Nickel Creek have finally found their own voice on record with Why Should the Fire Die?
Their two previous records were produced by Alison Krauss and the sound of her band more than rubbed off.Why Should the Fire Die?
is lyrically and musically more mature than their previous efforts and focuses primarily on themes of love and relationships gone sour. Mandolin player and bandleader Chris Thile handles the majority of the songwriting duties and that's a good thing because his abilities as a writer far surpass that of his bandmates, Sean Watkins and Sara Watkins (brother & sister.) I also like how the songs sometimes sound more innocent than their lyrical content. The contrast is interesting.
I've included four tracks off of the fourteen track disc. If you don't listen to them all, at least check out "Helena" and "Why Should the Fire Die?" Two very different tracks that'll give you a feel for the variety they bring to the table.
"Helena": A song about being in multiple relationships when not everyone involved is aware of all of the circumstances. It's a pretty bitter, angst ridden song that grows from placid to furious both lyrically and musically as the song progresses (well as furious as a mandolin, fiddle, upright bass and an acoustic guitar can be.)
"When in Rome": A song about the status quo, fear thinking, keeping up with the Joneses and living under the expectations of others.
"Can't Complain": A song that's brutal in its assesment of some relationships gone wrong. I love the line "I guess we just kidnapped each others minds."
"Why Should the Fire Die?": The title track and the song that closes the disc asks the question why should (or does) the spark in a relationship die? It's a sparse, longing number that really sews the album up nicely. It's one of my favorite tracks off of the disc.
"When in Rome"
"Why Should The Fire Die?"Disclaimer to the big, bad label types that may stumble across this: These tracks aren't downloadable and they will be removed seven days after they're posted.