Shh...This is a Library - Shh...This is a Library Released March 27th, 2007
I Had An Accident Records
You awake. A nuisance ray of sunlight slides through the blinds that you thought you had closed last night. Cursing yourself for forgetting, you succumb to the traffic slowly filtering into your thought que. Pent up from twelve hours of sleep, there’s a lot of ideas, miscellany, non sequiturs, and various recollections of dreams you may or may not have dreamt floating around in your head. You allow your imagination space as you turn over to rest your eyes just a little bit more. Planning on being awaken just a few minutes later by another piece of sunlight that annoyingly finds itself slipping under your eyelids, you fall asleep once more into a purgatory-like slumber. With expectations of awaking any minute yet still buckling to the perpetual need for rest, you find yourself in a recognizable state of mind. This is a static wonderland, a tirade of unsung melodies and lovelorn memories, a silent sea fraught with reflections of the ocean of stars above. This is Shh...This is a Library.
“I Noticed None of the Clocks in Your House Are Set” is the moment between waking up and pushing yourself to get out of bed. With an ambient, calm static hovering over the introductory acoustic strum like an air-conditioning duct over your head and the faint sound of chatter behind it all like the street below your window three hours ahead of you, the song begins not only with remarkable beauty but with a signature sound you’ll come to recognize throughout the album. “Is This a Crush?” follows in the latter’s wake and a light drum machine beat and rotating guitar saunter carry the song the rest of the way with only a few slight, et wonderful, interruptions by various playful keyboards and a bass guitar line straight out of American Football. “Sunrise Highway” is first song with vocals and Brent undoubtedly carries the unwavering splendor even further with a voice that dabbles in static at some points, and reaches the peak of pull in others. The song effortlessly leads in into “I Think I Know What This Might Be” like one good dream into another. The song acts as a groggily cute acoustic segue to “ You Smile Like Your Hair Isn’t Messy” which once again employs Brent’s soft spoken vocals and naively lovelorn lyrics into a wonderful, almost sing-songy, acoustic piece blanketed comfortably by a static-y exchange and gentle drum backing. “How Does It Feel (Good)?” is possibly the most intimate song on the album. With the sound of cars driving on a road in the background, Brent toils with a religious theme under a nice guitar back up. It almost feels like the kind of dream that gives you a false kind of hope, something to keep you going, but at the same time restores your faith unconsciously. "BFF" seems to be the most straightforward and the most marketable, but somehow distances itself from the "sleepy" aesthetic maintained by the previous tracks. However, "Raccoon Eyes" is just as delicate as the its predecessors and a suitable end to as beautiful as an album as this. Brent seemingly carelessly strums the guitar at first, but then delves into a post-coital array of twists and turns on the strings that are as gorgeous as Brent's strangely hypnotizing lyrics. Suddenly, an out of place, but wholly stunning, upbeat chorus comes out of the song featuring Brent singing, "I'm a hermit/But my friends call me a zombie/Well do you really want to be dead man your whole life/Or do you want to grow up some day/Do you remember our showers and your makeup/Well I miss your raccoon eyes". The song fades with static and an uncommonly gentle guitar line leading the static into a height of bliss.
Rarely do I come across albums so uniquely flavored and involuntarily conceptualized, but Shh...This is a Library has stolen my heart. This album is so unorthodoxly airy, yet submerged in the realm of restlessness, that you don't know what to do once it ends. Replay it? Sit calmly for a bit? I've met with those questions many times over the past month and I've never met with a decision I regretted. This album is on a level I once thought only American Football could take me. It has been surpassed.
There are only fifty copies of this album. Each are uniquely hand-painted. You can buy one here. I'm hoping they're not sold out before you can purchase one. I'm blessed to own one myself.
I ordered this album a couple weeks ago after seeing it in your recommendations. It seems like it would help me with my sleeping problems, or if not, just be something to relax to as background music. But it still hasn't come yet.
Oh, and that's a really fantastic review. A very "Words are my paint, music is my canvas" style of reviewing. Excellent.