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Good Life - Help Wanted Nights

  by Mark Rowland

published: 10 / 12 / 2007



Good Life - Help Wanted Nights
Label: Saddle Creek
Format: CD

intro

Surprisingly hopeful fourth album from Nebraskan alt.country/indie group the Good Life, which is the soundtrack to an unfilmed screenplay of the same name that its frontman Tim Kasher has written.


While the Good Life's previous album, the critically acclaimed 'Album of the Year', wallowed in the drunken depression of a recent break-up, on 'Help Wanted Nights' things seem to be looking up. It's hardly the Beach Boys, but there is a distinct dollop of hope in the songs this time around. Yes, times have been hard, but it looks like things are going to work themselves out. This change could be a direct result of the screenplay of the same name that frontman Tim Kasher has written. The songs on 'Help Wanted Nights' were written as a soundtrack to the screenplay, which has been described by Kasher as: "Roughly a week in a bar in a small town where a stranger's car breaks down...so, he fraternizes with the regulars, getting too wrapped up in their sordid lives. Something like that." Strangely, considering the story based nature of the material that inspired it, the songs are less narrative driven than previous albums, with Kasher prefering to talk directly to one of his characters. His keen sense of humour, while present on previous albums, is brought further to the fore on the album, particularly on the most upbeat song on the album, 'Heartbroke', a great indie-pop song that says just enough, but is so infectious that you wish it went on a bit longer, driven by a muted guitar line that could have been nicked from an early Police song. The album is more stripped down than its predecessors, and is perhaps a bit more alt-country than it is indie. Opener 'On the Picket Fence' certainly is, with its gently plucked acoustic guitar and minimal arrangement. It's followed by 'A Little Bit More', which ups the rock but still maintains the album's slow pace. 'Your Share of Men' would fit comfortably on 'Album of the Year', as does 'Some Tragedy'. 'Playing Dumb' is an upbeat folk rock song, while 'Keely Aimee' could be a Shins or Rilo Kiley track. The atmospheric slide guitar on 'So Let Go' would sit well in a film, strongly conveying an emotion (reflective, slightly melancholy) without pushing forward heavy imagery of its own. Ten-minute closer 'Rest Your Head' slowly builds to a crescendo before rumbling to a steady halt, the final instrumental minutes giving a good indication of the score of Kasher's film if it ever gets made.



Track Listing:-
1 On The Picket Fence
2 A Little Bit More
3 Heartbroke
4 Your Share Of Men
5 You Don't Feel Like Home To Me
6 Keely Aimee
7 Playing Dumb
8 Some Tragedy
9 So Let Go
10 Rest Your Head


Label Links:-
http://saddle-creek.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SaddleCreekRecords
http://www.last.fm/label/Saddle+Creek
https://www.youtube.com/user/SaddleCreekRecords
https://twitter.com/saddlecreek



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Album Of The Year (2004)
Sarcastically engaging guitar pop from latest Saddle Creek signing the Good Life, which includes in its line-up the frontman with Cursive, Tim Kasher


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