Jun 25, 2012
The Wrens - The Meadowlands (2003)
If bummed out dudes could be a concept album and the bummed out dudes behind it figured that in order to really capture that feeling of total bummed out-ness, their songs could not flow and build together, but would instead benefit from being demo-like if your'e being kind, stream-of-consciousness if you're a fan, or messy/random/unfocused if you're not. All of this because being bummed out is a confusing affair and so jarring highs-and-lows are needed 'cause who can explain the brain any way? Certainly not these indie rockers, although they do manage to say a lot about being bummed out, from nostalgia through to marriage.
Being neither a fan nor a music critic, I don't fully buy the stream-of-consciousness theory, so I'm either stuck assessing the individual songs or half-buying it but finding the concept frustrating. As it so happens, I have a real soft spot for indie emo so like a bunch of the songs quite a bit. But here I'm gonna say focus! Boring, I know, but I just can't dig that in practice. THAT SAID, the more likeable interpretation of the unevenness of The Meadowlands is that it has a collection of demos like quality, and that way of thinking's endeared musicians like Daniel Johnston through Sebadoh and Sparklehorse to me. Apparently this is a real grower so I'll have to wait and see. C for the few songs I liked until that happens (or doesn't)!
Posted by max