Monday, April 13, 2009

the thermals: now we can see

The Thermals’ fourth album, Now We Can See is full of cheerful and catchy melodies; however, if one really paid attention to the lyrics, they reveal something that is quite the opposite. The opener, "When I Died", is a song about someone who is sick of life and everything around him; thus, he decides to drown himself in the sea. Lines like “Nature sure took her sweet time/I was already losing my spine” and “I was sick with horror/When my curtain fell/It’s the end of the story/I was certain to tell...” are chilling! "We Were Sick" is another ultra catchy tone polished with negativities—“Fed on the dirt/Laid on the land/Never gave a day away/Never gave a damn...”—it is an attack on mankind's carelessness and selfishness.

On the contrary, there is a slight sense of optimism in the anthem like title track. This is a song about evolution and the hope for progress in the wake of false promises and mistakes. Similarly, "When We Were Alive" celebrates our pasts in that somewhat optimist tone as well... and it is the loudest and fastest song on the album as well!

For me, "When I Was Afraid" and "Liquid In, Liquid Out" are somewhat interconnected. The former is about missed opportunities as a result of constantly holding back and being too cautionary (“Falling away/Out into space/Losing all my breath when I was afraid”) while the latter speaks about the repetition and dullness of life (Liquid in, liquid out/It’s what my life was all about/It’s what my life was all about/It was all about.”)

Certainly, there are plenty of gloomy lyrics in Now We Can See; however, it is also full of joyous and exceedingly poppy melodies that surely drown out the negativities surrounding the album. Until I heard the new Horrors album about two weeks ago, The Thermals’ Now We Can See was my favourite album of the year... I mean, how can you go wrong with an album that sounds like the best of Guided By Voices!

Ps, Now We Can See sounds sick on vinyl!

When I Died [wicked-cool song]
Now We Can See [wicked-cool song]
Liquid In, Liquid Out [wicked-cool song]

visit The Thermals' MySpace here
buy Now We Can See here

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i think TBTBTM is a better album.