If you haven’t guessed by now the album doesn’t offer a happy listen. Nevertheless it's got its own languorous beauty; it's like slow-cooked pop psychedelia. Near the end of one song, with fuzzed out guitars and vocals, I thought, This is something Tommy James and the Shondells would have recorded if they were all on downers. Sure enough, the first word of the next song is "crimson", but there's no clover in this album. Instead, it's ennui over and over. There's one uptempo song on the album, but the chorus is "Nothing ever happened to me". It's not a new sentiment in pop music. In fact, it goes back to Chet Baker and beyond. Deerhunter gives this nihilistic sentiment new expression to the current generation of listless youths. I can't quite connect completely with this album. But if a young hipster told me Microcastle was a great album, I wouldn't argue the point.
The sound quality is good for a modern rock album. There's a lot of spaciousness in the recording, which is important in creating the trippy vibe of Microcastle.
Jenny Lewis, Acid Tongue (Warner Brothers, 2-LP, includes CD of album, $20). I'm not sure why I waited so long to pick up this album. I liked her first solo album and the last two Rilo Kiley albums. After listening to Microcastle, when I hear Jenny Lewis sing about dropping acid, all I can think is, Aw, ain't that cute. As much as I enjoy her music, I just don't think Jenny Lewis is that deep. Not all singers or albums have to be.