silver jews – american water (1998)

David Berman’s poetry didn’t need a backing, just to breathe totality. The instruments had to be unintrusive on the points, but parallel to his idiosyncratic worldview. On ‘American Water,’ Berman looked sideways at the misfortunate—-his own vices were a surplus of talent, insecurity, and drug addiction. Sounds like a rockstar, or something. This album is about a shaky, human nature in a country driven to farm it. Like good writing and sad artists, ‘American Water’ pushes itself an inch too far: it is then stretched across forms of beauty and experience. Silver Jews fall short of nothing in their breathtaking, pointless ambition to express the thoughts of one observational man.

30/30

A favourite: ‘People’

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