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Things Take Time, Take Time by Courtney Barnett – CD review

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by Steven G (subscribe)
Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published November 20th 2021
Things Take Time, Take Time by Courtney Barnett
Few days late to the party again. Sorry. I received my digital download of this on the release date, but life got in the way, and then I received my physical copy (Milk! Records are the best), so I've been playing this a bit, and finally work has settled down enough to where I feel comfortable writing a review.

Thus, I give you, Things Take Time, Take Time by Courtney Barnett (2021)

So, the album. Now, first, I have to say I am a fan of Courtney Barnett's work. I have liked all of the stuff I have. There is that sound of the rock I grew up seeing in the pubs of Adelaide in the 1980s/1990s, yet with enough of a modern edge to make it feel contemporary, while also presenting us with some well thought-out lyrics.

This album is more of the same, but there have been some changes. The sound, to me, is a little smoother, but the guitars and the distinctive voice are still right there at the forefront, and the album, on the whole, is more consistent. In my opinion, this is probably the best album in the Courtney Barnett discography thus far.

With that praise ringing out, let's look at the songs!

'Rae Street' We open with a mid-tempo song, a slice of life in music. The lyrics are such an interesting portrait of time and place, and the whole thing is just mesmerising. Such a good opener.

'Sunfair Sundown' This is a love song with the most interesting lyrics. Regular readers know of my love for good lyrics, of my ambitions to be a real writer, all of that… but when I find songs this well-written it makes it hard for me to think I'm on the right track.

'Here's The Thing' We slow down a little here for a beautiful song that just floats along so nicely and pleasantly. This is where the smoother sound really works – it adds a little something to a song like this that lifts it from good to really good.

'Before You Gotta Go' One of the highlights of the album to me. It's not just the lyrics, but the music has that sense of build I like, and the music just moves along so well. The guitar feels like it is at the perfect level as well. Well,we put-together as well as everything else.

'Turning Green' There is something of the old Casio about the drum sounds here, but with the keys playing along, that gave the music almost an early-80s undertone, then comes that closing guitar section, and I found myself lost in this track.

'Take It Day By Day' This song has more of the sound of Barnett's earlier albums, and that's not a bad thing, as in the running order it is a difference that helps keeps things interesting.

'If I Don't Hear From You Tonight' One of those weird love songs that feels just odd. The lyrics are, again, the strong point, but I do like the guitar and the drums are a strong base. Cool track.

'Write A List Of Things To Look Forward To' I'm not sure what it is about this track that makes it stand out, but this is another song that is a highlight of the album for me. The music, the voice, the lyrics, all of it works so well together.

'Splendour' We slow right down for a nice change of pace here. A pleasant track.

'Oh The Night' And we finish with another slower track, but one with some really strong lyrics. "And the days seem so familiar, like a film you never seen/ Yet you still get that strange nostalgia in the sentimental scenes…" is such a wonderful simile. Strong way to close out.

The songs, on the whole, felt a little more personal and I found I could relate to a lot more of the sentiments. There are a number of tracks here that stand with Barnett's best (in my opinion – 'Depreston', 'Pedestrian At Best' and 'Elevator Operator'), and I obviously think this is a great collection. Not one bad song in these ten, and at a running time of less than 35 minutes, it really does leave you wanting more.

I have become something of a fan of Milk! Records, with (at last count) over a dozen of their releases, and so if you want some strong music, not what you normally get from the mainstream, I cannot recommend them enough.

As for this album, one of the better ones this year. November has been a great month for music.
Hope you enjoy this one!
courtney, barnett, cd, album, music
My Courtney Barnett collection.

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