April 20, 2006

Rainer Maria's Catastrophe Keeps Us Together

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In the opening lines of “Catastrophe,” the first track of Rainer Maria’s new album Catastrophe Keeps Us Together, lead singer Caithlin De Marrais croons about the impending disaster that will result as the world falls apart and I immediately groaned, “please, no emo.” But just when I thought I was doomed, I suddenly heard a twinge of optimism: “I’m going to find you at the end … of the world.”

“Catastrophe” sets the tone for the rest of the album, which swirls in a cauldron of moroseness that is neither sulky nor depressing but almost magically tender and in its simplicity. Unlike the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs’s album, which becomes awash in overproduction, the group doesn’t let its first big studio release compromise De Marrais breathy voice, nor the rawness of Kyle Fischer’s guitar work. Even if you aren’t a fan of similar groups like Rilo Kiley, you will almost certainly appreciate the beauty and intricateness of this album.

Archived article by Jonny Lieberman
Associate Arts and Entertainment Editor