Thursday, June 19, 2008

Album Review - Silver Jews

Silver Jews – Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
[Drag City; 17/06/2008]

David Berman has always smashed boundaries in the aesthetic of your run-of-the-mill song-writer. Always in close company with the likes of Stephen Malkmus, the influences of the Pavement main main has always rubbed off on Berman, who has never called the proverbial spade a spade lyrically or musically.

Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea is a Silver Jews album that many can relax and enjoy, posing as the most straight-forward of albums that Berman has penned since this project kicked started in the late '90s.

'What Is Not But Could Be If 'sounds like Johnny Cash's bastard son knocking out the land-locked blues. 'Suffering Jukebox' is a striking to-and-fro between Berman and his wife, Cassie, who adds a country twirl to the ditty. 'Strange Victory', 'Open Field' and 'Party Barge' are all in-you-face indie country numbers that are arguably the most accessible Berman has ever written.

Although the core base of Silver Jews' listeners maybe put off by the accessibility Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea portrays, in truth this was an avenue that Berman was always capable of enduring upon. Now that he's actually taken this step, it may catch people a little off-guard. Rather than bending the listener's mind with ambiguity and instrumentation that's hard to pierce, his unearthed an album that one can indulge in with very little effort and for this it's just an extra string to bow of David Berman.

By Simon K

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