Jandek

When I Took That Train

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AllMusic Review by

When I Took That Train is an appropriate title for one of the many umpteenth Jandek albums, as with this guy the journey's the thing, not the destination. Certainly he appears no closer to resolving his inner demons on this outing than he was when he first began putting out records about a quarter century prior to this 2005 release. It's just Jandek and defiantly discordant guitar on this 11-song, 43-minute disc, and as is par for the course, it defies observations that haven't already been made of much of his other work. Perhaps there's a greater focus on semi-spoken vocalizing here, but the absence of conventional melody or harmonious guitar strings remains constant. One especially creepy aspect deserving of mention is that there are quite a few lyrics here that are romantic pleas, or even come-ons. Yet they're delivered with such ghoulish death-rattle relish that it's hard to imagine anyone being enticed or seduced by them, or even sympathizing with them too heavily. Quite the contrary -- these are the kind of anti-valentines that seem guaranteed to drive potential lovers away in alarm, though Jandek, as ever, seems oblivious to that possibility. Most of us can only hope it's private acting-out therapy, and not the way the singer delivers such messages in real life.

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