Silver Jews - Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea

The Jews’ most accessible effort to date

Album Review by Paul Mitchell | 11 Jun 2008
  • Album artwork
Album title: Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea
Artist: Silver Jews
Label: Drag City
Release date: 17 Jun

The Silver Jews’ follow up 2005’s much-heralded Tanglewood Numbers with an album which sees published poet, cartoonist and chief songwriter David Berman in typically circumspect form. If anything, the style of music employed is veering away from his characteristic lo-fi indie rock standard towards a folksy, country style delivery. What always matters with the Jews though, is the sheer quality of Berman’s writing.

Opening track What Is Not But Could Be If sees him in elder statesman mode, a Lincolnesque character delivering epigrammatic wisdom. It's plain to hear that he's drawing on his own experiences in dispensing this advice with the line “When failure's got you in its grasp, reaching for your very last…it’s just the beginning.” Indeed, the entire album is a literary masterclass in how to deal with the complexities of existence. Strangely, despite this, Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea is also the Jews’ most accessible effort to date.