Wednesday, June 4, 2008

All My Friends Are Still Dead

The thing about titling an album "All My Friends Are Dead" is the timelessness of it: a few weeks after you finish production of the album and release it, all your friends are still dead. A few weeks after you, the listener, buy the record, all the performer's friends are still dead. There's a throat-clutching finality and all-consuming starkness to "All My Friends Are Dead" that a title like, oh, "Rubber Soul" or "1984" or "Moving Pictures" or "Rumours" can't even approximate.

Even if the performer makes new friends as he tours in support of "All My Friends Are Dead" -- and really, this can't be easy, given the usual limitations of life on the road combined with the awful and well-publicized track record of what happened to his previous friends -- it remains the case that, as of a significant snapshot in time, all his friends were dead. You can get new friends, but the old friends are still dead; all those dead friends can never really be replaced.

I don't know about you, but listening to the music on this album is the very last thing I want to do. It can't possibly live up to the aesthetic and philosophical promise of the title and cover art.

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