Mike Atkinson

The Mountain Goats – Get Lonely

Posted in album reviews, Nottingham Post by Mike A on August 23, 2006

Over his last two albums, John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats has dealt with some fairly harrowing autobiographical themes: teenage drug addiction, and his relationship with an abusive stepfather. Now, with his tenth release, Darnielle adopts the equally harrowing voice of an abandoned, heartbroken lover, teetering on the brink of madness. The result is quite possibly the bleakest “break-up” album ever made.

Over a series of understated, deceptively gentle, largely acoustic arrangements, Darnielle’s high, cracked voice relates a series of scenes which see his protagonist lurching from bad to worse, in a kind of numbed-out, post-traumatic daze. In “Wild Sage”, he stumbles along the roadside, before falling over and lying there, bloodied and immobile. At other times, he simply wanders around his home, displaced and desperate, not knowing what to do next. By the album’s closing track, “In Corolla”, his despair has reached its ultimate, tragic conclusion.

Although these twelve songs certainly exert a grim fascination, it is difficult to imagine anyone actually playing this album for pleasure. In particular, if you’re looking for music to help you through your own break-up, then you are strongly urged to stay away.

***

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