Silver Jews – Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea

"Silver Jews are masters of catchy, self-depreciating music. It seems that the band are aware of this (how couldn’t they be?) and try to take advantage in promoting a dialogue with their listeners; personified in the little pull out that tells each fan how to play the songs on this LP. "


Silver Jews – Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea


http://www.munichrecords.com/ http://www.silverjews.net/


 


LP of the month? It’s hard to argue against it, if only for the magnificent lyrics and the peculiar empathy that David Berman’s songs always exude. Silver Jews are masters of catchy, self-depreciating music. It seems that the band are aware of this (how couldn’t they be?) and try to take advantage in promoting a dialogue with their listeners; personified in the little pull out that tells each fan how to play the songs on this LP. And to be honest you’d be hard pressed not to try playing along after a few listens of Lookout…


 


As usual the songs are idiosyncratic stories which have a knack (via some astonishingly imaginative turns of phrase) to stick in your head. San Fransisco BC’s tale of a fractious relationship is a classic example. Beat this; “Romance is the douche of the bourgeoisie/We had sarcastic hair./We used rude pseudonyms”. Or this brilliant verse from My Pillow; “Because the pillow that I dream on is the threshold of a kingdom/is the threshold of a world where I’m with you./It’s a dark and snowy secret, and it has to do with heaven/and what looks like sleep is really hot pursuit”. Marvellous. Sonically it’s pretty standard; a Velvets groove is employed here and there, (Party Barge) and some winsome backing vocals help out at times (Open Field). Apart from that it’s classic bar band stuff, which suits Berman’s muse no end.  


 


All this and a great “illustrated lyrics” booklet too. Highly recommended.


 


Words: Richard Foster