The Handsome Family – Singing Bones
Carrot Top 2003
Listen while reading:
Another day another Handsome Family release. Today Singing Bones is our candidate for inspection. In my opinon Singing Bones is sort of a cutting line that seperates the “old” Handsome Family sound (including Through The Trees, In The Air and Twilight) and the new one (including Last Days Of Wonder and Honey Moon). Why is that so, you may ask. First of all I think Singing Bones is their most “traditional” country album and they sound how a country band should sound if it does well. This is the first thing that is salient if you still have the sound of Twilight in your ears. At the same time you can find songs that sound like the ones of the earlier albums, for example The Bottomless Hole, the title track or The Forgotten Lake with the well known hauting and spooky atmosphere. But this area of tension got something else to offer that points towards the coming albums. It’s a capella tracks like If The World Should End In Fire or If The World Should End In Ice that suggest intense voice effort and concentration especially found on Honey Moon represented by its opener Linger, Let Me Linger. But what does this clash to the album itself? It’s surprising that I think this clash is not a typical clash because you don’t have the feeling of listening to some motley squabbling but to a first class country album, as I said above. Rennie and Brett managed to combine all the different styles to one coherent album that really fits the discography very well. But this isn’t really unexpected because as a band they surly did not think about how they sounded before and what they will sound like after Singing Bones and so they just recorded the tracks as they thought would be best. Only now you can apply such reflections and maybe discover similarities and differences but as the album was made I bet this wasn’t a though of interest and so comes it that the album sounds just complete as any other album of them. I don’t know why, but every time I listen to Singing Bones I got the feeling that they created something really special with it but then I can not tell why I think so and what it is that makes it so special…ok, you can say it is the whole atmosphere but with such saying there is nothing and all said at the same time…but this is maybe the best you can do because I can’t think of another criteria that would not apply to the other records as well. So in the end I tell you that Siging Bones is – again – the hell of a great record and if you’re interested in the Handsome Family you maybe should listen to this as the second album after you started with Through The Trees. There is a 95 percent chance that you will find a band you will love your whole life if you really like the two mentioned records – I can tell you.