For the past several weeks, I have been streaming All Eternals Deck at every opportunity. The new Mountain Goats album is officially released today for us consumers to go about our business of consumption.
So go get it. $5 to download the whole thing. Seriously. Get on it.
This album continues the musical trajectory from both the last Mountain Goats album, Life of the World to Come, and John Darnielle’s side project, “Undercard” which he produced under the rubric of The Extra Lens.
What I mean by this is that Darnielle’s songwriting has increasingly moved from being so lyrically driven that the music hardly matters to richly orchestrated music that is, itself, a voice in the song.
Like all of Darnielle’s music, the songs on All Eternals Deck repay careful listening and attention to the lyrics. On the one hand, this album’s entrance into the world of vampire mythology can be heard as simply playful riffs on a fad that I, for one, hope will pass without much more ado. But upon closer inspection, these songs aren’t ultimately about vampire bites and some sort of demonic antipathy for the song Hotel California (although the latter is a particularly amusing moment).
Wooden idols. Aviator shades. These are trinkets from Crusades. Hmmm…
As with Undercard, Mountain Goat regulars will be pleasantly surprised at the varying styles of the songs on this latest album. High Hawk Season is throw-back in its harmonies and vocal accompaniment–underlaying typical Darniellian lyrics.
So, even though I still think that We Shall All be Healed is the greatest album ever produced, All Eternals Deck is a must-listen for all Mountain Goats aficionados, and a great entry point for folks who want an entree into the work of one of the greatest lyricists of the current generation of songwriters.