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further info

Official Release Date Jun 09, 2009
Artist Joan of Arc
Genre Pop
Version  US
PAX-Code PAX0005103638
Item Code  0644110017611


  • Manufacturer: Polyvinyl ( POLV )

track listing

1. Fogbow2. The Garden of Cartoon Exclamations3. Flowers4. Fasting5. Explain Yourselves #26. Tsunshine7. A Delicious Herbal Laxative8. Explain Yourselves9. Table of the Laments10. Fable of the Elements11. Life Sentence / Twisted Ladder12. The Sun Rose


For Flowers, Tim Kinsella is backed with the same cast of musicians who guested on last year's outing, and, considering that the recording dates coincide perfectly with the ones listed on Boo! Human, it would be a fair assumption that these are the tracks that didn't quite make the cut last time around. Littered with improvisational instrumentals ("A Delicious Herbal Laxative," "Flowers," and "Fasting") and near-instrumentals with only background monosyllabillic sighs for vocals ("Table of the Laments," "Fable of the Laments," and "The Sun Rose"), only five of the album's tracks are actual songs with lyrics. Disappointing as this may be, rest assured, the fully realized moments are pretty solid. "Fogbow" finds Kinsella tinkering with an indie electronic digi-beat, in a new-fangled, peppy Hot Chip pop style, and "Life Sentence/Twisted Ladder" time travels back to his Chicago post-rock roots for a choppy, guitar-driven number. In a more traditional Joan of Arc manner, the reflective, piano-based "The Garden of Cartoon Explanations" and slinky open-tuned acoustic-based "Tsunshine" are unnerving ballads that are one part pretty/two parts creepy, with ominous, ethereal keyboard splashes darkening the air. After a handful of sampled artists count off "1, 2, 3, 4" at the end of the aforementioned song, the album shifts into a warm instrumental groove that wouldn't sound out of place on a Tortoise album before transcending into the record's highlight: a cathartic space rock ballad titled "Explain Yourselves #1." Here, vocals vibrate with tremolo effects and create a mood that's downright tranquil. The rest is hit or miss. Joan of Arc's work on a whole generally tends to be pretty loose, but sorting through the remnants and mood pieces on Flowers can make Boo! Human seem absolutely cohesive in comparison. Oh well. It's still totally listenable and likeable. Even if it's a little underdeveloped, fans of Kinsella's trademark observational musings won't want to live without gems like "Who put the quotes around your life" and "No one wants to die with a couple hundred bucks still stuck in the sock drawer."


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SN: 227 | 1007 { 58 } | | WS: 1 |