Because I Am Always Talking

Careful

Independent release, 2012

http://carefultheband.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/29/2012

This is the third release from esteemed producer and multi-instrumentalist Eric Lindley. His project Careful is entirely his own vision and was even recorded in his childhood home, though some friends did help out with some minor touches on album. An educated man with a penchant for intimate and gripping storytelling, his gentle blend of wispy folk guitars and sparse electronica makes nbtc__dv_250 Because I Am Always Talking a very hushed, emotive listen.

Musically, Careful is a very delicate journey from beginning to end. Lindley's voice rarely hovers above a whisper and the music is downright gorgeous and often aches in a beautiful way. The manner in which the acoustic instruments are utilized with the subtle electronica is perfect, at some points reminding me of the brilliance of Radiohead or The Postal Service. Lyrically, however, the subject matter is quite dense and very much on the darker side of the spectrum. The topics include loneliness, doomed relationships, ill-fated suicide attempts, and post-apocalyptic sex.

To the casual listener, it might be hard to distinguish differences from track to track here. Honestly, on the first listen I was guilty of this myself. But after your intrigue is peaked and you pay closer attention, there's plenty of variety running through these songs. “Odd Exchange” highlights the acoustic guitars. On the other hand, “Quite” plays more into the electronic side of things. “The Water Kept Coming” sounds like the soundtrack to a late night drive through the desert; it is a completely desolate yet alluring tune. This goes directly into “It's Funny,” which is Lindley at his most forceful and loudest – it’s undoubtedly the most animated Lindley gets here. Interestingly, the disc closes on the primarily hand clapping track of “Frog Went A’Courting.”

Because I Am Always Talking is a graceful, sophisticated offering that explores the harshness of the human experience. While this isn't going to be the feel good record of the year, it is one of the finer albums of 2012. If you find interest in anything by Elliott Smith or Sufjan Stevens, this will be a nice fit in your collection.

Rating: A

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