Joan of Arc - Tim Melina Theo Bobby Music Album Reviews

Joan of Arc - Tim Melina Theo Bobby Music Album Reviews
After more than 20 albums in the past two decades, the idiosyncratic Chicago rock band takes a final bow. As always, their songs are welcome and familiar, yet a surprise every time.

Tim Melina Theo Bobby, the last album by Joan of Arc, plays as if Tim Kinsella, Melina Ausikaitis, Theo Katsaounis, and Bobby Burg sat down to compile their greatest hits, remembered they aren’t the kind of band that writes hits, and decided to try out a little bit of everything. There’s an effective literalism to this approach: If you’ve ever liked a Joan of Arc song, then you’ll almost certainly like some of these. And if you didn’t, then track 1 sounds exactly like American Football—talk about an instant crowd pleaser.
This is how a lot of people first come to Joan of Arc, of course: Via the most memed house in Champaign-Urbana, tracing the ways Tim Kinsella and his younger brother Mike’s musical careers have crisscrossed since Cap’n Jazz, the inventive and influential emo band they founded as teenagers. Joan of Arc’s anxious deadpan meandering and virtuoso weirdness can be a more acquired taste, and there’s a lot to acquire—they’ve released 20-some albums in the past 20 years. No two are especially alike, except for the constant presence of Tim Kinsella and a spirit of diffident, digressive unpredictability. And now it’s over.

As an album, Tim Melina Theo Bobby is maybe even less concerned than usual with coherence, which tends to create the atmosphere of a singles collection. If there’s a unifying theme, it’s about time and boundaries, the things that separate concepts like then and now or you and me. Musically, this can sound like a walk through Joan of Arc’s tangly, overgrown garden: the sawtoothed strums of “Karma Repair Kit” (“I got a lot of good to do/To possibly come out even”), the moodier reflecting pool of “Creature and Being,” the wet-noodle synth of “Land Surveyor.” Over the motorik groove of “Cover Letter,” Kinsella reviews his résumé, How to With John Wilson-style, reflecting on the many, many other jobs he’s performed in service to music: “I prepared various coffee drinks/And I waited tables stoned…/Afternoon shift selling businessmen porn in order to keep the shelves stocked with underground and foreign art films/And I wrote songs.” The hustle sounds like a drag; the song doesn’t, which is where the pathos comes in.

But Joan of Arc have always been a band of multiple simultaneous perspectives—never more than now, when Kinsella and Ausikaitis divide lead vocal duties. As a medium for undermining literal meaning, Ausikaitis is unrivaled; her lyrics can be funny, visceral, or morbid but always mysterious and absurd. “Another role where the movie ends, nice/It’s a natural conclusion that people can buy,” she sings at the top of “Feedback 3/4” (sounds just like the name says). I picture her reading film scripts, reaching for galaxy-brained director questions like But what is ending, actually? and So if this is ending, then what is life? Her riddles make for really good songs, like standout “Something Kind,” where a creeping, knotted guitar melody escalates to a noisy window-smasher as Ausikaitis describes a series of increasingly vivid and then sexually graphic scenes that refuse to resolve into secure meanings.

Tim Melina Theo Bobby is hardly the end of these four people making music: There’s Aitis Band, Ausikaitis’ group with Katsaounis and Burg, and Good Fuck, Kinsella’s duo with Jenny Pulse. But after all these years, Joan of Arc means something in itself: welcome and familiar but still a surprise every time, like the pickles of indie-rock comfort foods. We feel a pang when we lose something like that. Does it mean anything? Isn’t it supposed to? What it means, Joan of Arc will remind you—gently, quietly, at the very end of “Creature and Being”—is that it’s up to you: “We create/Retroactively/Our own causes/To rationalize beliefs.” Okay, then: Joan of Arc forever.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Joan of Arc - Tim Melina Theo Bobby Music Album Reviews Joan of Arc - Tim Melina Theo Bobby Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on January 07, 2021 Rating: 5


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