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I heard "See America Right" on this 4AD compilation and was rather impressed...
We Shall All Be Healed is a damn good album. It's also recent and accessible and features the brilliant Palmcorder Yajna, the quietly evil Slow West Vultures, the glory that is Home Again and the delicious Your Belgian Things.
You should ignore the above comment in my opinion. We Shall All Be Healed is possibly his most plain record.
Sadly the best ones are the hardest to find (I haven't found them yet) but All Hail West Texas can be located relatively easily and is a work of art. Out of the 4AD ones Tallahasse is pretty decent, this year's The Sunset Tree isn't bad either.
Sweden, Protein Source of the Future Now! and The Coroner's Gambit are great if you can get them.
Full Force Galesburg is very very low fi (even by his standards) so that might annoy you but it's really romantic and nice too.
All Hail West Texas is probably the best starting point though. Unbelievably great fall off your seat in amazement lyrics and great songs.
And sorry about dismissing your comments Durutti, I just got We Shall All Be Healed at the show last week and was very disappointed. It might grow on me I suppose, though a lot of people do say it's not as good as the others. The new one The Sunset Tree is however a return to form.
So I recommend you get any of the above, positively mentioned albums you can find. He's pretty much consistent throughout though All Hail West Texas is my (and and most of my friends') favourite.
Sunset Tree and Tallahassee are just brilliant. It's amazing how much emotion and variety he can get out of such simple acoustic songs. He may just be the best lyricist around at the moment.
Of the earlier stuff I have only heard Full Force Galesburg (plus a couple of songs off earlier albums), and while I probably prefer the more recent stuff, the songwriting is always excellent throughout his career.
your just wrong. :p
We Shall All Be Healed is more... polished, it's true but the songs gain in power for me.
It is also accesible. Didn't want all that tape hiss and coffee shop strumming to put the bloke off what is, clearly, songwriting genius.
... you are only going to buy 5 Mountain Goats records this year, then you should spent your money on these (in order of importance):
1. The Coronerâ€™s Gambit â€“ without a doubt their best album. The restrained arrangements put John Darnielleâ€™s lyrics at the forefront and it gives the best overview of his simple but effective guitar playing style.
2. Nine Black Poppies â€“ this was the first ever Mountain Goats album I came across, and therefore I know most of the lyrics by heart these days. Contains classic lines such as â€œBill Gates will single handedly spearhead the Heaven 17 revivalâ€? and â€œif you think i'll take a bullet for you - you're dreamingâ€?
3. Tallahasee â€“ the first 4AD album, and the first one with a â€˜highâ€™ budget production. It took me a while to get used to, but it has a bitterness that has not been matched on any of his other works.
4. The Sunset Tree â€“ the most recent one. After being disappointed with We All Shall Be Healed I think that this is a return to form, and when they played loads of it last week, it seemed to me that the songs work as well live as they do on record.
5. New Asian Cinema â€“ the only reason I have included this one is because it is on vinyl, with 5 tracks on one side, and an etching by artist, designer and Kill Rock Stars recording artist Nikki McClure on the other side. A work of art indeed.
I thought i was the only fan.
Not much to add really, i think The Sunset Tree is the best introduction...
i like We Shall All Be Healed, but it is different from the recent records, and that seems to throw people.
God i love Mountain Goats, and all their rare and hard to find records. Its a challenge!
because its got No Children on it, which is quite possibly one of the best songs John Darnielle has ever written.
is very good, so are Alpha Rats Nest and Oceanographers Choice but I think the rest of the album is a bit dull in comparisson.
I think the fact that we can't agree on which is the best shows how great a songwriter Darnielle is quite nicely.
I still say All Hail West Texas though.
Tallahassee is a wonderful album.
Probably top 3 MG's for me...
I listened to Tallahassee last night and it actually comes very close to being as great as The Sunset Tree. In terms of sheer atmosphere and lucidity there are few albums that come close to Tallahassee. Oceanographer's Choice is my favourite MG song, it's so fucking bitter and desperate.
I really need some more MG albums!