Iron and Wine – The Sea and the Rhythm

Ah, unemployment! The excitement and the glamour! The daily routine of exercise, applications, guitar practice, and feeling useless! The sinking feeling when a job posted two days ago is taken down, likely because of nepotism! The nagging feeling that your girlfriend is going to leave you because she’s starting to think you’re a loser and the solemn sensation that she’s right!
You know what’s awful about looking for work? Many things, but here are but two: 1. It’s not cumulative. I practice guar. I’m shitty, but every time I practice I become slightly less shitty. A month ago I could play songs with basic chords at 50 beats per minute. Now I can play them at 60 beats per minute. There’s no similar measurable progress in finding work. I spent three hours applying for a job on Tuesday. Thursday I checked the listing and it was already down, which means they found someone internal or through nepotism. What did I get for my three Tuesday hours? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! I would have gained more life experience from reading about snakes for those three hours! I’ve been out of work for just over a month, and I’m nowhere closer to having a job than I was the first Monday I woke as an unemployed person. And 2. The ease in wasting a day. I was tired today, and I had an appointment with a psychiatrist (another fun rant waiting for that one). So I got up, after not much sleep, and went to my appointment, which ran over time , then came home and napped. Then I ate lunch, went to the gym, and did the shopping for the weekend. Then I napped again. And now it’s almost 7:00! It’s time to cook dinner from my gf and I, and I haven’t even practiced guitar or applied for a job like I’m supposed to do every day at least once! And it’s not I feel like I did nothing today – I performed just about to the best of my abilities as a really tired dude. But when I was working, I’d just push through it, and at the end of the day I’d have roughly $100 more than I did at the start.
And C) This Iron and Wine release is comprised entirely of songs previously released on harder to find records. Not that it’s bad, in fact it’s the best way to find high quality versions of these five lightly composed, lovely, but simple songs, but come on, at least throw in a Metallica cover or two for the amateur reviewer who downloaded all your bootlegs.
Here’s what I said about these songs, in order: There’s also a forgettable track called “Someday the Waves” that never makes an impression on me. Seconder “Jesus the Mexican Boy” is a five minute reflection of a very nice guy named Jesus even though he isn’t Christ. The point of humanity needing to be good regardless of deity is well taken, but it also lacks a good musical hook, and while the way Beam says the song’s title is memorable, it bothers me that he pronounces it “Jesus” instead of like “Hay-Zooss.” Get it right, you racist! Ditto for The Sea and the Rhythm’s “The Night Descending.” (Note: this doesn’t make sense in context – “The Night Descending” is the best on here, with dat neat descending guitar line) Opener “The Sea and the Rhythm” (great name for an EP there!) is six minutes (editor’s notice: now five minutes!) of lovely but ehhhh metaphors for sex as making sweet poetic love on a beach and doesn’t go much of anywhere musically. But neither do most Iron and Wine songs, right? Maybe this is great for new couples, I don’t know. I’m more into fucking, but that’s just me.
I also described “Beneath the Balcony” as “not all that,” which I stand by. Though there is a surprisingly frantic banjo in the mix which you might like, provided that’s what you’re into.

Okay, I’m done reviewing now. Can I have a job, Pitchfork?

6 / 10

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