The Verlaines – Some Disenchanted Evening

What I Think of When I Think This Artist (part 3)

I’m not trying to defend my music tastes or collection. This isn’t a competition. I like things you might think are terrible, and you like things I definitely feel are garbage. That’s fine. We can coexist, and maybe even be friends. We just won’t go to shows together, and car rides may be difficult (true crime podcasts, it is, I guess). I have little interest in convincing you to like the Verlaines, and none in relying on this album as argument. Should you give them a listen? Yes. Am I going to insist you do? No. Your disregard of the Verlaines does no injury to my love of the Verlaines. It might even enhance it.

What I Think of This Album

Honestly, this is a borderline Verlaines album (again on the Flying Nun label). It is missing the energy, grandeur, and tunefulness of Bird Dog, and arguably finds Graeme Downes indulging his worst impulses. Still, there are things to enjoy about it.

“Jesus What A Jerk” is a rollicking tune. “The Funniest Thing” is even better, approaching the heights of Bird Dog, with a robust and energized presentation and some excellent lyrics. The arrangement of “Whatever You Run Into” is brilliant, including fine harmonies from Sarah Macnab and Jan Hellriegel.

There is an appropriate level of drama to the grandiose “We’re All Going to Die,” with Downes offering a great vocal. The Randy Newman-esque “It Was” is entertaining in its own way, though maybe a bit precious (which perhaps renders it more faithfully Randy Newman-esque). And if I am being generous, there are some compelling moments in “Come Sunday.”

What you should avoid are songs like “Faithfully Yours” and “Damn Shame,” which sound like they were lifted from a self-financed off-Broadway musical. “This Train” comes close to committing the same sin; its marginal pop sensibility saves it from being unlistenable, but the song still is not anything I want to hear.

The Best Thing About This Album

“The Funniest Thing” is the prize here.

Release Date

1990

The Cover Art

The font is awful, but the impressionist art is at least okay, and possibly worth a few seconds’ study.

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