Jesse Jarnow

from the archives: the mountain goats’ tallahassee

From Relix, April/May 2003:

The Mountain Goats
Tallahassee
(4AD)

With lyrics that scan like terse prose, The Mountain Goats’ Tallahassee paints a disintegrating marriage of an “alpha couple” in suburban Florida with sympathetic, literate strokes. Achieving a rare mopeless melancholy, John Darnielle’s songs are rendered with a subtly glorious production: a tapped cymbal here, a wash of static there. If concept albums tend to reach for the bombastic arcs of opera for their inspiration, then Tallahassee finds its forebears in the understated drama of Raymond Carver and John Cheever’s short fiction. Darnielle’s couple could be anybody anywhere, but they’re in Florida, in the lush air, and there’s no mistaking anything about them.

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