Facts About Funerals Love Songs & Funeral Homes

Tragedy affects different people in different ways, and Rob Sharp, the songwriter for New West Motels, initially shied away from music when his parents and sister all died within a two-month period. When he returned to his band, the songs had, not surprisingly, taken on a more personal, bleaker tone and that led to the change of moniker to the much more suitable Facts About Funerals. Making Love Songs & Funeral Homes might have been a cathartic experience for Sharp but that hasn’t translated into an enjoyable album. And it isn’t just the subject matter; it has a lot to do with the generic songs that are overly sentimental and simply not very good. The arrangements are muddled, with country elements thrown uncomfortably into the mix, although most songs just chug along sombrely. It’s hard to criticise music that emerges from such circumstances but apart from the very occasional hint of a pretty melody, there isn’t anything here that anyone apart from Sharp needs to listen to. (Evangeline)