At the center of every album is a musical thesis. For The Besnard Lakes and their album, “A Coliseum Complex Museum,” the ideas are familiar and new at the same time. Death Cab for Cutie sang about being a tourist in your hometown. Faulkner wrote about being at odds with the place you call home. Almost every Bruce Springsteen song features a character who sees nothing but the familiar and longs for more. On this album, The Besnard Lakes revive the same idea but with a different take. They focus on being a refugee in your own skin. That kind of mental image is powerful. For me, it stirs vivid ideas around a nomadic life escaping trauma only to find yourself in distant and unfamiliar lands. When applied to our daily lives, I see a generation of people clawing their way toward one corner of the map to another in an effort to find some meaning.
We reach this idea of change by allowing ourselves to be present in the moment. This is the second idea tackled on this album. We put a lot of pressure on our future selves. So much so that we forget to live in the present tense. This collection of songs invites you to slow down and listen to what is happening around you closely. When you do, I believe we will know more joy, fulfillment, and peace of mind. What lies in the future arrives at its own pace. All we have is now.
Finally, all of the themes on this album are presented over what I have been calling a cosmic hum. This is a record that invites you to pull close and pay attention fully. If you are easily distracted, a lyric will pass you by only to be lost to eternity. This cosmic hum only adds strength to the aforementioned themes. Paying attention to our feelings gives our current predicament value and lessons to be learned. Paying attention to the now gives our life purpose. Being present makes being human worthwhile.
Be good to each other,
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