What have you done for your grandmother lately?
Most of you will hate this album—
either because of the squelchy-squishy arrangements, or the (intentionally) disjointed songs, or just because you balk at hearing Matt and Eleanor’s grandmother, Olga Sarantos, hoarsely narrate the entire album. But imagine you’re listening to a radio play and let the story engage you, and you might find yourself hooked. As they set their grandmother’s life story to music, the Friedbergers turn memories into sounds, juxtaposing old-timey upright piano with electric guitars, and alternating from maudlin motifs to triumphant ones. Dreams die, love fades, girlish adventures grow into tall tales, and everything ends at a funeral. To some it’ll sound like Blueberry Boat
mark two, while others will hear a clown car crashing into a Goodwill. On their own terms, however, the Friedbergers succeed: they make a whole life flash before our ears.