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  You Should Be Living
Artist: Twothirtyeight
Label: Tooth & Nail
Length: 10 tracks/ 36:55

After establishing themselves as a top-notch indie rock act, Twothirtyeight is now ready to release their first original full-length with Tooth & Nail. Most of the songs on _You Should Be Living_ have made their way into the band’s set list at their shows for many recent months. So it is with much gratefulness that fans finally find these songs recorded and released.

Once again, on You Should Be Living Twothirtyeight displays a sound that is truly original. It could be considered to be somewhere between Pedro the Lion and Jimmy Eat World, but that’s the closest one can come to pinning them down. More than ever, on this release the band capitalizes on a bit of a funk sound in addition to their indie rock sensibilities. The result is overall a pleasing thing.

Without a doubt, the strength of You Should Be Living is in the lyrics. The album begins with “Modern Day Prayer,” a heartfelt postmodern plea that truly captures the heart and the hurt of the age we live in: “God, if you can hear could you help me and my friends? We’ve been driving all night into dead ends. We just want to find our own way home again.” “Forty Hour Increments” is a rather sad, yet true look at the life of the working man or woman. It resolves, “Don’t be afraid to pack your things and leave the comfort money brings and find your own way out of here alone. Cause we’re all homeless anyway. We’re searching in so many ways. I do believe there is a place for us.” On “Romancing the Ghost” we hear the story of a concert where no one shows up. Perhaps the best song of the album comes with the funky “Sad September”, which picks a bone with high school: “What am I doing here? There’s life outside, I’m stuck inside this classroom. They weren’t tolerant of individuals that make up their own minds. I’ve made mine too—I’m through.” The song goes on to point out in a rather tongue in cheek way, “All the loners become cops and grow more lonely in their squad cars. I find it funny that the all stars are all old fat. And the cheerleaders have babies with houses and husbands. They should have known.” The album closer “The Bathroom Is a Creepy Place” is a song for anyone who has ever had the sudden thought, “what am I doing here?”

Twothirtyeight write music that is relevant to anyone who has ever felt heartache and as a result this album should relate well to anyone who hears it. What Twothirtyeight has done here is tap into the heart of what the youth of this postmodern age feel and drain it into a collection of songs. Sometimes it’s sad, sometimes it’s cynical, but in the end it comes out honest and refreshing.

Trae Cadenhead  8/18/2002



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