July 16, 2011

This Is Not An Album Review

In this gathering of individuals I feel that "album review" implies certain expectations. Therefore, this is not a review, just my own impressions of the Handsome Furs new album "Sound Kapital." (I will also not be mentioning anything about the full frontal nude album cover...when someone gets naked, it seems that's all anyone wants to talk about. Go figure.)

I love it. It's wonderful. Buy it. I must say, I wasn't thrilled with "Face Control." Although it does contain some great music, I think it lacked heart (I can say that because this is not a review), something I've come to expect from the Handsome Furs via their first album "Plague Park" (which might be all heart) and Dan's recent contributions to Wolf Parade. "Sound Kapital" fulfills everything "Plague Park" was looking towards. Together, "Plague Park" and "Sound Kapital" form a remarkably cohesive diptych; the first all angst and the second all hope.

In describing how I felt about the album to Vanessa, I used the phrase "sadness and inspiration." That is, as opposed to just sadness. It seems "Sound Kapital" has cast off not memories of home but only the anxiety, the nostalgia, and entered a new realm of significance. Songs like "Repatriated," in which Dan sings "I've seen the future and it's coming in low, I've seen the future and I'll never be repatriated" capture a vision of a shrinking world and the artist's endeavor to be a part of the greater "human race." Nations, it would seem, are out-dated. The statement also rings with a certain Faulkner-the-last-chapter-of-The Sound and the Fury vibe.

Despite the fact that I might disagree with the idea of a united humanity (not that it wouldn't be swell, I just don't think it's possible, though, as Jimmy Stewart quips in the film "Harvey": "well, we must keep trying, mustn't we!"), I intend to tell him that I think he's onto something if I get the chance at their upcoming concert in Detroit. He expresses something in this album which might be the beginnings of a contemporary romantic movement. I think Wordsworth would like it...but I don't think Dan would like Wordsworth.
Summary: "Sound Kapital" is Wordsworth without the daffodils.

Whenever someone starts talking about people living together in a community, I think they're onto something. Coupled with, to use another Faulkner reference, "the human heart in conflict with itself" in "Plague Park" (not lacking in the new album), I think/hope this music will go far.

Here's a clip, first track on the album: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgRQNEtcaIw&NR=1

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Blogger Tony said...

I've only listened through once -- without close attention -- but I really look forward to doing so now.

I've been thinking about community quite a bit lately, now that we're in our new place.

July 16, 2011 at 11:54 PM 
Blogger Chase said...

Like Tony, I've only listened to it once as well. I wasn't immediately drawn to it, though. Maybe it was because I was looking for something like "Dead+Rural" and didn't find it.

I'll listen again this week.

July 17, 2011 at 6:20 PM 
Blogger Daniel Silliman said...

Just want to say, I appreciate this more than a "review."

July 18, 2011 at 10:34 AM 

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