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The Good Life | Novena On A Nocturn (Better Looking)
Nebraska, somewhere in middle America, continues to make its mark on the US music scene. This time it's the turn of Tim Kasher to show it's not plain as day there with his debut album under the name of one of Britain's best loved sit-coms. It opens with A Dim Entrance and has his best David Sylvian voice, alone and pleading for you to send him to bed until the band strikes up and wraps him in melody. With members of Lullaby For The Working Class, Cursive and Bright Eyes backing him, you know roughly where this is headed, straight into the bleak world where singers break their guitars, lovers leave and loneliness is as certain as the winter snow. It may not have the angst of Bright Eyes, but it is no less powerful, nor has it Lullaby's deft instrumentation, but it doesn't want for lushness, finding its own feet to stand on and face the open plains, snarling at the howling winds and defiantly shaking a fist at the never-ending sky. Coming full circle, A Golden Exit ends the album, answering his opening plea by finishing with "must we always wait for sleep?" Wake up and smell the coffee, there's something brewing in the heartland and it's the heart that matters.

Laurence Arnold
CWAS #7 - Spring 2001