Joan Of Arc "Joan of Arc, Dick Cheney, Mark Twain…"

Man, pretentious songwriting is such a drag to decipher. Joan of Arc’s main-man, Tim Kinsella, has made a name for himself as being one of the most self-infatuated songwriters working. His shtick is a purposefully eccentric mixture of naked and upfront emotional exploration and wilfully experimental musical craft. Over the course of the seven albums Joan of Arc have released in as many years, Kinsella has come a long way in improving the craft of sounds he’s capable of producing, but hasn’t grown one iota as a lyricist. He’s still more interested in expressing his somewhat superficial existentialist philosophical predicament (albeit in vague remarks and ironically smirking statements) than pinpointing any real universal truths, while his poetry is as poorly phrased as ever. Music-wise, this is his most interesting and varied would-be statement yet, but as a concept album about America’s current political situation it falls drastically short of expressing anything more than random scatological impressions of the modern world’s increasingly desperate situation and a pile of unfounded apocalyptic paranoia. In short, Joan of Arc’s latest is like trying to predict the future without having a clue what went on in the past — a grand feat that’s destined to fail. (Polyvinyl)