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new album from the milk carton kids

July 26, 2011

Prologue-The-Milk-Carton-Kids-CoverThis spring, at their Austin, Texas show, The Milk Carton Kids introduced themselves as “the only music more depressing than Joe Purdy’s.” I now understand why they said that. Unlike their live album Retrospect– with tracks like the jubilant “Like a Cloak,” or the cosmically reassuring “Permanent,” or the disarmingly sweet “Charlie” – The Kids’ first studio album Prologue is a tear-stained journey through loss and heartache, sure to resonate with anyone who has ever had their heart broken.

One of the most gut-wrenching moments on the album comes in “Michigan” with the gorgeous lead track’s plaintive refrain of “What am I supposed to do now, without you?” Joey Ryan’s wounded voice distills all the complexities of a break up or loss down to that one simple question, and the album leaves it unanswered. Nothing like a universal truth delivered in a melody to remind you that everyone else has been there too.

The other emotional sucker punch track for me is “One Goodbye.” Sung by Kenneth Pattengale, the straightforward chorus cuts right to the heart: “I’m glad we met/And God we tried/My one regret/We got one goodbye.” The tragic simplicity of those lines choked me up the first time I listened to the song.

For me these two songs will go alongside heartbreak anthems like The Band’s “It Makes No Difference” or Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart.” The other eight tracks are each haunting and lovely, making Prologue a perfect album for a rainy day or a difficult time.  Pay close attention to the well-crafted lyrics, there are just enough notes of redemption and hope weaved throughout to keep the album buoyant despite its melancholy.

Prologue, like Retrospect, is available for download completely free from The Milk Carton Kids’ website. It can also be purchased from iTunes with an extra bonus track.  In support of the new album The Kids will be hitting the road for a 40-date U.S. tour kicking off August 10th in Phoenix, Arizona. You can check out the tour dates while you’re on their website downloading the album ;)  If you missed them out on the road with Joe Purdy you don’t want to make that mistake again, trust me.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. eartothegroundmusic permalink
    July 28, 2011 6:36 pm

    Nice article. I think these guys are legit, too. I’m excited to see the details of the rest of their tour. Thanks for all the links.

  2. November 22, 2011 4:57 pm

    That was some revelatory piece of writing!

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