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Silver Jews

The liner notes to Dave Berman's sixth full length outing with his Silver Jews come complete not only with lyrics but with friggin' guitar chords. It's a strange touch, but an appropriate one, as Lookout Mountain, Lookout Sea might be the tightest and most sing-along friendly set he's crafted yet. Hell, "Candy Jail" could almost be mistaken for a Roger Miller song with it's strangely poignant, sweet tooth lyrics ("Life in a candy jail, with peppermint bars/Peanut brittle bunk beds and marshmallow walls/Where the guards are gracious and the grounds are grand/The warden keeps the data on your favorite brands"), while "Strange Victory, Strange Defeat" is an anti-American Idol anthem in the making ("What's with all the handsome grandsons in these rock band magazines?/And what have they done with the fat ones, the bald and the goateed?!"). But it's "Suffering Jukebox" that may be Berman's most classic tune yet, a sad-sack country jam punctuated with a chorus so perfect (sung in lovely contrast by Berman's wife, Cassie) that it's hard to imagine some other Nashville songwriter didn't beat him to it decades ago—"Suffering Jukebox/Such a sad machine/You're all filled up with what other people mean/ And they never seem to turn you up loud/Gotta lotta chatterboxes in this crowd."


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