I generally don’t write about records/bands on A Reminder that I don’t really enjoy; it’s just not worth the effort when I don’t even have enough time/energy to write about every piece of music I do like. But I’m making an exception for the new Augie March record, Watch Me Disappear.
Watch Me Disappear is, quite simply, a dull record. When I put it on I found myself struggling to pay attention to it all the way through. By the time I got to the end of the record it had all blurred into one uninteresting, mid-paced, strum-along song. In fact, I can’t even isolate a single aspect of the record I didn’t enjoy as absolutely nothing stood out.
The reason this concerns me enough to write about is that once upon a time, Augie March made engaging (if overly long) records. Sunset Studies and Strange Bird are records that have some peaks and troughs, some light and shade. These records were evidence that Glenn Richards was one of Australia’s more gifted songwriters working today. So what the hell happened?
Moo, You Bloody Choir came along next and was way too long and, like the new one, too many of the songs were samey; the middle of the album just kind of blurs together. Sure, One Crowded Hour deserved all the praise it got; it’s a fantastic song that marries a great melody with clever lyrics, always a recipe for critical and, sometimes, commercial success. The last track on Moo, Vernoona, is another great song, partly because it’s so short (it’s beautiful as well). I remember commenting to people that if Moo had been 4 songs shorter and had more songs like Vernoona, I’d be thrilled.
So now, Augie March have returned with Watch Me Disappear. I was optimistic: 11 tracks! 45 minutes long! They listened to me! Unfortunately, it just made the averageness of the album all the more disappointing. I can’t excuse the record for being long this time.
This band are capable of so much more than making the Safest Record of All Time.