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Broken Poets
Optimism in E Minor
(Wordvendor)
by Nicholas Hubbard
08.19.07

Even with a degree in pretension (read: admitted English Major) I got no love for California’s Broken Poets. I wanted to write something kind but I couldn’t keep my spirits up listening to
Optimism in E Minor.  It wasn’t the overwhelming reminders of how tortured and lonely Tim McDonald is (wait, so he’s not optimistic?); no amount of “hiding in [his] heart” can compel me to put the pieces of his unapologetically empty lyrics back together again. “Into the stars/out past the moonlight/beyond the sun/Into the universe I’ll become”? Become what, man?! The album tries to ride on the strength of its songwriting (there’s even less complexity in the sentimental musicianship), but with track titles as convoluted as “Built upon the present regardless” it reads like a journal edited by hot-headed honors students. As the name of the album suggests, McDonald seems to believe contradictions alone make for cleverness, but I disagree. You can’t compare yourself to the great singer-songwriters of the 60s and 70s and get away with a line that has no reference like, “When there’s nothing left to lose/to lose it all.”        

More on Broken Poets:
www.brokenpoets.com / www.myspace.com/brokenpoetsaz.