For Sale As Is
FOR SALE AS IS is alive and intelligent and hurts in all the right places.
For Sale As Is features thirteen original songs drawing on a variety of musical and lyrical traditions, feature electric and acoustic instruments, and seeks to escape the ghetto of the overly romanticized/nostalgic faux-ruralism of the contemporary folk song (about farms and boats, etc.) and the too-shiny, too-sleek (but ultimately under-considered) song and production values of many contemporary pop songs. In place of these it offers well-considered, well-written lyrics that come at odd topics from odd angles, and chord progressions and arrangements that are melodic enough to catch people’s ears, yet disruptive and disjointed (which is to say, interesting) enough to reward repeated listenings.
It’s very clear the attention span of the culture is shrinking and, this being the case, this record isn’t for everybody. At a time in which the basic unit of the songwriter’s project seems to have shrunk from the song down to the ringtone, from three minutes to three seconds, For Sale As Is reasserts the cumulative power of the longplay format, building relations between songs as the record goes along to produce an effect like a series of conversations with a perceptive friend.
There’s lots of mayhem in there, too. The punk sensibilities die hard. This is serious music in the sense that it’s important, but it’s not self-serious, and it’s funny and fun more than it’s sad and somber.