Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Bob Mould, District Line

Bob Mould has had a long, varied and rich musical career.  He broke out with the influential post-punk band Husker Du that was one of the defining alt rock bands of the ’80s.  When Husker Du split up he released solo albums in the guises of both a sensitive singer/songwriter and a guitar rocker.  He then disappeared for awhile before returning with a new interest in electronic music.  He has been DJing in my town of Washington DC for awhile and has released at least one dance-oriented album.  With District Line he returns to guitar-based rock and shows no signs whatsoever of coming anywhere close to creative stagnation. 

With the exception of drummer Brendan Canty and cellist Amy Domingues, Mould plays all the instruments on District Line along with writing all the songs.  The CD falls into the small category of albums that addresses human relationships from an adult perspective (Mould is in his mid-40s) without coming across like a twenty-something trying to sound all grown up or a middle-aged loser straining to hold on to his youth.  Mould is simply a talented musician and songwriter who continues to make vital music.

The music on District Line is driven primarily by Mould’s strong guitar and Canty’s muscular and varied drumming.  Electronics are used to nice effect as accents and flavoring (as on “Shelter Me” for one example) without being prominently featured.  On the evidence provided here, Mould’s personal life has not been so good lately as many of these songs are concerned with the difficulties of maintaining – and ending – long term relationships.  “Again and Again” is a particularly good example.  Over a rolling melodic hook Mould sings “I never found the trust I needed from you / Everything you did was making me wonder / My biggest mistake was taking you back / Again and again.”  If you’ve been there, you can hear that he has too.  It’s like a dagger in the heart.

District Line is adult rock of the best kind, sung from an adult perspective without attempting to fit into the musical straightjacket of what the record company suits think adults want to hear.  It’s just a good rock record and that’s just fine.


08/31/2008 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews | ,

1 Comment »

  1. Hi! I am a musician from Mexico, I play and compose instrumental music,I would like to ask you if you could review my music?
    I´ll be releasing a new CD this weekend, and a review from you would be a great honor for me.
    Here´s the complete album for review

    Please fill in with this: username: ainur

    password: paisajesefimeros


    Comment by Ainur | 09/02/2008 | Reply

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