My Education’s solemn LP, A Drink For All My Friends, was released this past November as a dedication to “everyone we’ve lost.” The album is entirely instrumental, and seeks to be a thought-provoking influence in the minds of its listeners.
The first two tracks are meant to be related to one another, as their titles suggest. “A Drink…” is a short piece, spanning less than two minutes, and sets the tone for what’s to come in the rest of the album. Taking the forefront of the song is a harmony of violins that complement a solitary vibraphone. It’s the type of song that would be played during the holiday season, as it definitely has a calm and soothing effect on the listener. Transitioning to “…For All My Friends,” we are finally greeted by a chorus of guitars and drums, although there remains a gloomy feel. At one point in “Mister 1986,” you can almost hear what sounds like raindrops, or a basketball dribble on a court, in the background, before the viola and guitars arrive once again. The melody creates an atmospheric ambience that somewhat clears your muddled feelings and worries and brushes them away. The piano in the backdrop serves to add to the moody feeling, and is a centerpiece of the song.
The nadir of the album arrives in “Black Box.” It’s way too long and seems to drag on and on endlessly. Everything about the track sounds like it’s been slowed down exponentially, adding up to a single that simply isn’t worth listening to.
The problem with A Drink For All My Friends is that it never really gets going. It has a few flashes of potential here and there, but the sullen mood that it seeks to create is just too much for me to bear.
In A Word: Comatose