Artist: The Handsome Family
Album: Honey Moon
File Under: Alt -Country
Featured Tracks: “When You Whispered”
Recent reviews of The Handsome Family’s 9th release, Honey Moon, seem to suggest this record is a refreshing collection of uplifting love songs. Having enjoyed the dark tones of the previous 8 wrist-slitters, I was worried. I put Honey Moon on for the first time expecting an utterly new Handsome Family, one I wasn’t sure my unmedicated mind could handle.
The opener, “Linger, Let me Linger” does indeed mention “hearts (drawn on a dusty window pane)” as well as “a love note (lying in the road)”. Is that a love song? I suppose it could be… I grabbed some old Prozac from the medicine cabinet and washed it down with cough syrup. “Little Sparrows” begs to “take me with you when you go”. That is romantic. I finished off a bottle of wine. “Were you with me then my friend, are you with me now?” How sweet!! I am uplifted! And darned if there weren’t some other new things here. The tinkling computer chirps on “Love is Like” evoke Grandaddy. I never saw that coming.
I understand this release coincides with the couples 20th wedding anniversary and all, but love fest this is not. Thank goodness! Brett Sparks’ deep voice, and his unique phrasings are dependably depressing. Rennie Sparks’ magical tragic lyrics would be otherwise unavailable except to the wallpaper in the office of a pricey psychoanalyst. There may be some more “love” songs here, but make no mistake these are not your mother’s love songs. These are songs of ACTUAL real-life love, 20 year love, crying on the phone love. There is a load of beauty but it’s in the dark shadows like the beauty on all previous Handsome Family albums. Enjoy this record with whisky, enjoy it with Zoloft, but whatever you do, go see them July 23rd at the Bottom of the Hill. I bet ya’ 2 drinks they are wearing black.