Music Video Review
By our guest blogger, Nick Hanover
The boys in the Lonely Forest have always had trouble fitting in. Back in Seattle, their over earnest lyrics and late '90s indie sound didn't really enamor them with critics though younger fans found plenty to love. But one look at the video for "We Sing in Time" shows that for WMG, the latter point is far more important, or at least I assume that's what all of those unnecessary close-ups of frontman John van Deusen are trying to tell me.
Yes, van Deusen has the sharp features of a Jake Gyllenhal or Brad Pitt. Yes, his eyes are oh so very dreamy. And if I were a thirteen year old girl or a twentysomething gay man, those traits might even factor into my buying habits. But as far as I know I am neither of those things, so all I have to go on is the music itself. "We Sing in Time," by that measure, is not a bad song but it's not all that memorable of one either. Truth be told, the only bits of it that actually stand out are the cringe inducing, vaguely political lyrics that van Deusen sings, most notably "I’ve seen the tweaker struggle/syringes lined the floor/A cycle churned to life/by dead end jobs and a government’s war" and "Let us burn the nation’s budget/Let’s send boys overseas to fight ghosts in the desert/instead of teaching them to give and lead."
As cute as it is that someone with no real world experience to speak of thinks they've stumbled onto something truly revolutionary by saying addiction, economic strife and war are bad things, the lines are so awkward and clumsy they fall far short of enlivening anything. I don't mean to take van Deusen to task for making what is for him probably an earnest effort at seriousness, but there is nothing about the Lonely Forest's music that makes such effort necessary. The Lonely Forest will most likely be the Jimmy Eat World for this era. They will make high energy, lightly punk-infused little ditties for the kids and the kids will love them. But they will not love them because they are aware that war is bad and having no money sucks. They will love them because they are awkward and out of place and unsure of how to deal with the real world. Just like them.