Cass McCombs – Catacombs
Acquired: Christmas Gift, New, 2009
I never went ga-ga over this record like everyone else last year, but I really, REALLY wanted to. So I asked for this for Christmas and I figure, if I listen to this once a day for a week and keep a copy in my car, I can be loving it within a week. All the elements are there: This is music that I like. Deftly crafted, singer-songwriter indie-folk-whatever, it appeals to me on multiple levels. When Jenny and I first started dating, I put “Dreams-Come-True Girl” and “You Saved My Life” on a mix for her and a year later, I would still put those songs on a mix for her and they would mean the same thing. It's the timelessness that does it, really. “You're not my dream girl/ You're not my reality girl/ You my dreams-come-true girl.” It takes the piss out of cliched sentiments and portrays them as something real and just plain honest. I wanted to own this record, and I'm glad I own this record, because this is one I'm going to be able to put on fifteen or twenty years from now and it's going to sound like lisetning to Harvest or After the Goldrush now. It's going to sound really, really good. Little pieces of this album kill me, and they sneak up on me. There's something about the vinyl that makes this hit in a way the mp3s didn't. Later album tracks that I never paid too much attention to like “Lionkiller Got Married” and “Eavesdropping on the Competition” are hitting me right in the guts this morning. Maybe I just needed to listen to this one before noon, it's perfectly suited for my coffee-and-sitting-on-the-couch-and-chilling-with-the-dog time I usually have when I don't work in the morning and Jenny's at work. There's a little Leonard Cohen at work here, a little Elliott Smith (see “Jonesy Boy”) and as well as the aforementioned Neil Young (a lot of it in the guitars, see, again, “Jonesy Boy”). It's a pretty fantastic record that I need ot spend more time with, but it's pretty clear that this is a great one.