Release Date: Jun 9, 2009
Record label: Polyvinyl
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
There comes a moment in a young artist’s career when they need to distinguish themselves and justify why, after churning out countless albums and years of touring, we should still pay attention to them and their prolific body of work. Sure there might be flashes of brilliance and spawns of influence ranging throughout the music world, but if there’s no cohesive identity to this person it’s possible that although talented they can still fade into obscurity. Conor Oberst almost faced this fate after semi-retiring his Bright Eyes project and experimenting with electro-pop, but the savvy musician will always learn to adjust.
Review Summary: band should stop alreadyFlowers is a weird album. On one hand, it’s completely terrible: it’s overly ambitious, pretentious, and ridiculous, often delving into experiments that are way over the band’s collective head. Joan of Arc---a Chicagoan band known for being led by Tim Kinsella and for incorporating electronica influences into their brand of mopey indie-rock---take some welcome chances here, giving their take on psychedelia, sound collages, and, most notably, the New Weird America movement.
I was introduced to Joan Of Arc via 2006’s breezy, accoustic masterpiece Everything All At Once. Unfortunately, I let them drop off my radar, and skipped over 2008’s Boo! Human. I don’t know if they eased into Flowers‘ apocalyptic aesthetic with that record, or if this is a sudden leap into the unknown; I do know I like it. Joan Of Arc’s latest is much more abrasive, much edgier and squeamish than what I’ve come to expect from them.