Friday, November 02, 2012
The Mountain Goats: Transcendental Youth
Merge Records 
Fire Note Says: The Mountain Goats 14th LP Transcendental Youth is as earnest as ever.
The Mountain Goats is fueled by John Darnielle, who has collaborated with many performers over the years under the band’s moniker. On the band’s 14th album, Transcendental Youth, the quality of the sound and concept of the album remains strong. This is a tremendous feat given the sheer quantity of art that Darnielle has produced. Transcendental Youth has an immediacy to it that sucked me in from the first track. I was surprised by this, given that I have rarely been sucked into a Mountain Goats album before.
The Mountain Goats have been a band I’ve appreciated from a distance in the past. Digging into this album helped me appreciate the talents of John Darnielle, in particular because of the consistency of his work. His story-telling and ability to change things up musically kept things from getting bogged down. Yes, at times the songs can come across as heavy-handed but I found that I could look past that most of the time.
Key Tracks: “Harlem Roulette”, “White Cedar”, “Night Light”
Bands With Similar Fire:
The Mountain Goats: All Eternals Deck [Fire Note Review 3/29/11]
The Mountain Goats: The Life Of The World To Come [Fire Note Review 12/9/09]
The Mountain Goats Website
The Mountain Goats Facebook
-Reviewed by Matthew Heiner