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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album, 5 May 2007
This review is from: The Sunset Tree (Audio CD)
This is one album for anyone who appreciates a poetic voice and powerful folk rock. It changed the way I thought about a whole host of subjects. Darnielle grabs you with a catchy rif particularly on songs like Dance Music but leaves you feeling uncompfortable. You realise once it's too late that's his lyrics are deeply personal and moving.

A great album. The only problem with reviews like this on amazon is that you never get an unbiased view. The only people who, quite frankly, can be bothered, either love the album or hate it. Guess You'll just have to see for yourself.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh, they spoil us!, 18 Oct 2005
By 
I. Lehnert (Derby/Blackburn, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Sunset Tree (Audio CD)
Eleven albums in, John Darnielle and his fellow Goats just continue to get better. Produced by indie underground icon John Vanderslice, The Sunset Tree is the Mountain Goats' most personal, most poppy at times, most beautiful and most affecting recording since their inception.
The music however, takes equal precedent with the lyrics this time, with the content mainly centered around stories of Darnielle's abusive step father, and his upbringing. But it doesn't bog down the music at all, and the each song has the same clear infectious presentation and addictiveness that's been present since 2002's 'Tallahassee'. There is much more instrumentation this time around too; gone are the days of one acoustic guitar and one voice, which this time touches shoulders with cellos and pianos. Also, Peter Hughes' fearsome bass work really comes forward in 'Broom People', one of many highlights.
All in all, the Mountain Goats don't know how to make bad records, and this could be their best. Another gem for fans, another great starter for the uninitiated. Job well done lads, again.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad but brilliant songs, 2 Jun 2005
By 
This review is from: The Sunset Tree (Audio CD)
John Darnielle, the talented lyricist and singer behind The Mountain Goats, here swaps the oblique wordplay, which baffled me on previous records, for deeply personal tales of child abuse and broken households from his past. At his most direct ('This Year', 'Dance Music'), it can be difficult to listen to, but the fact that Darnielle has dedicated the album to his abusive stepfather only symbolises the uplifting messages of hope that are also present. Musically, acoustic guitars, pianos and Darnielle's distinctively high vocals mostly lead the typically catchy pop songs, with a few exceptions: 'Dilaudid' finds Darnielle alone with a string section and the Peter Buck-esque mandolin on 'Magpie' wouldn't be out of place on R.E.M's 'Out Of Time'. Don't be put off by lyrics like "as my step father yells at my mother/launches a glass across the room"; this is a truly wonderful record. There's still time to make Darnielle the star he deserves to be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely Original, 10 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Sunset Tree (Audio CD)
Fantastic sound, I bought this album after hearing part of a song featured in The Walking Dead, I did a bit of research and found the Mountain Goats, I am blown away, the depth and the sound of the music are hypnotizing and each song is better than the last, requires repeat listing to understand some of the lyrics ( if you enjoy that kinda thing ).
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Sunset TreeMENDOUS, 14 Oct 2012
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This review is from: The Sunset Tree (Audio CD)
Sorry about that awful pun. The point here is that The Sunset Tree is a great album. First MG album I've bought since people online seemed to think it was their best, and they weren't wrong. Best album I own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and bewitching, 23 Jan 2011
This review is from: The Sunset Tree (Audio CD)
A beautiful melancholy album - snippets of a sad childhood - rendered via by looking back on times past. Listening to this invariable moving album transports you to a 80s California, there is a something magically emotive in John Darnielle lyrics, pairing with stripped back guitar and piano. The album is wonderfully unrefined and refreshing - I particular love that you can hear and appreciate every word.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the very best of the Mountain Goats - so far, 9 Oct 2010
By 
tallmanbaby (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Sunset Tree (Audio CD)
Critics and fans tend to rate this as the very best Mountain Goats album. Although it is apparently about an abused childhood, it certainly took me a good few listens to pick up on it. It is a varied, and at times exhilarating listen, not as dark sounding as the subject matter might suggest.

This is probably the most musically rounded and best produced of the Mountain Goats albums. Particular highlights are Dilaudid, Lion's Teeth, and Pale Green Things but it would be a shame to pull a few tracks out of such a well rounded album.

If you like this, then lyrically and thematically, Tallahassee, will appeal, and musically Get Lonely will appeal. Also well worth searching out is the Moon Colony Bloodbath EP which was released on vinyl, but is findable for free download.

Sample lyrics - from Pale Green Things

got up before dawn
went down to the racetrack.
riding with the windows down
shortly after your first heart attack.
you parked behind the paddock,
cracking asphalt underfoot,
coming up through the cracks
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The Sunset Tree
The Sunset Tree by Mountain Goats (Audio CD - 2005)
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