Best Albums of 2008: #16: Grand Archives-S/T

16. Grand Archives: The Grand Archives

Surprisingly, this album is fairly upbeat. Given the band’s roots, I had expected something slow, sad, and haunting. It certainly (and very easily) could have been. Instead, we are presented with something wonderfully jangly, something that warbles rather than lamenting, something that whistles to itself as it walks down the street. Lyrically, it is caught between nostalgia and sadness, memory and overcoming. The album could easily be the soundtrack to a sad romance novel, the kind in which the main character, faced with breaking free and leaving behind a lover or remaining lamentably imprisoned, leaves, and in doing so finds a voice with which to express their love in new and intense ways. That the album does this without painting a very clear picture of what is left behind is an interesting move—as if the whole thing is one suspended movement of freedom, happiness, longing for the past, relief, and hope for the future.

Related posts:
Best of 2008: #17: Yelle: Pop-up
Best of 2008: #18: Parenthetical Girls: Entanglements
Best of 2008: #19: The Gaslight Anthem- The '59 Sound
Best of 2008: #20: Billy Bragg- Mr. Love and Justice
Best of 2008: Intro


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