Radical Album: The Caretaker – “Patience (After Sebald)”

It’s a dreary, rainy day: perfect for me to review this hazy thing.

Last time we heard Leyland Kirby, or The Caretaker as he is known by many, he was distorting our minds by placing them into haunted mansions and getting surrounded by dust, ghosts of the bourgeoisie and crackly records. Another account on what the album sounded like was an old, decaying person suffering from Alzheimer’s trying to rekindle their youthful spirit within themselves by playing a favorite record of theirs from childhood, but failing to rekindle the spark. This ultimately leads to them wandering through a fog in their own minds. This was on “An Empty Bliss Beyond this World,” which should have been on my Top 50 albums of 2011, but I forgot about it. I can always make another list.

Anyways, this album, “Patience (After Sebald) is a soundtrack to a film about the dead writer W.G. Sebald, directed by Grant Gee. This doesn’t really feel like a film soundtrack, since it sounds a lot like The Caretaker’s last outing, “Empty Bliss” since it’s loaded with crackles, distortion, lonely piano lines and the feeling of your mind slowly deteriorating. Not to say this thing is a bad thing- your mind isn’t really deteriorating. The album just puts you into a mindset that transports you to another realm.

This album, I’d like to think, takes place in the same universe that the last one left off in. The person listening to the record, trying to rekindle the energy of their youth. This starts off in the same person, but the character is in much worse shape. Their mental state is almost completely gone and the conscious state of the character is left to sift around in the crumbling wreckage of what once was a beautiful mind. Such a sad image, isn’t it? This is a sad album. Not really a sad album, but one you wouldn’t put on at a Superbowl Party. This features all the ambient textures that were included in the last album, but they are more fragmented and spaced apart by white noise and other ominous echoes. It’s an extremely immersive experience that has me gawking at the ability of this dude’s music making abilities.

The whole album is a dark journey you have to take with this character, shuffling through old memories and having them slowly fade away into oblivion. The last track is up for discussion on what it means, but I have my definite hypothesis on what happens. Also, this is just my interpretation of music. If you have different thoughts about the album or maybe no reaction at all, let me know. Either way, this album is one heck of a trip; placing you in a crumbling landscape of memories. I recommend this definitely.

SCORE: 84/100

REC’D TRACKS: This album is a whole-album listening experience. If you get single songs, the impact will be lessened. But hey, do whatever kids.
“When the Dog Days Were Drawing to an End,” “I Have Become Almost Invisible, to Some Extent like a Dead Man,” “No One Knows What Shadowy Memories Haunt Them to this Day” and “Increasingly Absorbed in His Own World.”

Have a non-deteriorating day!

About Very Warm

Usually cool dude stuff.
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