I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day is Julie Doiron's best work. Better even in my mind than Love Tara, that quintissential Eric's Trip record. Better than any previous solo recording, better as a whole than any Shotgun & Jaybird (but there is some overlap, will mention this). Better as a whole record than anything I've heard by her, and it'll be hard-pressed to be beaten as my best album of 2009. Very hard-pressed.
I love this album with every little bit of me. When I first heard it, I listened to it through and could not give 100% to anything else, so I just gave up and listened. And then I listened again. And then I listened a third time, the album the whole way through. It is gorgeous, it is heartfelt, it is a beautiful mix of new and old, of cute and sincere.
There are, I think, three Shotgun & Jaybird songs on here, three that I recognise as Shotgun & Jaybird anyway: Spill Yer Lungs, Lovers of the World, and Borrowed Minivans. These are old gems, old classics, and I'm mighty glad to see them being exposed to a wider audience, and we'll get to see them live again with more consistency. The re-recording of Borrowed Minivans is delightful--it's my favourite S&J song that Julie sings on, and this recording sounds more... loose, more live, more natural.
The record as a whole is solid, and it runs the gamut of everything about Julie we know and love. There are the cute tracks: Life of Dreams, opening the record; Nice to Come Home, an absolutely adorable song about sharedness and distance; Glad to Be Alive, closing the album, which is my new pick-me-up of a song. You can't help but smile to these ones, they're just those which will slap a silly smile on your face.
Heavy Snow sounds as though it could be on Broken Girl or Loneliest in the Morning, that classic Julie sound; the sad songs. It wouldn't be a Julie Doiron album without sad songs, would it? Along with Blue, these fill that requisite, and fill it oh so well. Blue sounds unlike anything else she's recorded, layered and lovely, and sad to its very core--the closest similarity I can find is her work last year with Mount Eerie.
Consolation Prize, which I imagine most of you have heard by now, sounds like it could be off of an Eric's Trip record, but it has the clear markers of a Julie solo record, the little idiosyncracies of dropping a telephone...
There are stand-out tracks. They aren't necessarily the best on the record, but they stand out above the others for one reason or another. I can't really discern why. They are in fact two of my favourite tracks on the album, but I haven't really decided on what my favourite tracks actually are... Anyway, Tailor has this beautiful sound to it, this is what Julie's voice is made for. The melody is beautiful, the lyrics are adorable, everything is wonderful. I'm just exuding joy consistently at the listening of this. In the running for my favourite track of the album, though, is When Brakes Get Wet, a short little tune that you can hear if you tune into my radio show tomorrow night. The instrumentation is beautiful, the stereo percussion and what I can only assume are kneeslaps. This is Sackville music. It's such a beautiful story, such a beautiful sentiment, such a beautiful everything.
I love this album. Thank you, Julie, for giving this to the world. Almost 20 years into your career, you're still making the most beautiful music that could possibly be made.
I'm not sharing this music on my blog, because I want you all to support her. You can purchase it from Amazon here and I imagine you can get it from iTunes, too. Like I said, listen to my radio show if you want a taste. Mondays at midnight (Atlantic) on CHMA 106.9 in Sackville, or listen to the webstream here.
Released: 10 March 2009
all of this town seems drunk tonight and i'm looking for your hand