posted on July 28, 2010 19:00
A review of the album 'Gone for Good' by My Jerusalem
Review Snapshot: The critic in me has heard it all before but the music fan doesn't care making Gone for Good a rather perplexing beast.
The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10
Full Review: This review is brought to you by the thesis I've spent most of my summer working on.
It will come in three parts, the reasoning for which will become clear as you read. It should, if the people I've interviewed are correct, cover the three key roles of the music reviewer and, therefore, provide the perfect music review.
The Critic: In this role, it is important for the reviewer to go beyond the pleasure of the ears and express judgement and argue the reasons for what he hears. The problem with this approach is that we are all limited by knowledge. There are those of you reading that may well have a vastly inferior/superior mental database from which to compare and contrast music. As a critic, it's my job to find common familiar group that can appease both fanboys and those of you who buy 3 CDs a year in Tesco.
So, as a critic, there is one glaring problem with Gone for Good, it sounds like every intelligent alt-folk album you've heard before. Elbow-esque strings? Check. Arcade Fire style layered vocals? Check. Bright Eyes like clever lyrical twists? Check. This doesn't mean that My Jerusalem lack originality, it's just not the reason you'd part with your money.
The Cheerleader: In this role, and with so much music out there for people to choose from, it falls to the writer to look beyond the
imperfections and, instead, dwell upon the excellencies and hidden beauties of the album. That's easy. From album opener Valley of the Casualties, through to closer Farewell and via all ten tracks in between, Jeff Klein and company have delivered one of those rare albums where every song could be a single; as likely to be heard on Phantom as they are to appear on Today FM's playlist.
That's not to say, of course, that we're bordering on White Ladder territory. Instead, with Gone for Good, My Jerusalem have delivered this year's Seldom Seen Kid which, considering they have only been together a wet week, is no mean feat.
The Archivist: The third and final role of the reviewer. It's a role you've probably taken on too. Every time you've recorded a gig with your iPhone you've added to the archive. We don't experience, we record. Likewise, I wasn't listening to Gone for Good I was making mental notes of its place in history.
There's no doubting that, despite its obvious flaws, Gone for Good is a very good album. It's by no means a great album though and, if I'm honest, it will fade from memory long before the likes of Becoming a Jackal, Waltz #2 (XO), Deserter's Songs or The Soft Bulletin. It should still go down as one of the best releases of 2010 though.
Gone for Good is released on September 6 through One Little Indian.
My Jerusalem - Sweet Chariot by One Little Indian Records