Watashi Wa

Eager Seas

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There are stories going around about strange circumstances surrounding this, Watashi Wa's final album for the Tooth and Nail label. According to one published account, Watashi Wa no longer actually exists as a band; it broke up, and leader Seth Roberts formed a new group called Eager Seas. The new band recorded this album, which was originally going to be titled People Like People, but something happened and Eager Seas left the Tooth and Nail label. Tooth and Nail went ahead and released the album, but under the Watashi Wa name, and titled the album Eager Seas. There's surely lots of complication and anguish lurking behind that back-story, but the bottom line is that what has resulted is an album that is dramatically removed in sound and mood from the last Watashi Wa release. Roberts' songwriting still bears that distinctive post-emo melodicism and his lyrics are still unabashedly Christian, but the crunchy-sweet rockishness has been replaced by a much more varied sonic approach that makes room (unfortunately) for harmonica and slide guitar (on "Courtyard") and (more interestingly) for expressions of doubt and despair (on "Broken Man") as well as a touching ode to Roberts' father ("Father, Son"). If you're looking for another blissful power pop confection in the wake of the brilliant Love of Life you might be disappointed, but if you give yourself time to get to know some of these fascinating and sometimes knotty songs, you won't regret it. (And if you really need a Love of Life fix, the program includes, inexplicably, what sounds like a re-recorded version of "All of Me.")

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