Tulip Frenzy’s #1 Album of 2010: Darker My Love’s “Alive As You Are”

Let us admit that we can’t do better than the wag who said that Darker My Love’s Alive As You Are is “what the Byrds would have sounded like if they’d grown up listening to the Byrds.”  That’s particularly good, because it’s so accurate. Alive As You Are is a throwback that would have seemed derivative if it hadn’t been flawless — a flawless time capsule from the late ’60s woodshedding/gone-to-Marin era, a country rock gem.  One false note and maybe we would have questioned how a band whose leaders had once played with the Fall, and whose drummer was recruited from the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and whose first two albums plied the wire between punk rock and neo-psychedelica, could have produced an album as sunny and light as this.  Tim Presley and Rob Barbato are great singers, and superb songwriters, and these guys are to three-chord rock what Apollo Ohno is to the short track: they are graceful and precise, and know how to make their move.  Alive As You Are at first sounded like some weird detour, but we’ll be surprised if, no matter what sound comes next, they break the phyllo-thin crust of harmony and joy that encased this record so delicately. Since the advent of the cassette deck, we’re hard pressed to remember more than a handful of albums we’ve listened to in their entirety, over and over, without cutting off one downer or dog from our playlist.  The first J. Geils album.  The Clash.  Surfer Rosa by the Pixies. Take It From The Man! Darker My Love has just entered rare company: a band that has made a perfect album.  And in 2010, as in any other year, you can’t beat perfection.

7 Responses to “Tulip Frenzy’s #1 Album of 2010: Darker My Love’s “Alive As You Are””

  1. No, John, you don’t need an editor. Well said. Except that I don’t think that the cassette deck stopped me from listening to LPs straight through. We all made mix tapes, but the real deconstruction came with iTunes and iPods. That’s why I still prefer to buy the CD so I can play it all in sequence.


  2. MonsterMawd Says:

    After listening to this, I have to disagree about the Bird’s comparison, it’s DNA is more rooted in GRATEFUL DEAD …..especially “Backseat”

  3. MonsterMawd Says:

    btw: ….the album is …..brilliant.

  4. […] three years ago, Tulip Frenzy called Presley’s band Darker My Love’s Alive As You Are the Album Of The Ye…  Last year, we awarded the collaboration between White Fence and Ty Segall half of the Album Of […]

  5. […] talent.  The last Darker My Love album, Alive As You Are, was such a great album, we awarded it Tulip Frenzy’s 2010 Album of The Year.  Higher proof praise is legal only in countries that sell […]

  6. […] could do, not just because his band Darker My Love released Tulip Frenzy’s #1 album in 2010, Alive As You Are.  And in 2012, Presley and Segall collaborated on Hair, which qualified as no less than that […]

  7. […] My Love, a genuine band with, you know, multiple musicians recording songs, um, together, his Alive As You Are was a country rock gem, as meticulously crafted as an Hermes stirrup.  In 2014, For The Recently […]

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