This world of ours appears to be pretty fucked, no? If you choose to pay any attention to mainstream media, the experience usually devolves into crippling anger. Most political commentary seems laced with lies, televised news reports are submerged in violence and fear, and the first headline in the papers everyday is a repeat of the last: 20 more dead somewhere in the Middle East.
But what most of us want to know, is how do we stop the shit storm? It’s true, falling was the easy part, as Ryland Bouchard told us on 2003’s They Ate Themselves — but here he is again, only this time with a hopeful message. Also known as the lone man behind The Robot Ate Me, Bouchard’s high tenor and cracked pop experimentation are totally at odds with everything else currently happening in music. This new record encourages us to feel alive, to keep our chin up, and to not give up. Phew! Carousel Waltz is made for people ready to fight through the mean booby traps of modern life and still have something left to give to those they love.
The whole record is a realization of the need to transform sorrow into joy, and feels like one long, billowing song. Some random lines drawn from the record — "There’s been a lot of bad feelings about life./You don’t need to call it love./Is there something more we haven’t looked for, or is this everything?/Are we lonely here, or is someone waiting for us?/Regret won’t change who you are, unless you take its lessons too far./Look up before you’ve had enough./Stand up and face the world you’ve left./The triumphs of mankind face our will to believe,/when justice is right it still won’t set us free." Seductively sweet and dutifully dissident, Carousel Waltz is a perfect record for the warmer days ahead.Jocelyn Hoppa