Upon further inspection, though, you’ll find the honeymoon is over for the fresh-faced gang that set out to start a commune on its previous concept album. Instead, with Divisionary, we’re introduced to a group that has faced a storm together and is now addressing personal demons and heavier sociological issues.
The album’s title track grows on a simple acoustic melody, over which frontman Tim Perry sings, “Do the right thing/ Do it all the time/ Make yourself right/ Never mind them/ Don’t you know you’re not the only one suffering?” It slowly evolves into a swirling mass of harmonies, delicate piano and floating strings, a conflicted mix of hopefulness and obligation. Album opener “Light Goes Out” starts off in a similar manner, hands clapping behind Perry’s musings on the nature of authenticity, which quickly morphs into a spiral of group vocals, repetitive piano and a groovy bassline.
This mix shows up
throughout the album, with the group displaying a harder bite, musically
and lyrically, than before. But as the choirlike rounds of repeating
lyrics build over simple, energetic rhythms, Ages and Ages still manages
to retain a bright veneer as it travels through the darkness.
SEE IT: Ages and Ages plays Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., with Fanno Creek and Us Lights, on Saturday, March 1. 9 pm. $12. 21+.