album review: searchlight by only son

so, i’ve finally got a chance to listen to only son’s newest album searchlight. i really dig how, when listened to, it doesn’t feel like the same song over and over again, just with new lyrics. each song has a very distinctive feel to it, like they’re separate people whispering their stories to you.

jack dishel, the man behind only son, has a way with lyrics – he doesn’t treat his listeners like they’re idiots and spell everything out for them. you have listen and think about what he means, and i like that.

some highlights:

* searchlight – has a totally psychedelic feel to it. a quirky guitar line plus a relentless tambourine makes a very groovy song: something here don’t seem right/trouble around me/trouble around me/sun feels like a searchlight/trouble around me/trouble around me

* the same two places – seriously makes me think of venice beach, although i can’t give you an exact reason why. it just has that sort of feel to it, you know? sunniness hiding disillusionment: you were falling out of love with the world/going back and forth/between the same two places/and is it all a waste of time?/you can’t decide/and is it only in your mind?/you can’t decide

* call them brothers (featuring regina spektor) – a look at growing up and moving on without taking the time to look back. spektor’s backing vocals lend a sweet edge, like sugar hiding the bitterness of medicine. over and over they call us their friends/can’t we find something else to pretend/like nobody won/that we’re safe at the end

* you stayed at home – more subdued and folky than the rest of the album, this one’s introspection makes its listener take pause. drowning in your history/scared of what you want to be/the future is a mystery/the punchline is infinity/forever out in front of me

* falling behind in the game – probably my favorite off the album. rising and falling and pushing forward with hints of an anthemic past (yes, i made that word up, and i’m sticking by it), this song studies what it feels like when things spin out of control. mostly i’m fighting/invisible things/the enemy general/pulling the enemy strings/i’m just a house/i’m just a cow/swirling around/in this tornado. and, at the very end: my late great youth/wash over me/the late great truth/wash over me

here’s the lead song off of searchlight:

(mp3) magic by only son

read my interview with only son’s jack dishel HERE. watch the video for it’s a boy HERE. buy searchlight at only son’s bandcamp site, and get a bonus song – go HERE to do so.

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