Skip to main content



Featured Post

Game Of Thrones Season 8 - End Game With Sinhala Subtitles

Mobile Ads





Pedro the Lion - Phoenix Music Album Reviews

Assuming his old handle for the first time in 15 years, David Bazan digs into his desert childhood to make amends with the people he hurt—especially himself.

David Bazan has a rich history of self-sabotage. As the last century slid into this one, Bazan’s recording project, Pedro the Lion, seemed of a piece with an indie rock tide drifting toward crossover success. Over songs that flirted with emo and slowcore and flitted between acoustic lamentation and electrified frustration, he asked hard questions of religion, love, industry, and economy, snarling in a burly monotone. Still, it was catchy enough to be a close cousin of several ascendant Pacific Northwestern peers, and, as George W. Bush entered the White House, Bazan’s concerns about Christianity’s place within supposedly progressive spheres were painfully relevant. Pedro the Lion felt forever on the verge of a real breakthrough.

Then, in 2005, Bazan scrapped Pedro the Lion to spend the next 14 years releasing records under his own name. Former bandmates rose to fame with the likes of Death Cab for Cutie, Fleet Foxes, and the Shins, but he pressed ahead alone, the sour traces of those early songs curdling into words that could feel like blame games. On Pedro the Lion’s presciently titled farewell, Achilles Heel, he lampooned the careerism of “bands with managers [who] are going places.” By and large, even as those solo records hinged on some of his sharpest writing, he wasn’t.

Bazan has finally taken up the Pedro the Lion handle again, drafting a new rhythm section to play parts he wrote for another rock trio record, Phoenix. The revival began when he spent the night at his grandparents’ home in Arizona during a particularly despondent stretch of solo touring along lonely desert roads. Realizing that, almost 30 years since leaving Phoenix, he still toted around unpacked baggage from that period of his childhood, he decided Pedro the Lion was the platform for addressing those hang-ups. He was right.

These 13 new songs at least scan like the old ones—a few distorted chords and some hard truths, barbed lines suspended between a baritone mumble and a broken tenor. But on Phoenix, Bazan turns the mirror on himself in ways he never has, scouring a childhood spent in the Sonoran desert for a real understanding of his deepest flaws and most fundamental beliefs.

“Quietest Friend” reflects on an important relationship he betrayed in a momentary bid for acceptance by his school’s coolest kids. He sings this very late confession through a scrim of shame, asking for an apology but understanding he may not deserve it. In perhaps the most empathetic song of his career, he at least wants to acknowledge his adolescent impulse, how it hurt someone else, and how he can get better from here. “We could write me some reminders/I’d memorize them,” he pleas in the climb to the coda. “I could put them on a record about my hometown/Sitting here with pen and paper/I’m listening now.”

From end to end, he exposes old memories to new light, turning them around and around to understand how they built or corroded his core. During “Black Canyon,” he considers a family fable about his paramedic uncle arriving at the scene of a gruesome suicide and the surreal episode that followed. In retrospect, it’s a testament to the fact that life can hurt, whether you’re trying to kill yourself by stepping into traffic or simply existing in a world that doesn’t welcome your type. You can imagine Bazan recalling the story and, decades later, swallowing his own problems, denying himself pity.

In “Circle K” and “Model Homes,” he considers the origins of a lifetime spent believing he’s never had enough, whether lamenting his parents’ haggard house or wasting his savings on the fleeting luxury of convenience-store candy. He first spots that restlessness—that sense of self-sabotage that saw him scrap a great band 15 years ago—the day he got a bike for Christmas and headed anywhere but home. Bazan even pins his perennial complications with Christianity on himself, at least in part. He allowed others to set the parameters for his ethics and enjoyment, he announces during “Powerful Taboo,” following instructions instead of his own instincts.

Bazan sings better than he ever has on Phoenix, his voice round and worn with intricacy from years of use, like a hiking stick toted in the same hand for a thousand miles. During “Tracing the Grid,” where he revisits his childhood haunts and highways, he leavens the memories with sweetness and warmth. When he recounts Sundays spent asking his parents go to the open houses of “Model Homes,” his voice cracks with the perfect echo of pubescence and curls with the desire of a hopeful plea. But, Bazan excepted, this is an entirely new version of Pedro the Lion, and the trio mostly steps on and off the accelerator of elemental indie rock, until these 44 minutes merge into an extended smear. Between Pedro the Lion albums, Bazan flirted with synths, drum machines, hypnotic drones, and acoustic drift. Rather than fold those excursions into this return, he steps back into a familiar pattern, looking over his shoulder musically just as he does lyrically.

Phoenix makes an easy mark for cynicism, supported by the idea that Bazan is either succumbing to nostalgia or cashing in as best he can as the world spins away from this brand of embittered, androgenic indie rock. But, much like Greta Gerwig’s 2017 film Lady Bird, these songs are a corrective to nostalgia, or of longing for a rose-colored history that never actually happened. In reckoning with who he was and who he has become, Bazan is squaring off with the past and asking hard questions of it and himself.

If that reads as sheer self-absorption in an era of terrifying international turmoil, fair enough. But after two decades of blaming God, capitalism, family, friends, and the hoi polloi for his vexation and bluster, Bazan now understands he must confront his own issues before he can help take on the world’s. Phoenix unfolds like an invitation for you to do the same. “Clean up, and we all might get there together,” he sings in a contagious chorus that transmutes domestic duties into a survivalist mantra for this harsh world. Sure, maybe that’s wishful thinking, but at least it’s a restart.

View the original article here



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular posts from this blog

Game Of Thrones Season 8 - End Game With Sinhala Subtitles

10in Google Home Hub Release Date & Spec Rumours: Nest Hub Max Spotted

Google introduced its 7in Home Hub just as Amazon updated its Echo Show to a 10in design, but the big G could be working on a larger smart display. Here's what we know about the 10in Google Home Hub, aka Nest Hub Max.
We couldn't help feeling sorry for Google back in October 2018 when it finally unveiled its long anticipated smart display - just as Amazon took the wraps off its second-gen Echo Show, now with a larger 10in screen.

Salted Caramel Pistachio-Apricot Baklava

This sweet dessert pastry is made with thin, flaky, buttery layers of phyllo dough and filled with sweet apricots, lightly salted pistachio nuts, and a bit of brown sugar. An apricot caramel sauce is drizzled over the cooled baklava and the entire dessert is sprinkled with coarse salt, providing a sweet and salty bang with each bite.

Microsoft No More Interested In Recommending Usage Of Internet Explorer

The Internet Explorer brand has been cracked down by software giant Microsoft about four years back while choosing Edge as its modern browser for Windows 10. The Internet Explorer has served for several years for Windows and for business compatibility but Microsoft is no more supporting it with the new web standards.

2019 Tesla Model S Review

Handsome, elegant exterior designSupercar-shaming accelerationGood ride comfortEase of the Supercharger networkUpdates keep making car betterDISLIKES
Not quite a luxury car insideTight rear-seat entry/exitContinual updates keep changing featuresFussy doorsSix-figure price tag for most desirable versionsBUYING TIP
The low-price Model S is gone. If it must be a Tesla and you don’t need all-wheel drive or don’t have six figures, consider a Model 3.Though the Model 3 is all the rage, the larger 2019 Tesla Model S remains a stunning achievement and design trendsetter, albeit somewhat dated in the details.
The Tesla Model S wasn’t the first model from the California electric carmaker, but it’s the one that put Tesla on the trajectory as an innovator. It was unprecedented in many ways and has already earned a place in history books—the fastest volume-production plug-in car; the longest-range electric car; and the first production car built on a platform that provides over-the-air updates.

Like Fan Page