[Jandek] Criticism

Davidson Roberts soccerdude219 at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 2 01:18:46 PDT 2005

I'm pretty bored with Jandek's newer material. Pretty much every album since "I Threw You Away" has been the same, with the occasional switching of instruments as the only real difference. It's easily his most boring phase ever. At least the early records, though sounding nearly indentical, had weird songs like "Comedy" or "She Fell Down" or the hauntingly beautiful images of "Down in a Mirror", "Jessica" or "Nancy Sings", but these are just full of the same old self-searching, I-suck-with-women blues cliches we've heard over and over. At least when he used to do this, he'd provide us with striking images and metaphors like those in "First You Think Your Fortune's Lovely" or "Cave in on You". But now he just sounds like a old guy grumbling to his son about taking paths and making choices and how he wasted his life. I guess it's really me that's the problem; Jandek, probably in his 50's at the time of these recordings, is far from the phase in his life that my youth can relate to.
 Still, you'd think he'd at least have gained a view kernals of wisdom by now. He seemed to have gotten to perspective on the spoken word albums when he was telling us to "live the half life", but now he seems to have fallen back into the old self-doubt and he's not writing about in any way that i really find interesting. Of course, he never seems to make his music for anyone but himself, so maybe i'm expecting too much. I'd love to have some counter-arguments here, because I want to be able to get into these new records.

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