This shit is so weird, album reviews that is. Writing one to be specific. It is a really strange thing to me for someone to analyze someone else’s art and then try to convince anyone else what to think about it. I fully recognize the hypocrisy of this statement in the context of a fucking record review. I would also be remiss not to mention that I am on friendly terms with the people who make Elway records and am thus a bit biased. But I’ll try to keep my remarks about For The Sake Of The Bit to a respectful analytical monotone. I’m also not going to dive into a tear-down of each song, trying to discern what Tim Browne was thinking when he wrote that. I will not ponder what he had for dinner or what kind of trashy beer posing as a fancy IPA he was drinking at the time. Who am I to say anyway?
All that being said, I personally enjoy this album. It has some elements of prior Elway songs, specifically from Leavetaking, but is also clearly an evolved sound. I particularly like that I can listen to this and feel like I’ve come home. It has that Colorado sound that I always have a hard time describing to anyone else. But I can always identify it and it usually gives me a strange feeling of nostalgia for where I grew up. (Fun fact: Joe Henderer and I grew up about a mile from each other, but 10 years apart).
Some my of favorite aspects of the record are:
- The first song, “Inches”, is deliciously ironic to what I am doing here.
- Songs can sway from upbeat and urgent to morose and self deprecating.
- “Hold On” uses the word “blasé” which really makes me happy.
- An ongoing theme of loss and hopeful resolutions contained under a guise of “Who gives a fuck?” is continued in this record.
- Hearing Joe “WOO!” in the background.
- The way “Paper Guitars” devolves through a sound bite at the end.
The final song on the record is “Nobody Goes into Meteorology for the Sunny Days” which really sums up the record well and is kind of the point. Shit is hard and complex and no one really ever gains an appreciation for anything that is boring. So should you listen to this album? I suspect you had an opinion about Elway before reading my words. So does it matter what I try and tell you to do? It’s on Spotify, has eight whole songs, and is 25 minutes long. Is it really that hard to give something 25 minutes of your time? If you like it, maybe go see them play a live show and buy the record.