Consumed with mortality, infidelity, and coming to terms with expectations and their unparalleled realities, you may expect Tim Kasher’s latest solo album to be full of morose, droning songs. The subject matter may be dark and thoughtful, but this is no Cass McCombs. Tim Kasher, who also fronts both Cursive and The Good Life, has a knack here for turning murky subjects into full-on bombastic rockers.
Kasher’s talent lies in how he uses everyday concerns to tell unbelievably detailed stories, turning two- or three-line phrases into revelatory slices of insight. “Truly Freaking Out” regards the transience of life succinctly with lines like, “I was six years old, learning how to swim/Then I was 36, wondering how I sunk/Oh, it’s as if the record jumped.”
He tells a story of mistrust and relationship anxiety in “The Willing Cuckold” that’s so relatable and real that it makes the heart jump. With percussion that skips like the hooves of a racing horse, Kasher admits to feigning ignorance when his woman cheats. He cries out with such pain in the bridge that it’s as if you’re sitting in his shoes, wondering how the relationship lost its luster. There’s also pure fun in “Life in Limbo,” a song about all life’s possibilities wrapped in a circus-like organ.But unlike Kasher’s first solo album, The Game of Monogamy, Adult Film is full of songs that stand alone. They are immediately accessible, and while the album flows from one song to another, each tale paints a clear, separate picture. He keeps it cohesive by incorporating similar musical elements; the opening and closing songs begin and end with a sort of backwards sigh, just tempting you to make it to the end of the album only to start it over again. “The future is a fiction we never wrote,” sings Kasher. After hearing Adult Film, you’ll be waiting for the next chapter.