Review: Jeff Rosenstock — Post-

Categories:  The Arts    Music
Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 at 6:00 PM
Review: Jeff Rosenstock — Post- by Dakota Palmer

                                                                                    ★★★☆☆

Indie singer and songwriter Jeff Rosenstock released his third solo album — “Post-“ — on Jan. 1. This album release was a surprise to fans, as Rosenstock did not promote the album leading up to its release.

The LP, in  small amounts, is a criticism of our political climate, and this is most apparent on tracks such as “USA,” “Beating My Head Against a Wall” and “Let Them Win.”

“USA” is a seven-and-a-half-minute anthem discussing Rosenstock’s distrust and dissatisfaction with the current state of America. The first lines of the song capture this feeling well: “Dumbfounded, downtrodden and dejected / Crestfallen, grief-stricken and exhausted.”

This fast-paced song continues with, “I fought the law, but the law was cheating,” which is a more direct hit at law enforcement and American politics. Rosenstock’s sound on this song, and the album as a whole, comes off more as a screaming, rebellious teenager practicing with his band in the garage, rather than an album that came from a 35-year-old man. However, I’ll give him credit where it’s due: the adolescent sound of this album is certainly catchy.

The latter half of the song is much slower-paced, with Rosenstock continuously chanting, “We’re tired and bored.” The song ends with “Et tu, USA?” which is a literary allusion to Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” This lyric is typically used to indicate the betrayal of someone, which ultimately means Rosenstock feels betrayed by his country.

Later in the album lies “Beating My Head Against A Wall,” which is about have a political discussion with someone whose political beliefs differ from yours. This song has a pretty simple guitar riff, and Rosenstock’s distorted and repetitive vocals are reminiscent of a Ramones song.

The song details how it’s extremely hard to have a conversation with someone who is fundamentally different than you and makes you want to beat your head against a wall. Additionally, Rosenstock notes a battle most people have had once or twice: wanting to make the world better by having an open discussion, but also fighting the urge to punch that person in the face.

“I know know know know know in my heart that all I wanna see is peace / But I I I I I want to fight you with every little bit of me.”

Finally, he concludes the album with “Let Them Win,” which is a slower, semi-uplifting hymn about how even though some American politicians lead lives that merely benefit them instead of the citizens, we won’t let them win.

One stanza really stands out in this song: “They can make us feel afraid and try to turn it into hate / They can steal our slice for the hundredth time, judge us when we cry / And never empathize with anyone but themselves.”

This part of the song really drives home the point that our political climate is not one we should be comfortable in, and with politicians making choices for us without any moral or ethical regard, we shouldn’t be complacent. Additionally, one could wonder if the line about crying is a slight at President Trump for referring to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer as “Cryin’ Chuck Schumer.”

Overall, the sound of the album could have been more clean, as the heavy distortion in many of the songs was too sophomoric, but the message of the album is strong and relevant, but also respectful. This is an album that needs to be listened to in its entirety, rather than a song here and there.

Standout tracks: “USA,” “9/10,” “Let Them Win.”

Stream "Post-" below:

 

Dakota Palmer is the exective editor for The Spectator. She can be reached at edinboro.spectator@gmail.com.

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