My Top 18 Albums Of 2013: # 6 (Tie) The Long Lost – David Bronson
I have a theory about The Long Lost, the melodies are deep and twisty and demand concentration to unravel their pleasures. Far from being in your face, they are burrowed under the arrangement and only emerge to disappear again. The melodies on David Bronson’s prequel to last years The Story, completes the epic from the other side but it does so as extended transmogrification of emotional desperation: it sounds as disjointed and alone as it tells.
I can’t guess how I would have reacted to The Long Lost if I hadn’t heard Story first. Story is maybe not a better album, but it hits harder and is easier to get along with, if I didn’t love Story I might have not pushed so hard to get a handle on The Long Lost, but there you go. a couple of spins in and the brittle raging “Stay In Touch” reveals itself as a masterpiece of thwarted love: “You’ll see yourself for what you really are” isn’t just a great hook, it is also a great dig.
Next the Nick Drake folkie “Incompetent Assassin” began to stand out and one song earlier on the album, “Crooked Trails” , has haunting back up singing on the bridge in a dark blue it is turquoise sound of lostness and confusion building to a soaring guitar solo that drifts back into the mix.
That’s another reason why The Long Lost is such a hard sell, after Story’s distilled recovery, the scarred but healed album, this one has no way out because he hasn’t arrived there: it is all disquietening moodiness disrupted .
At 41 minutes the album is like a play cut into separate scenes but more like a play of the mind where everything is happening at once; it doesn’t feel linear, it feels as if the story is occurring simultaneously, and so less than a story and more like a series of emotions going through change after change and ending in anger.
On its own, for all its goodness, The Long Lost wouldn’t be # 6 of the year, but when heard in conjunction with Story, it is a full bloodied masterpiece and artistic triumph.