Terry Eason - Sentimental Vainity
It really isnt until the seventh song, "Never Knew You," that I took this record seriously.
Gorgeous guitar and whimsical hope in the face of scary times make "Beginning of the Sun" a slice of genius pop; Beatlesque, piano driven "Kohirabi Dreams" is a perfect pop tune. The cello chiming in at a sweet spot in the brilliant "ballad of shoulda coulda woulda"-a driving story song with a humor and irony of a coherence missing in the earlier tracks. Better to end the record strong, I guess, but several of the first few tunes are enough to keep some listeners from bothering to stick with it.
"Megalomaniac" and "Karma Bull" are the kind of smarmy, smart-ass math tunes that fans of TMBG or Weezer think passes for cool. Too often, at least on the first six tunes, Eason falls back on a kind of forced irony and psuedo-clever lyrics. Winking about the in-joke is fine, unless you are all alone.
This feels like two different records, then. The final four tunes on "Sentimental Vanity" are smart, wise, and filled with hooks and power. Whereas the first six tracks illustrated the worst of meanings for the record's title, the last few showcase the best. The vanity of sentiment that comes from loss, regret, and, oddly, hope that chances will somehow come your way again.
Terry Eason would have been better off releasing an EP of the last four songs of this. He'd be a hero.
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