10 Songs, 36 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Exactly 20 years after releasing his brilliant solo debut, Workbook, Bob Mould summons his original indie-rocker voice — with great reward — on his ninth solo outing, Life and Times, on which he is joined by Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster. From the first acoustic guitar plinking of the title track, you sense that he’s done (at least for now) with melding his affection for dance-club music with guitar rock; on last year’s District Line, he continued toying with reverb and vocoder manipulation, but there’s nary a hint of it here. The title track is a stunner, building palpable tension and shifting from the soft to the loud before you notice: “Somehow you’re getting into my thoughts,” he muses, and he’s not happy about it. The set is perfectly paced, with rockers like “MM 17” and “Argos” interspersed with powerfully moody tracks like “The Breach” and “Bad Blood Better.” The grit and howl of “Spiraling Down” matches the needle-in-the-red levels of Hüsker Dü, and the single, “I’m Sorry, Baby ...” is pure heartwrenching break-up balladry. With scorching guitar work and Mould’s familiar, warm growl present throughout, one feels like an old friend is back; there’s not a bone to pick here.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Exactly 20 years after releasing his brilliant solo debut, Workbook, Bob Mould summons his original indie-rocker voice — with great reward — on his ninth solo outing, Life and Times, on which he is joined by Superchunk drummer Jon Wurster. From the first acoustic guitar plinking of the title track, you sense that he’s done (at least for now) with melding his affection for dance-club music with guitar rock; on last year’s District Line, he continued toying with reverb and vocoder manipulation, but there’s nary a hint of it here. The title track is a stunner, building palpable tension and shifting from the soft to the loud before you notice: “Somehow you’re getting into my thoughts,” he muses, and he’s not happy about it. The set is perfectly paced, with rockers like “MM 17” and “Argos” interspersed with powerfully moody tracks like “The Breach” and “Bad Blood Better.” The grit and howl of “Spiraling Down” matches the needle-in-the-red levels of Hüsker Dü, and the single, “I’m Sorry, Baby ...” is pure heartwrenching break-up balladry. With scorching guitar work and Mould’s familiar, warm growl present throughout, one feels like an old friend is back; there’s not a bone to pick here.

TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.3 out of 5
69 Ratings

69 Ratings

duncanvw ,

Great record

For fans of early Husker Du, the later Bob Mould releases can be a really welcomed find as we get a little "older." I loved District Line, and so far, Life and Times sounds great.

HamsterDan ,

Amazing as always!

Bob is one of those artists who's albums I will buy without hearing a note off of them first. I just know they'll be good. And as usual, this one does not disappoint. This will be in regular rotation on my iPod for months.

Otis 99 ,

A Masterwork by the Master

This man is a true artist. An extraordinary cycle of songs, honest, heart-wrenching, real musicianship. I am not one to write reviews on this site, but I am so taken with this album, I couldn't help myself. In a world where the music today is a corporate mash of one-note posers, Bob Mould is the real thing. Why he is not the number one musical act in the land is almost criminal. The urgency and real emotion of each and every song speaks to the man and his art. Without a doubt, one of the best albums I've heard in years. It gives me hope. "Life and Times" is essential and any serious songwriter or music afficionado will want this collection very close at hand at all times. You feel this album in your gut, and it's not often that happens. Amazing.

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