Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Vs. Children - Album - CD - Gift Idea NEW

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1. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Casiotone for the Painfully Alone vs. Children 0:49
2. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Tom Justice, the Choir Boy Robber, Apprehended at Ace Hardware in Libertyville 4:12
3. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Optimist vs. the Silent Alarm (When the Saints Go Marching In) 1:51
4. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Natural Light 2:23
5. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Traveling Salesman's Young Wife Home Alone on Christmas in Montpelier, VT 2:45
6. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Man O' War 3:08
7. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Northfield, MN 5:08
8. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Killers 2:39
9. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - Harsh the Herald Angels Sing 3:05
10. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - You Were Alone 2:58
11. Casiotone for the Painfully Alone - White Jetta 3:17

Sweeping in with the majestic title track -- a drone fanfare that swirls into the main song just so -- Casiotone for the Painfully Alone's second album of 2009 (but first that's a full album as such instead of a compilation) shows that Owen Ashworth's talent continues to pay lovely dividends. His singing is of a piece with the music, at once clearer and more conventional than ever before and still touched with the reflective spoken-to-oneself melancholy that defines his work. His ear for sharply observed details and sly comparisons similarly holds true; if it's a sign that he's long since established his métier then it's equally clear he knows how to play to his strengths. The tale of "Tom Justice, The Choir Boy Robber, Apprehended at Ace Hardware in Libertyville, IL" might seem to say everything in the title itself, but the song's lyric, telling Bonnie and Clyde reference and all, is of a much more dramatically, sadly observed bent. Musically Casiotone here fully approaches the elegant showy avant indie-pop from the U.K. in the early ,90s, rich keyboards and dramatic, downbeat chords aplenty. "Natural Light" in particular is easily a Pulp song from 1993 reset into a new context. If the barrelhouse roll of "Optimist vs. the Silent Alarm" with the concluding flourish of "When the Saints Go Marching In" seems a little out of place, the lyric about a desire to "raise a little family on Schlitz and Mickey Mouse" isn't at all. Meanwhile "Northfield MN" might be the only song yet to have both gently bouncy piano and a lyrical comparison to an exploding dye pack. Admittedly the song title "Harsh the Herald Angels Sing" pushes things on the overly clever front but the duet "Man o'War," with its downer tale of a Christmas morning, and the clever Bowie reference at the end of "Killers" are among the many reasons Vs. Children is, yet again, another stellar Casiotone album. ~ Ned Raggett


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