Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pick of the Week #24: Hayden - The Place Where We Lived

When I first listened to Hayden's newest album, The Place Where We Lived, I tried really hard to figure out whether I liked it more or less than his previous 7 records. I agonized over it a fair bit... it definitely didn't mean as much to me personally as Everything I Long For [1995], which was the perfect record for a young teen rebelling against his parental-units; it wasn't nearly as cool and serene as Skyscraper National Park [2001]; it didn't capture his live show and showcase his deadpan humour like Live at Convocation Hall [2002], nor did it have the hilarious and horrifying story telling that appeared on Elk Lake Serenade [2004]...

But The Place Where We Lived (presumably) paints a pretty accurate picture of where Hayden Dresser is in life after approximately 15 years as a singer/songwriter/record executive/Canadian Indie-Music Icon. He's not so angry - no bear-mauling, no tying people to cars and sending them into a lake, or searching for bodies frozen in river - he's got some friends (Howie Beck, the album's producer), and he seems more at ease with the ups and downs in life.

Sure, its a break-up album, which might explain the smaller gap between releases, and, as such, the content of the album centres around said break-up, but Hayden approaches the subject in a much more 'adult' sort of way. He isn't whining about it (like Justin Vernon aka Bon Iver), or giving the middle finger to his ex (like Lily Allen), but kind of debriefing a good friend that he hasn't seen in a while about the whole thing. He doesn't get into the gory details, or want your sympathy, but he's not going to sugar-coat the thing and make you think that it was "no big deal".

In the end, I'm not sure it matters where The Place Where We Lived ranks in Hayden's catalogue, since, each album, while retaining parts of previous efforts, is a unique beast. Certainly its a worthy addition to his impressive discography, and worth the $8.88 via the Zunior website...

[mp3] Hayden - Let's Break Up

Pick of the Week #1: Ketch Harbour Wolves
Pick of the Week #2: Rah Rah
Pick of the Week #3: Glasvegas/Animal Collective
Pick of the Week #4: Bruce Peninsula
Pick of the Week #5: The Antlers
Pick of the Week #6: The Darcys
Pick of the Week #7: Ohbijou
Pick of the Week #8:
Gentlemen Husbands
Pick of the Week #9: Chris Whitley
Pick of the Week #10: Alela Diane
Pick of the Week #11: K'naan
Pick of the Week #12: TOR/Sufjan Stevens
Pick of the Week #13: Timber Timbre
Pick of the Week #14: Justis
Pick of the Week #15: Hibiscus & Rosehips Compilation
Pick of the Week #16: Patrick Watson
Pick of the Week #17: Olenka and the Autumn Lovers
Pick of the Week #18: The Liptonians
Pick of the Week #19: Sunparlour Players
Pick of the Week #20: Black Hat Brigade
Pick of the Week #21: Howie Beck
Pick of the Week #22: Pink Mountaintops
Pick of the Week#23: Still Life Still

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