exact prose filled with keen observations and careful characterization.
The individual pacing of the different acts of the novel. The philosophical monologue at the end. The perhaps useless but still engaging and interesting forays into the art of furniture restoration and Dutch 17th century painting.
This is great writing. Firstly portraying the grief and dislocation felt by the orphaned Theo as he shuffles from the indifferent hands of Social Services to the slightly cold welcome of the Barbours, and secondly the adolescent maelstrom shared by Theo and Boris, growing up practically without any adult supervision and only saved by that special type of male closeness that you probably only experience in your teens.
Definitely a book you should read and well worth the time spent. Always adventurous and extremely inventive, creating a sonic universe all his own. I must confess to being totally defenseless to the particular dynamic of this music as well as to the lyrical content, through the years going from charmingly semi-intelligible dictionary English to well-phrased absurd dramas.
Even though it would seem impossible to vary this concept anymore, they still present a collection of songs that dazzles and intrigues. The sound of the album is very coherent, containing all the ingredients you are supposed to find on a Boa record, while still managing to tweak the songwriting and going into territories both old and brand new. One of my absolute favourites on the album. I can listen to this one again and again.
An immensely enjoyable collection of great songs that continues to grow on you. Already looking forward to the next one. There's Been a Murder. Carter [Clean]. Jeezy , 2 Chainz. How to Be an MC, Vol. Damian "Junior Gong" Marley.
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