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Owen | No Good for No One Now | review | alterntive | rock | Lollipop
No Good for No One Now (Polyvinyl)
by Tim Den
Multi-instrumentalist/songwriter supreme Mike Kinsella is back with his second Owen disc, again writing, peforming, recording, and producing everything himself. No Good For No One Now doesn't veer too far from the self-titled debut, but that's not a bad thing. The songs are immediate, the tempo schizophrenia always delicious, and the ballet of guitar-playing still infecting every corner of Kinsella's down-trodden folk. It's the best of alt-country, indie (math) rock, bedroom four-tracker, folk, and punk rock do-it-yourself ethics.
So why am I slightly irked whenever I put this on? The lyrics. For the first time, Kinsella has purposely written heavy-handed, unapologetically self-referential lyrics that leave no room for interpretation or relating. Songs about trying to pick up women at bars and missing an ex-lover are packed with so much stream-of-consciousness that one begins to wonder if these words were written by bored a high school kid during study hall.
But leave it to Kinsella to make it all worth it with a single song: "Everyone Feels Like You." A lullaby so painfully fragile, it actually packs strength 1000 times its weight in gorgeous arrangements and lines such as "If you're not sure who you are, you're not alone/if you're not sure what you want, you're not alone/if you're not sure in life of love, you're not alone." With impeccable timing, phrasing, and melody placement, this song makes the album.
(PO Box 7140 Champaign, IL 61826)