Mike Tyson once said, “Everybody’s got a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth”. That’s how I feel about the new Arliss Nancy album “Greater Divides” which was released this past week. I turned it up and pressed play in my car during the 15 minute commute home from work and by the time I pulled into the driveway I was spitting out my teeth and bleeding from the lip in the best way possible.
The album opens with “Alluvial”, which to me feels like Springsteen at his angriest once upon a time. The songwriting and arrangement is spectacular here and I’d pay a kings ransom to see the boys attack this track in a small club.
I always look at albums like baseball lineups and there couldn’t be a better number 2 hitter in the lineup than “Don’t You Forget It”. Any guy who’s been played like Playstation while all his friends watched with all-knowing disapproval will feel this track resonate through their bones. “Listen to me once, listen to me twice, I can leave you faster than a Saturday night, Don’t You Forget it”- I would like to forget the amount of times I felt that way or said something similar to a girl who couldn’t care less.
The third song, “Dufresne” had me pulling back the tape to let the track wash over me again and again. There’s a special combination here of the lyrics and the way they are delivered. “Are we old enough to give in? We can call it off”. I think a lot of times songwriters try to reach for clever depth when it’s not needed. There’s none of that here.
The album continues to deliver and kill from there. The tracks “Finches” and “Bar of the Century” are pure awesomeness but the last track “Momentum” is legendary. I often judge albums on the last song. Having written a few albums in my day I feel like you’re always worried to put a song this strong very late on an album. I like to think the guys knew “Greater Divides” was so good that people would find this pot of gold at the end of their gray tinted rainbow.
“I wish I could say that it wasn’t my fault. I got a little too good at being gone singing former lover’s songs.”- Momentum
I’m pretty new here at Ninebullets so I should probably ask Romeo Sid Vicious if I can call something Essential Listening. Then again, I didn’t ask Julie Flanagan’s Dad for permission when I took her behind the school at the 8th grade dance and that worked out pretty well for me. So file this under Mike McTigue’s Essential Listening.
Also, with my last review I recommended my alcohol/tobacco pairing. For Greater Divides it feels like a thousand Miller Lites in a shitty car with the radio loud and two decks of Marlboro Mediums. If you’re too cool for Miller Lite I’ll let you drink your micro brew in the trunk while Julie Flanagan rides shotgun.