Monday, July 10, 2017

Anathema - Endless Ways

I finally got around to revisiting Anathema's new record The Optimist , as I hadn't given the whole thing a listening since I first got to hear it about 2 months ago.

I can say, I have a better sense about it now, and maybe its concept to a point.

But for me, especially right now, the 1st half worked very well, and the 2nd half I found a little more hit and miss.

But the biggest thing that I'm retaining right now from it is this track "Endless Ways" with Lee Douglas on lead vocals. Sohhh melancholy. It just hit me like a ton of bricks. I would rank this now as 1 of my 5 favorite Anathema songs, and kind of like 2016's track "You Never Were Alone" from Cloud Cult and "Happy Returns" from Steven Wilson.

I was fighting back the tears trying to listen to it. Different images and reasons for them. A bit like The Antlers 2009 album Hospice and the timing of discovering it not long before and then after when my grandfather passed away. My head is lingering with nostalgia for the recent past and my now old apartment.

I feel almost like someone or something died. And actually, my wife's Aunt did sadly just pass away, and I was at the funeral last Friday which was melancholy in a lot of ways like this song. But this song is capturing my sadness from my memories of the past 8.5 years. I'm not sure how else to describe it.

I guess leaving my independence in a lot of ways behind. Sort of closing a chapter in a book. It definitely carries that emotion. And given the timing of hearing it more profoundly now, I may always associate it with losing or leaving my independence behind and the memories I have of my life since 2009 and my bachelor-lifestyle back in my old apartment in Maplewood.

I suppose it and a lot of the rest of the album brings my frequent thoughts of mortality and aging too, and the story about someone living on the West Coast of North America, likely Northern California and a tragic event (a Wild Fire?) that impacts them. Their home burns in a fire and they have to drive away to an unknown destination?

I am not sure how much I will love The Optimist compared to their other recent records which are all 4-4.5 stars, but the criticism of it not comparing I only can follow to a small degree. It may just be more of a slow burner and a grower. At a minimum, Endless Ways is gorgeous and sad as all fuck, much like many of their songs are, which is one of the biggest reasons I love a lot of their music. And to add to the timing of this for me, may just be what makes it an all-time favorite of mine.