The output of The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle has been nearly insurmountable. The prolific songwriter has the unique ability of story telling through multiple songs spread across many albums. His early aughts releases are especially riveting. The devastating Tallahassee, which tracked the dissolution and demise of a Florida couple's marriage in gory detail, was followed by the nearly autobiographical We Shall All Be Healed. The Sunset Tree follows the same path but to more devastating results. The album is the tale of Darnielle's abusive stepfather. He's a misguided drunk with little love to spare for Darnielle. The songwriter's storytelling is engaging while it's evident that the album is a cathartic moment for him.
- music label: 4AD 2008