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A Life Full of Farewells

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Album Review

The first thing you notice on this disc is a muted trumpet playing a sad, midtempo refrain that echoes through the rest of the album and sets a mood that remains constant. All of the songs feature a shimmery, acoustic guitar-based sound and vague but attractive melodies; "End of Some Fear" comes close to rocking but never quite gets there, and everything else is slow, limpid, and regretful. Peter Walsh's voice is nice but unremarkable, and the lyrics seem to exist mostly to serve the songs' mood, not vice versa — frankly, you're not going to put this disc on to listen to the songs at all; you're going to put it on because you're in a particular mood. That said, there are some lyrics that will take you by surprise: lines like "You'll become my big excuse/The poison that I drink as I sink my teeth in you" are rather startling, particularly when sung in front of a sobbing steel guitar backdrop. There's nothing the matter with mood albums, anyway, and this really is a fine one.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A brisk Australian chamber pop group with echoes of Frenchman Serge Gainsbourg as well as Leonard Cohen and post-punk, the Apartments were formed in Brisbane during the late '70s by singer and guitarist Peter Milton Walsh, guitarist Michael O'Connell, bassist Peter Whitby, and drummer Peter Martin. Soon after the band's formation, Walsh was asked to join the Go-Betweens. It didn't work out, but the band released its first single for the band's Able label in 1979. The first incarnation of the Apartments...
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A Life Full of Farewells, The Apartments
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