Music: an expression of humanity, escape, a soundtrack to life, deep passion….
Curse Your Branches was a great album. Bazan’s return to personal, storytelling lyrics was great. His chronicled struggle with faith and his ultimate “break-up” with God was really refreshing. And even if you struggled with the lyrical content and with what Bazan was saying, as a long a long time Pedro the Fan, it was an honest album and a sot of getting back to what made Bazan a great songwriter.
I only saw last week that David Bazan was back with his follow-up to Curse Your Branches and I was excited and curious to see what lyrical route Bazan would take on his new record.
Wolves at the Door is biting and has a hint of anger. As Bazan sings “You’re a goddamn fool and I love”, you start to wonder what the song is actually about. The song ends and the listener is engaged and drawn in, waiting for what’s next.
But Wolves at the Door is the high point on the record and nothing else on Strange Negotiations comes close to being that engaging.
Level With Yourself sounds like a Pedro the Lion track from Achilles Heel. Lyrically Bazan is still addressing his lack of faith and trying to reconcile that with those he loves but still have their faith in tack. People seems like Bazan is taking a shot at Christians and how the church doesn’t act like what Bazan believes the bible says they should be. It’s an interesting song lyrically. Eating Paper is Bazan addressing fans and people who want to talk about his walking away from his faith. It’s an angry song, an annoyed song.
Strange Negotiations is a little all over the place musically. It sounds more like a Pedro the Lion record then Bazan previous solo efforts. It’s not bad, but nothing is super catchy or compelling outside of Wolves at the Door. There are moments in songs but not whole songs.
And with Bazan the focus is the lyrics and Bazan does a good job at keeping things pretty cryptic. I would love to get Bazan’s personal explanation for each song.
It’s a good record but after Cures Your Branches I was hoping for more.