this week for the weekly review, i’ve been recommended the self-titled 1999 debut record by American Football. let’s check it out!

alright this self-titled release kicks off with Never Meant. the guitar work on this track is fantastic, i really dig it. something about the vocal delivery is not doing much for me – its interesting, and it layers in with the rest of the song fairly well, but i have a hard time connecting with it. lyrically, it’s got some stuff here i like, yeah. Summer Ends is a nice, quiet, tender track. love a mournful trumpet. again, lyrics here are nice and tell a sad but interesting story but the package comes together as something i’m not crazy interested in. there was a little of the call and response echo in Never meant, but i really like the way it’s used in Honestly? – in the second verse the echoed voice interjects a different line over the course of a few lines, and its a really neat effect. For Sure is neat – it’s roughly at this point that the last couple tracks feel more connected, more continuous. i also like the shorter lyric writing on display here – a very minimalist approach that amplifies the effect of the words that are there (and an interesting contrast to Never Meant). You Know I Should Be Leaving is instrumental, a bit of an anchor here in the middle of the record, tho the title continues the little narrative its been building in my head. But the Regrets Are Killing Me is a very pleasant listen. I’ll See You When We’re Not So Emotional is aight as well. loving some of the instrumental work on this one. Stay Home is almost a quarter of the runtime by itself, and it spends a lot of that time on small loops are variants of that core little riff. the lyrical component of the song is a lil too repetitive for me, personally. The One With the Wurlizter sure has a Wurlizter in it, huh. honestly a nice outro to the record.

faves –
dislikes –

alrighty, so, i’ll say that the above was me listening to the record a few times, checking out the lyrics, and digesting as i went. after writing that, i went and checked out the album’s wikipedia page, partially to see if i had missed something big and partially because that implied narrative thread still had me thinking.

and it’s extremely funny to me to find out this record interested folks in technical ways that went right over my head! also the things that the band has said about the lyrics/vocals is extremely funny, especially given my feelings about them (“I finished writing some sort of lyrics and melodies to the songs and just screeched them out.“). wikipedia claims the lyrics came from a notebook that hadnt been related to the project until they went to record – and honestly thats as good an explanation for the cohesiveness of theme as any.

musically, i found this really neat. and thats about all i feel capable of saying, haha. a lot of the more technical details flew right by me. i thought it was a pleasant listen, but i didnt love it.

and i think thats actually a proper summation of my feelings. the record tells an interesting story of a dysfunctional relationship’s day, and the music is p neat, but i just didnt connect with this one.

American Football – 4/10

the winner of this week’s suggestion pool is gonna keep us in 1999 with Anathema’s Judgment. i’ll be back next Friday, June 10th for a review, and in the meantime, let me know what album you’d like me to review! (i pool all suggestions in one place, and draw a person, then a pick from that person, so feel free to drop as many as you’d like! if you leave an email or username i’ll contact you when i’ve gotten through all your suggestions.)