Tanglewood Numbers

Tanglewood Numbers

A lot has changed in David Berman's life since his initial success with Silver Jews. He married his true love, Cassie Marrett, then descended into an addiction to crack cocaine that led to a suicide attempt in 2003. Following that, he became sober and reinvested himself in the Jewish faith. Tanglewood Numbers is the outcome of those experiences. It's impossible to not read the album’s upbeat energy as a reflection of Berman’s new lease on life. The songs are fun and familial in a manner that Silver Jews albums have rarely been before. On hand are many of Berman’s friends, including Pavement's Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich, as well as a host of esteemed musicians from Chicago and Nashville. Producer Mark Nevers helps bring an orchestral air to “Sometimes a Pony Gets Depressed,” which bursts with Berman’s simultaneous enthusiasm for both Bob Wills and Dinosaur Jr. Gone is the finely embroidered moroseness that elevated The Natural Bridge, but it's replaced by a hard-won conviction in love and persistence, carried to the listener in the form of wry folk yarns and truck-stop koans.

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