Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
If you’ll recall something I wrote a few months ago, unrelated to Silver Jews, I called David Berman a “goddamn genius.” I wrote it not because it was germane to the band I was reviewing, but simply out of sheer gratitude to Berman and his Silver Jews, for the music they’ve made over the years and the sly nuggets of folksy wisdom peppered throughout his literate, tragic, and hilarious lyrics.
The music is a wonderful miscellany, drawing upon whatever conceits of country or lo-fi indie might work best at the moment. Mostly I’d call Silver Jews country (it’s a shame to say “alt-country,” because it unfairly designates something as “apart” from real country) but really, Silver Jews, and specifically Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea, shouldn’t be so easily categorized (much like any good music).
Overall, the sound is richer and more layered than in past albums, but the intimacy and urgency of Berman’s songs are never for a moment compromised. To come across something so singular as Silver Jews is rare and ought to be treasured. And when you simply cannot go on any longer, you’ll have to somehow manage to go on just a bit more. And then a bit more. That’s how you do it.—Andreas Trolf