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Day 276: Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost

1 Dec

Honey Bunny

What is going on here?  Is this a band with a better second album than first?  That very rarely happens.

Bands often spend years and years crafting and perfecting that first album—it’s made up of songs that they’ve been playing for their entire existence, and have been constantly tweaking.  The second album is usually written on a tour bus, as the band’s trek across the nation makes them more and more jaded.  To quote lyrical genius (and member of the unusual better-sophomore-LP club) Craig Finn, “I just can’t sympathize with your rock ‘n’ roll problems.”

But now that I think about it, it’s not hard to understand why Girls would be a band with a great second record.  Album, the band’s first album, is all about drinking, drugs, and—you guessed it—girls.  What do you get when a popular indie rock band goes on tour? A whole lot of booze, narcotics, and romance.

What sets Girls’ music apart is how relatable it is. When permanently strung out frontman Christopher Owens sings “They don’t like my boney body / They don’t like my dirty hair / Or the stuff that I say / Or the stuff that I’m on” in the chorus of “Honey Bunny,” the album’s opener, all you want to do is bromiserate with the dude—we’ve all been there in some way or another.  The normal-guy rock star is a tough persona to pull off, but Owens does it beautifully.  Father, Son, Holy Ghost is full of great rock songs that are made even better by the misery that we can all share within them.


Day 48: Girls – Album

17 Apr


“Hey guys, let’s call our band ‘Girls.’  Get it?  It’s funny. Cuz were all dudes.”

“Bros, you know what would be really funny?  If we named our Album ‘Album.’  Get it?  It’s funny.  Cuz it’s an album.”

I’m convinced that Girls front man Christopher Owens–former member of the Children of God cult–said both of those phrases at some point.  I can just hear him doing it, in his low, laid back voice.  Or maybe I’m just kind of mad that I have to write about an album called Album, guaranteeing that this report will become bumbling and awkward…at least more so than usual.  Even worse, I actually kind of like this album called Album, so I can’t even have the pleasure of tearing a thing with such a stupid name apart.

I guess the name of the band does kind of work; all of the songs on Album are actually about girls.

So I got the impression that Owens has had some girl problems in his life.  Fairly depressing lyrics abound, sometimes thrown over happy instrumentation, but usually left for slower, sad-sounding guitars.  Just check out Headache, where he sings “I only wanna be with you, all the time” over and over again.  It’s the way he sings it though, as if he’s more desperate for that than anything.  I think we’ve all been there, which makes that song, as well as the whole album-Album-really relatable.

My favorite song on the record, Summertime, takes a concept that’s fairly hard to make sad…well…sad.  It’s not even that the lyrics are particularly depressing either.  Once again, it’s Owen’s delivery, and his clear, depressing, desperation.  “Summertime,  soak up the sunshine…with you.”