The Wrens

The Meadowlands

There’s passivity to The Meadowlands that can be either comforting or maddening, depending on how mature you’re feeling at the moment. The protagonist here is a man of inaction. The first song has him moaning, “I can’t believe/ what life has done to me,” and by the end of the album he’s lost the girl because he’s basically too lazy to pick up the phone and call her. Along the way, he constructs a philosophy that comes to a head in “Thirteen Grand” and its proclamation that “I’ve lived my life waiting for tomorrow.” This boy is exhausted from setting his sights low. But The Wrens don’t seem to share the hero’s affection for idleness. Instead, they construct a tight backdrop of harmonies and imaginative playing that seems to suggest that they have learned the lessons of youth and are ready to start living. A great record.