Best Albums of 2008: #18: Parenthetical Girls- Entanglements
18. Parenthetical Girls: Entanglements
This one is a fairly recent addition. I struggled with where to put it because it is at once so beautiful and so unsettling. Parenthetical Girls toured earlier this fall with Evangelicals and made me really glad not to have showed up late. What I like about this album is what I liked about Regina Spektor’s Begin to Hope: all of this classical training culminating in something that is slightly off-kilter, unsettling, and beautiful. I also appreciate that this album tells a coherent story from start to finish, that its liner notes could be a chapbook of poetry.
Magical is one way to describe the album, but “quaint” and “morbid” are perhaps others. Why morbid? I don’t know. Something about the band and about this album reminds me of a spooky story, though more of the Lemony Snicket than Stephen King variety. A spooky Lemony Snicket musical in which tall, wispy figures dress as dandies and dance to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack. They have really big eyes and look like they belong in a Bryan Fuller show. They are perpetually in a magical hand-holding parade. As I wrote in October, “I have a fantasy of Zach Condon and Stephin Merritt both joining this band and singing each other songs in the street, maybe making a Takeaway Show.”
Best of 2008: #19: The Gaslight Anthem- The '59 Sound
Best of 2008: #20: Billy Bragg- Mr. Love and Justice
Best of 2008: Intro