noyoucmon's current selection is:
Darkness and Cold
by Purple Mountains
I blew off David Berman’s longtime band Silver Jews because somewhere along the line I jumped to the conclusion that he had no sense of humor. I’m not asking for comedy in music, but sheesh, how more wrong could I have been? His new Purple Mountains project, coming out of nowhere after a self-imposed hiatus from music, has produced one of my favorite albums of the year. Sadly, it had barely been released when Berman committed suicide in August. Albums released shortly before or after this specific kind of tragedy often include “clues” that we use in hindsight to say we saw it coming; in Berman’s case, it’s even more evident than that, and I don’t know enough of his back catalog to confirm if he has always been a miserabilist. But Purple Mountains is an instant classic of miserabilism, and with no shortage of self-deprecating humor, as painful as his reality must have been. I don’t aim to make light of his pain; expertly chronicling one’s own struggles in song in this way is an art form that few can do without sounding self-indulgent. Intended to be a farewell message or not, Berman’s last missive is a mighty fine album.
2019 - Drag City
Posted: 29th November 2019
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