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Music Reviews

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Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
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The Walkmen - Lisbon
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Fat Possum
No Good for No One Now
Polyvinyl Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Mike Kinsella needs to get laid, cause he's one seriously depressed dude. And he should probably move out of his mom's basement as well. No Good for No One Now, Owen's second album, which checks in with 7 songs and running a little over 40 minutes, relates the old "breaking up is hard to do" story all too poignantly. So, I'm sure it was a cathartic record for Kinsella to make. In fact, he sounds drunk on most of the songs, his voice cracking often, sometimes expressive enough to cause an uncomfortable cringe. No Good for No One Now is emo at its most obvious; a perfect fit for the market of 17-year-old Lisa Loeb look-a-likes.

Glance through the song titles - "Nobody's Nothing," "Poor Souls," "The Ghost of What Should've Been," "I'm Not Going Anywhere Tonight," "Take Care of Yourself" - and it becomes quite obvious that this is a record meant to mend a broken heart. The question is: Do we care about Kinsella, laying in a messy lump on his floor that's covered by wadded tissues and torn photographs? Well, no. Not really. On "The Ghost of What Should've Been," Kinsella flicks his F's as he spits out "What else in this fucking room reminds me of fucking you?" Some would argue Kinsella expertly emphasizes his angst, but I'm completely turned off by the fact that this entire record is about the same subject - his ex and how shitty he feels now that they're no longer together. It's too weighty and too damn blunt (not to mention there are wandering guitar solos on said song). Subtle is not a word in Kinsella's vocabulary. By the end of the album, I almost feel sorry for "Sarah," because if she ever hears this album she's either going to commit suicide or homicide.

Musically speaking, No Good for No One Now is quite good. Other than the occasional electric guitar solo, Owen does the mellow Jim O'Rourke thing at a high level of proficiency, relying on acoustic guitar, piano, electronics and sparse drumming. It's hard to focus on the music, though, as Kinsella is always opening his big mouth. And that's my beef with this album. Kinsella claims it's his right "to be a fucking baby sometimes." That may be true, but it doesn't mean he should do so in public.

Reviewed by Doug Hoepker
A former staff writer for LAS whom we like to call Diggles, Mr. Hoepker is currently laboring away on various music-based projects. He now works in academic publishing (ahem), but is perhaps still best known by his DJ moniker, The Noiseboy.

See other reviews by Doug Hoepker



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