Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Album Review: Tim Kasher - Adult Film

Tim Kasher’s second proper solo album, Adult Film, inhabits much of the same space that his other work covers.

Kasher trades The Game of Monogamy’s orchestral songs about the insecurity of love for organ-heavy songs about the insecurity of mid-life crisis, but the effect is similar.

Typically, Kasher overcomes his shortcomings with lyrics listeners connect with, but they fall flat on Adult Film.

“I’ve got a story to tell though I’m not sure what it is,” Kasher sings on “American Lit, “I’m sure it’s funny as hell and tragic and dramatic and personal and universal.” The line could be tongue-in-cheek or it could not be. Much of Adult Film feels this way and it leaves the listener with fewer “I’ve felt that way!” moments and more confusion.

Cartoony synths dominate the album’s sound and their goofiness borders and further undermine the lyrics. Adult Film includes some real low points for Kasher. “Where’s Your Heart Lie”, an attempt at a heartfelt ballad that’s worked for him previously, drags into boredom. “Life and Life” and “A Raincloud is a Raincloud” are some of the silliest melodies he’s ever written.

The Game of Monogamy’s theatrical arrangements weren’t anything to write home about, but they seemed purposeful. That’s not true of the mishmash of sounds on Adult Film. The album feels haphazard as a result.

Adult Film is more of a superficial reinvention of Kasher’s typical work and represents a step back rather than a leap forward for Kasher’s music.

Tim Kasher will play Kings Barcade November 3 with Laura Stevenson (full band) and Des Ark (solo) Tickets are $12 in advance.

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