Goodnight Lenin make folksy indie rock that twinkles when the sun comes out and has plenty of piano for all the other hours of the day. Their new record, 'In The Fullness Of Time', is the delicate kind that's honed by both the traditions of acoustic music and the modern, widescreen approach to it that's been delivered through indie rock. Of course, they've worked with John Wood in their time, who produced for Nick Drake. Makes sense.
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- In The Fullness Of Time by Goodnight Lenin
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Like every other genre under the sun, Americana has undergone a recent revival. Instead of its re-emergence coming from bands whose origins are in the mountainous landscapes of their American homeland, most of its contemporary proponents have derived from Europe.
Take Swedish sisters First Aid Kit for example, and London’s Dry The River, both of whom tread the same tired, contemplative path as every other folk Americana crossover act. So, I approach ‘In The Fullness of Time’ with an open mind, but it soon turns out that my initial scepticism could well be validated. The opening track is almost sickeningly gushy. Someone said that it sounds like Fleet Foxes being covered by an X Factor contestant and that’s a pretty spot on analysis.
Lyrically, it deals with the usual folk/blues-infused narrative: loss, hardship, heartbreak, rejection, and the juxtaposition between introspective and joyous is admirable, but it isn’t enough to detract from it’s over sentimentality.
In all, its intentions are clearly well-meaning: the expansive, multi layered soundscapes are one of few redeeming qualities, but it’s let down by its one dimensional exterior and squeaky clean production. Way too clean, way too inoffensive. Then again, I think that some of the best music is sloppy and chaotic and full of blemishes, so it could just be me.
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