Kinda late to the party on this one, but its never too late to review a good record right? Some may be put off by the vocal treatment, but once you lock into his timbre and elocution, there’s a lot going on with these songs, both structurally and lyrically. Repeated listens reveal clever chord structures, word play and melodic inventiveness. And there’s thoughtful instrumentation and production, with banjos, horns and strings, used tastefully.
Overall, it’s a break up record, but one more of redemption than bile. According to Eric Anderson (the brains behind Cataldo), “I have such happy memories of making this record about such an unpleasant time…I think that disparity, the peculiar warmth of this album’s melancholia, is what makes me proudest now. I hope that feeling isn’t something I’ve imagined. I hope it’s an ornament that seems intrinsic and essential. Like an engraving worn with the characteristic patina of something truly old.”
Finally figured out what the song “Prison Boxing” itself is about: rediscovery of friends after a break-up, people you took for granted whom you now have time to hang out with. “My friends say, ‘How are you? It has been too many years’ And I say, ‘With purity and candor I’ve missed you.’” Don’t know if a break-up song has expressed a sentiment quite like this.
Have to admit, not a big a fan of the really raw tracks (tracks #1, #6-#8). But the rest really holds up.
Check it out below: