From all the reviews I've read, I feel like I'm the only person that feels this way, but even though the harmonies and musicianship are still as technically proficient as their self-titled, I just don't like these songs as much. For me, this album didn't have a "White Winter Hymnal" or "Blue Ridge Mountains" that stuck with me long after it was over. It's well-crafted for sure, but sadly forgettable, at least for me.
i had a very personal reaction to their Self-Titled
album. It signified a lot of what I thought I wanted in this world (freedom, a place to sprawl out, the thought that just because we live in a city doens't mean we have to live
in one). But now, as I moved from a medium sized city to a large one, I too have been able to grasp onto this album. The fight between where we are and where we so desperately want to be, coupled with the fact that maybe where we want to be is now an impossible dream. And I think how they are juxtaposing that sort of very real, very harsh realities of being a band in the year 2011, with some extremely out-of-time songs ("Grown Ocean" and "Helplessness Blues" and "Montezuma" come to mind), is just a testament to how well this band knows themselves and what they want to be. And I guess, being reminded that all you can really take care of is yourself has been a nice way for me to latch onto this record, even if there is no "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" or "Ragged Wood."