- A folky, finger-picky duo, with songs full of old-timey goodness. All these songs are from their first album.
- Ohh La La - Their most adventerous song, and by far their best. Good lyrics and neat instrumentation the whole way through. It's almost too bad that this was a minor (really minor) radio hit, because it's so hard to live up to.
- There's a Girl - More of a straight forward folk-rocker. Pretty to listen to.
- Wishful Thinking - A whimsical song, reminiscent of "Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon" or "Seaside Rendezvous" by Queen, at least in spirit. "Why can't little kids tie their shoes? / And why can't the white people play the blues? / And why can't I fall in love you? / It must be because of the seasons"
- He writes lyrics that are poetry and trusts his melodies to carry a tune, and not have instruments carry the melodies. He's an underappreciated treasure. It has been said that if all you hear is a sad man singing alone and you don't like it, that's all you'll ever hear, because that's all there is. I hear layers of lonliness, attempts at redemption, solitude, intelligence and beauty. Some people just hear whining.
The Mountain Goats
- Bird on a Wire - "Like a drunk in a midnight choir / I have tried, in my way, to be free"
- Master Song - "Then he touches your lips, now so suddenly bare / of all the kisses we'd put on sometime before"
- One of Us Cannot be Wrong - "I showed my heart to the doctor / He said I'd just have to quit / Then he wrote himself a prescription / And your name was mentioned on it"
- So Long, Marianne - "Well you know that I love to live with you / but you make me forget so very much / I forget to pray for the angels / and then the angels to forget to pray for us"
- Suzanne - "And you know that she's half crazy / but that's why you want to be there"
- The Stranger Song - "It's hard to hold the hand of anyone / Who's reaching to the sky just to surrender / Who is reaching for the sky just to surrender / And then sweeping up the jokers that he left behind / you find that he did not leave you very much / Not even laughter."
- This band might be a little odd at first listen. Stick with them, the songs are full of good lyrics and some interesting melodies.
The Be Good Tanyas
- First Few Desperate Hours - "And the sun peaks in / Like a killer through the curtain"
- Palcorder Yajna - Other than John Darnielle's vocals and lyrics, this is a pretty normal song. Luckily the vocals make for something special. And strange.
- Southwood Plantation Road - "Our conversations are like minefields / No one's found a safe way through one yet"
- Your Belgian Things - This song is just beautiful. "My camera groans beneath the weight it bears"
- I'm not certain whether they ought to be properly placed here or under the Americana heading, but they sure make a sweet sound. I've only gotten into them since mid-March, so my knowledge of their catalouge is cursory, hence all the covers.
- For the Turnstiles - I know some people don't like Neil Young, and I know his voice can be a large reason why. Luckily, The Be Good Tanyas have far superior voices and they do a great job with this song.
- House of the Rising Sun - This cover doesn't have the power of the Animals' version, but it is a cool, subdued interpretation.
- When Doves Cry - If Prince sounded this good during the Super Bowl this year, well, I might be a Prince fan. Like the For the Turnstiles cover, I love the finger picking on the guitar.