Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Crushed aspirin and jelly

Play it: Jon Auer Songs From the Year of Our Demise

In the midst of yesterdays' post-Memorial Day new music drop, the long awaited solo album from Posies co-founder Jon Auer made it's way into the Rhapsody catalogue. As the title suggests, Songs From the Year of Our Demise isn't look at how grand life is, and the opening track "Six Feet Under" ushers you into the tomb with a velvet leash. Just like when my mom used to crush aspirin and mix it with jelly to get it down my throat, Auer's sweet melodies act as a cover for the bitter taste of subjects like alcoholism ("Bottom of the Bottle", strained parent-child relationships ("You Used to Drive Me Around,") and failed romances ("Four Letter Word".)

Earlier this month, Auer played a smallish show at the Sunset Tavern, working out the kinks in a live solo setting. Auer played without accompaniment, giving the songs even less 'jelly' to hide the bitterness of the lyrics, and his unadorned voice occasionally seemed to call upon memories of past events. Auer has commented on the process of the album being "a soundtrack to the end of an extremely turbulent era" for him, which is a concept near and dear to this blogger's heart (or, for a better location, guts.) The excellent ballad "Wicked World" demonstrates this - when even the sentiment of "you're all I want..." needs the qualifier " this wicked world," allowing Auer to walk that perilous lyrical tightrope without falling into the sappy MOR sententality.

On a song-by-song basis, it's an surprisingly great feat of songwriting, complete with Auer's usual sparkling fretwork, and even has him playing (with few exceptions) every thing on the release. As an album, however, my minor complaints would have to do with length (15 songs is a bit long) and the sameness of much of the pacing. Aside from those minor nitpicks, it's a welcome release that hopefully signals more to come from a solo Jon Auer (and perhaps more contributions from MJAPA ["Song Noir"]?)

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drake leLane said...

Jon Auer Songs From the Year of Our Demise

1. Six Feet Under
2. Bottom Of The Bottle
3. The Likes Of You
4. Four Letter Word
5. Angelita
6. You Used To Drive Me Around
7. Song Noir
8. Daytime Lullaby
9. Josephine
10. Cemetery Song
11. My Sweet Unknown
12. Adios
13. Sundown
14. Wicked World
15. The Year Of Our Demise

MJAPA said...

Aw look at yuo giving Song Noir a shout out! ;-) This is great I will send a link to Jon.