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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Bright Flight

Silver Jews

2001

Bright Flight

Album Summary

Bright Flight is the fourth studio album by indie rock group Silver Jews, released in 2001."Tennessee" was chosen as the title track for an EP that also included "Long Long Gone", "I'm Gonna Love The Hell Out of You", and "Turn Your Guns Around".

Wikipedia

Rating

2.85

Votes

3328

Genres

  • Rock
  • Indie
Reviews
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4

Some shambly 90s de-tuned country music here. When I read this band had connections to Pavement I wasn’t surprised as the first thing that came to mind as the album started was “country Pavement”. The first time through I wasn’t sure about the vocal delivery… but found the songs are very good musically. Love me some steel guitars! Then on a second pass I started to hear more of the lyrics and I really started to like this. The lyrics are fantastic! While there are times when I would like to hear a polished vocal on these songs, I have to give this props for the great music and lyrics. There’s room for some lo-fi Country in my library… Favorite songs: Room Games and Diamond Rain, I Remember Me, Horseleg Swastikas, Transylvania Blues, Let’s Not and Say We Did, Tennessee

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2

So far this is boring as hell Still really boring.

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1

Mumble Sad bastard music

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3

I think this guy likes Tom Waits

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2

Bit meh

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2

Well. The music is utterly forgettable indie rock with all the trimmings. Lyrically, there are a couple of zingy moments. But my goodness, that's a voice one could get bored of very, very quickly. So wearing and wearisome, in fact, that these hangdog vocals overshadow everything else. In an already muted soundscape, such a lugubrious performance merely serves to poison the well. Good name for a band, though.

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2

Pretty dull early 2000s lo fi American indie.

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1

Honestly seemed like some sort of parody, terrible 1

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1

nope

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1

Dull and lifeless, almost as if written to capture the feeling of a talentless hack who did unspeakable things to record executives to get an album produced.

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5

These are songs I have listened to over and over already. I wasn't sure about David Berman's voice at first, but it is the right voice for these songs. Each time I listen there is another lovely discovery. "The snow falls down so beautiful and stupid" played as I drove through the snow today, and it was perfect. There is a constant, real ache in this music and yet it feels lovely in a way.

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5

Lo amo.

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5

When God was young, He made the wind and the sun Since then, it's been a slow education And you got that one idea again The one about dying. Oh oh oh I'm lightning Oh oh oh I'm rain Oh oh oh it's frightening I'm not the same, I'm not the same, I'm not the same There's a screen door banging in the wind Remember you wanted to be like George Washington back then Everybody's going down on themselves No "pardon me"'s or "fare thee well"'s in the end

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5

Yes this was good I liked this one

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5

Smooth, clever, well-balanced. Love the vocals and acoustic guitars.

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5

Brilliant. Whisky sodden, laid back, great songs sounding like the band has set up in your living room.

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5

Fans of Pavement will immediately feel at home with Silver Jews. Same languid, country tinged lo-fi indie. I'd not heard this album before, but I'll be returning to it. Mainly because I'm a sucker for the Pavement sound rather than this album being anything particularly unique

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4

Poetic and wistful but not brooding. Somewhere twixt indie rock and country. It's nice.

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4

Never heard of Silver Jews. This Was an interesting album. Twangy, but not country. It was a little tough to warm up to, but it eventually won me over to liking it with its simplicity, I guess. Not an everyday listen, but I am sure it is something that will kind of haunt me into waiting to hear it again.

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4

I was very surprised, but I ended up really loving the indie/country/whatever sound. Also, Apple Music started playing Pavement immediately following this, so that algorithm is pretty dead on.

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4

Não conheci a banda e gostei demais

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4

Very good stuff

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4

200 albums into the project and I'm still enjoying it. Didn't know this band; turns out that Stephen Malkmus was part of it, though not on this record. It's a very nice album with strong melodies and interesting lyrics.

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4

Had expected American Water instead of this album, but the choice for Bright Flight is not bad either. After all, American Water sometimes sounds half Pavement / half Silver Jews.. and while a Pa/SJ combination is of course a great mix, it is certainly nice to hear Silver Jews "only" and to realize again how good this band was in late 90s - early 00s. I rate American Water as a clear 5* album. This album contains several 5* songs (in particular Tennessee) but for mr it is a very solid 4 overall (conform to my memory of it).

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4

pretty based, honestly not a big country fan but there’s some really nice indie stuff in here, 8/10

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4

Loved the slacker country vibe

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4

Did not expect to like this as much as I did. I really dig the country flavor. Vocals are way too loud in the mix though. Favorite Tracks: Tennessee, Let's Not and Say We Did

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4

It's weird in a good way. I would listen to it again for sure.

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4

Tipo de som meio sujo que eu gosto com um vocal potente.

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4

Folky rocky. Enjoyed but without holding my full attention.

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4

7/10. Might even be worth an 8. The mood feels more consistent than monotonous, and is a great way to spend some time being sad.

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4

8/10. Nice , sounds like other silver Jews albums

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4

Vocals were not entirely to my taste. Lyrics were sometimes okay - I liked the occasional storyteller feel. It was a little bland at times, but overall I enjoyed the sound and just felt like something was missing? Normally I'd give this a 3, but there were so many moments I fell in love with musically that it gets pushed to a 4 even though it's more like a 3.5.

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4

I'd never heard of this group before, but they're rather good!

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4

If you've seen the excellent Amazon Prime series Patriot, then this album may remind you of the songs that John composes and sings about his line of work.

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4

I’d somehow never heard of David Berman until he died in 2019, but everything I’ve heard of him since I’ve really liked. It’s like if Pavement was sadder and slightly twangier.

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4

Really liked this one. I would have been obsessed with this band if I had discovered them in like 2013

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4

Much comes down to whether you like Berman’s relaxed-yet-tortured vocal style or not, and (his also relaxed-yet-tortured) imagistic lyrics. I’m good on both and thus consider this a quirky classic and minor masterpiece. Many good songs, with highlights throughout. “Slow Education,”” Time Will Break the World,” “Horseleg Swastikas, “Tennessee”

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4

Really good, will check out their other stuff. Cheers then.

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4

Familiar voices sonic delight

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4

Bastante chulos. Indie rock suave, tranquilo. Un poco a Lemonheads, pero más tristones.

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4

Love it all.

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4

A good mix, enjoyed it.

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4

It's weird, it's quirky, it's not great, but there is something about it that keeps me listening, and I'm seeking out their other work to listen to, so I guess I like it? really not sure how to feel about this.

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4

While solidly downtempo from my usual taste, this LP contains an unexpected wealth of lyrical and instrumental power not belied by the first few tracks. The first half excels at less is more - powerfully raw lyrics set against minimal but appropriate melodic tracks can never go wrong. The second wows with an almost orchestral swell in the melodic and rhythmic sections, bringing the album to an emotional breaking point before drifting away into the ether.

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4

Great listening. His lyrics are thoughtful and draw you in

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3

I liked this somewhat - this indie-rock-meets-country album somehow sounds bleak, but in the first couple of songs manages to hit the right notes for me. The songs on the opposite end aren't as strong, though. 3/5

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3

Varia em qualidade. Algumas mais agitadas são boas

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3

I enjoyed this and there were some real stand out tracks, but it didn’t really fully click with me as an album for whatever reason.

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3

Mmmm, como que me sonó a muchas cosas y no le encontré algo único, pero quizá porque no conocía Silver Jews. En fin... 6.5/10

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3

After reading the reviews and Wikipedia it sounded like an album I would enjoy. I did, but not as much as I thought I would. Maybe if I listen to it again or different albums. In the end not bad, some good songs on it l also. Favourite songs: - I remember me - Let’s not and say we did - Friday night fever

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3

What a strange time. Irreverent, blunt, and occasionally hilarious, they lyricism on display is a special kind of witty that almost goes too far into annoying. He's definitely got something going, but I'm not sure how much I enjoy it.

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3

Quite liked it, bit wobbly in parts though. Can hear lots of other things like pavement/bright eyes/Elliot smith/Decemberists etc in there.

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3

J’ai des vibes de zappa, c’est bien 3.25

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3

Was alright 5/10

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3

Never Heard of Silver Jews before this so definitely my first time of listening. Wow, love this! A cross between Lou Reed (Circa Velvets), Leonard Cohen and David Lowery from Camper Van Beethoven. Some sad but definitely Sunday morning songs, I am intrigued by his voice and his lyrical content. "I Remember Me" "Horseleg Swastikas" and "Let's Not Say We Did" are my favourites here. A lovely sunday morning listen but not sure if it justifies a place on this list!

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3

I still have a ways to go before I'm totally on-board with Berman's voice. That said: I got on board with the longer instrumental sections in the second half, lyrics worth reading, love songs, the passage of time.

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3

Really dug the instrumentals, did not enjoy the vocals. Sounded like someone complaining at me for 35 minutes. Looks like it's some members of Pavement with a different vocalist, I guess that explains it.

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3

This is an album you need to sit down and take your time with. When David Berman sings, you need to listen to his lyrics. It has a country/indie rock charm, but there is always the feeling that there are storm clouds on the horizon. It's an album that needs a hug and a pat on the shoulder. Best Tracks: Slow Education; I Remember Me; Tennessee

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3

Not a terrible album by any stretch, but just alright. It's a decent listen, but nothing really stands out as an important track. Definitely feels like a product of it's time.

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3

Quaint little album. Feels very personal and intimate which I enjoyed, and the song topics are interesting and meaningful. Overall pretty decent for something that is not my usual genre. 6/10

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3

Tranquilo y diferente

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3

Nokkuð gott indie rokk. Punny textar.

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3

Beautiful Americana/alt country but is it ground breaking or life changing enough to be on this list.

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3

Álbum proporciona um clima interessante.

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3

Meh...this one was okay. Didn't love it, didn't hate it. Definitely a stronger second half of the album, which is better than the reverse situation. My favorite tracks on this leaned more heavily country and less into...hipster-folk, if you can call it that? That's more what the first half of the album was IMO. Fave track: Tennessee. Yes, the "ten-I-see" pun was total cheese, but it was self-aware. And more importantly, the melody was calm and nice. Overall a smooth and enjoyable listening experience, but not SO enjoyable I'd revisit. The Mississippi of albums.

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3

Nice, country-infused indie. I like the sons, but can't really get on with the vocals. The singer's inability to hold a note appears to compromise delivery of the natural melody. This could have been a great album with an in-tune breathy female vocal. Rating: 3/5 Playlist track: Slow Education Date listened: 25/05/22

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3

Quite a good album

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3

Indie rock lento. Ni fu ni fa.

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3

Heard of them before but never listened, pleasant lo-fi American indie with some good songs rather undersold by singing that may be an acquired tastes.

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3

A somewhat mediocre album. Mediocre voice, mediocre lyrics, mediocre arragments. 1-2 songs that are good, but no 1001 for me. (5/10) FT: I Remember Me

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3

Bit too talky

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3

alrigjt

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3

okish

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3

Great moody alt-country vibe. Excellent balance of the twangy and the dissonant. It took me a couple of songs to settle into David Berman's vocal style, but it works here. Will definitely revisit this. Fave Songs: Transylvania Blues, Room Games and Diamond Rain, I Remember Me, Death of an Heir of Sorrows, Slow Education

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3

The vocals are a bit out of tune but that's maybe what makes this so goddamn cosy.

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3

In the “to be revisited” pile. The vocals are throwing me for a loop, but the songs are enjoyable and varied, and I love some of the lyrics.

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3

Silver Jews are always good

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3

Good album but just really weird. The last 2 tracks are the best imo.

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3

I enjoyed the album, 1st time I have ever heard it. It sounded a bit like Wilco.

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3

It was just ok

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3

Best een leuk album. Muziekaal erg prettig maar de neuzige zang is toch niet helemaal mijn ding.

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3

Die wat onvaste stem daargelaten, vond ik dit best goed te pruimen.

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3

This is an indie band and I cannot be convinced otherwise. Very generic and forgettable. I've listened to a few tracks per day for several days and EVERY time I turn it on I go "oh THIS is what these guys sound like?" This list is full of swings and roundabouts, to be sure, but I've been going through a stretch of like... just boring corn fields.

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3

Have you heard of ‘indie’ music ?

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2

ok, but a bit boring and with no rhyme

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2

Ok, some hipster cunt (I assume fairly safely) trying to be Bob Dylan. Problem is, the original Bob Dylan is fucking horrendous - why would anyone then want an imitation? This shit just makes me cringe. Stop pretending your lyrics are deep. Stop pretending your whiny hipster folk shit "poetry" has anything to do with country. And learn to hold a note ffs. You're an embarrassment. 2/5 - should be a 1 but it only pissed me off for half an hour.

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2

The name and cover art do not inspire me to listen. But this my album today so listen I will. First song, slow education, lyrically strong start in that the first verse makes me want to hear the second verse. But it never really gets going. Some of the turns of phrase are nice but they feel thrown together instead of building to a greater narrative. Let's Not and Say We Did almost won me over. But in the end I can't say the album is more than "fine".

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2

Interesting. Not my favorite, but certainly has a place amongst bands like Cowboy Junkies.

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2

Kolejne indyjskie rokowanie z hameryki, nowosc wedlug lastfma, ale nowosc nie nowosc, bo polowa skladu to czlonkowie pavementa, ktory rozpadl sie w 99, ale liderem jest zupelnie inny pan, ktory poprowadzil indyjskosc w kierunku smutnych piosenek, mowa o panu Bermanie, ktory jest odpowiedzialny na teksty i wokale wiekszosci utworow, dodatkowo brzdaka na gitarce, pewnie na tym akustyku, bo plyta stara sie laczyc brzmienia akustyczne z elektrycznymi, banda podczas nagran liczyla siedem osob, wiec brzmienie ma zalozona teksture i potrafi zaczynac sie minimalistycznie zeby dodawac kolejne instrumenty jak w miare progresuje utwor, wiec pod tym wzgledem jest w miare roznorodnie, ale wokalnie i lirycznie calosc brzmi nijako, wiekszosc jak typowe smutne indyjskie kawalki na ktorych pan Berman razem ze swoja pania Berman wylewa z siebie smutki bialego czleka artystycznie obdazonego wrazliwoscia na otaczajacy swiat, bywaja takze kompozycje bardziej pavementowe, ktore jakos przypominaja ten humorek i energie lofikowa przemycana przez bande, dobrym przykladem bedzie tutaj lets not and say we did, ale takie piosenki sa w mniejszosci na tym srednio dlugim, bo 35 minutowym krazku, na plejke dodam jedynie zamkyjacego death of the heir of sorrows, ktory przypadl mi do gustu za pianinkowe wstawki i najlepsza prezentacje energii typu braku energii, ktora dominuje cale nagranie i dopiero na ostatnim traku wychodzi w pelnej krasie

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2

Me aburro. No le encontré nada interesante o memorable a este disco, ni razones para estar en la lista. Suena a indie con contry sin mayor detalle especial, salvo lo depresivo del tipo (que lo llevó al suicidio en 2019 según leí) pero eso no es mérito alguno… En fin, solo llega a la segunda estrella porque aunque no llamó la atención en dos vueltas, tampoco fue algo que me sonara fatal.

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2

I'm not a vocals snob at all, but there's something about the lofi, low effort vocals here that are not doing it for me. Sometimes I find this kind of thing really charming and genuine. But in this case, it's just not doing it.

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2

I read a piece describing the Silver Jews as being ‘ramshackle’, and that’s exactly how ‘Bright Flight’ sounds. That and bleak. Founder and main man David Berman’s songs and lyrics are the aural equivalent of defeat. From what I’ve read it sounds like he had a tortured life, and that experience often informs the tone of this record. YMMV, but I don’t see myself revisiting this any time soon.

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2

Needs a second listen but I didn't find it that accessible on the first listen

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2

Not my kind of music but I didn’t hate it. That Transylvania has more teeth at least for a while. Boring

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2

Pretty meh

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2

Weird, country rock, with bad lyrics

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2

the fact that two of the guys on this album were also in pavement isnt surprising, but i feel like this lacked something pavement had. didnt enjoy it

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2

Kinda like Leonard cohen but without the emotional impact

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2

Another boring questionable choice for this list

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2

Frustrating. There are so many elements to this that I should love, but it just doesn't really work for me at all. I love a good alt-country album and this just isn't it. Friday Night Fever is pretty good but it came far too late to save this album or make me want to re-listen. I'd give it a 1.5 if I could.

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2

Struggled with this one but a few bright moments

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2

Pretty boring, didn't really like the vocals.

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2

This 35 minute album achieved something I thought impossible, feeling what entering the event horizon of a black hole was like without leaving earth. Time slowed down, a lot. It felt like over an hour of boredom. So many things to dislike. Lyrics that I'm sure were meant to be profound missed the mark. Cliched twang of a country guitar, and that droning voice. No thanks.

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2

This somehow sounds bored and drunk at the same time, like an overtired child just making noise with its mouth because it doesn't want to go to sleep.

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2

Ok. So the music is entirely uninspired, the "singing" is just a dude mumbling and never quite hitting maybe 3 notes. But the backstory of the frontman and his life are tragic and fascinating. But I'm not rating his life. Just this album. And it's bollocks. (He won't be reading this, or any, review.)

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1

Sucks. I hate the music and the insipid trying too hard to be “different” lyrics. I hate the sucky ass ugly album cover too. Sucks.

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1

I tried my hardest to find any redeeming factors during this listen, but honestly the vocals from this band are impossible to enjoy. Off key whining over generic music. Do not recommend.

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1

Horrible crap

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