Things Take Time, Take Time album by Courtney Barnett album review by Greg Walker for Northern Transmissions


Things Take Time, Take Time Album

Courtney Barnett

“The windowsill, is momentarily filled with sun / And it’s these small thrills, that get me through the day until the next one,” Courtney Barnett sings on “Here’s The Thing,” off her latest folk alternative album, Things Take Time, Take Time, with Mom and Pop records. It’s simple, poetic details like these that Barnett offers, to help us through the time it takes, to reach our goals, to get through the tough times, to really live. Even if we’re living slowly.

It’s a slow record that seems to benefit from time spent at home, (instead of the breakneck pace of being on the road, touring,) thinking about what she and so many other people fear and hope in the way of making ends meet, fitting into a sometimes strange world, and loving others. She is full of compassion for her fellow man: “Light a candle for the suffering. Send my best wishes with the wind.”

But she’s not overly sentimental, but often realistic. “All our candles, hopes n prayers, though well-meaning they don’t mean a thing, unless we see some change.” And then she does the little thing thing she can to make a difference: “I might change my sheets today.” She peppers in her songs the details of her every-day life with mantras, like a psychiatrist or a social worker, to help her listeners. “I hear all your fears and they are understandable, my friend / Why don’t you let go of those ideas, they’re never gonna serve you in the end.”

The album is like a loving letter from a friend, with Barnett’s token humor. “Don’t stick that knife in the toaster / Baby life is like a rollercoaster / And there’s nothing wrong with getting older / Keep one eye on the prize.” From a friend, who’s notably in tune with current events and the age old struggles of humankind. The songs are simple, as Barnett tends to be, good to put on the background and chill to. But better to enter into the heart and the wit of her heart, through her brilliant observational story telling.

She has always reminded me of Bob Dylan, with her talk-singing, through her keen observational folk-rock. This is another solid offering from Barnett, that doesn’t veer too far from her earlier records. But it’s ten more songs that we can carry with us like time spent with a good friend. “Yeah you reap what you sow and so it goes,” she sings on “Sunfair Sundown.” And, like Dylan, who created a generation of thoughtful, beat poet rockers like himself, I think there will be a wave of Courtney Barnett, heart-on-your-sleeve, folk rockers to follow in her wake.

She remains the reliable, relatable artist she’s been from the start, and I think this album will be a traveling companion to many people. Or just something you put on, and look out the window, and feel the time pass. Waiting for the next letter or phone call from a friend. In the mean time, we have Courtney’s songs to play on repeat.

Order Things Take Time, Take Time by Courtney Barnett HERE


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