In the past, John Darnielle has captivated fans with subject matters ranging from divorce, flooding, talking animals, mythology and even an abusive relationship between a father and son. On his newest venture, Get Lonely, Darnielle sees the light at the end of the tunnel from The Sunset Tree, and the end result is the painting of a rainbow/calm after the storm. Here, Darnielle is reflective, thoughtful and above all else, quiet. It's not hard to imagine him playing in a small bedroom where the only thing between you and his words is a nice bottle of wine.
On first listen of Get Lonley, I wasn't that impressed. The songs seemed the same and Darnielle's confident-yet-moody vocals were not what I needed at that moment. Frankly, it was making me want to fall asleep. However, after two cups of coffee I gave the record a second, and deserved third, spin. It was at that point that I finally got it and found it more enjoyable. There is a definite Nick Drake meets Bright Eyes meets Belle And Sebastian quality to Darnielle's songwriting. Part of that could come from the emotional material, but most of it stems from the way in which each song is told like a story rather than just spewing out lyrics that don't stick. For example, on "Woke Up New," as the story unfolds you can totally envision not only what this poor lovesick man's sweater looks like, but also you can begin to taste that coffee that he attempted to make that morning. It's also interesting to think that although there are many instruments that fill the record (from cello and guitar to drums and vibraphones) you still can't help but feel alone.
It's important to keep in mind that The Mountain Goats is what it is. If you are a fan then by all means add this one to your collection. If you are new to them, I would suggest starting with Tallahassee over this one.