December 27th, 2011 | by CASEY JARMAN Music | Posted In: Cut of the Day

Cut of the Day: Reclinerland, "What Girl Wants a Man Who's ALways Waiting for the Bus," Reclinerland (George Recordings)

     
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r3album-coverreclinerland - reclinerland
Well, I can relate to this one. I was 30 years old when I got my driver's permit. That's right, permit. That's right, just last year. I am set to get the full-on license come Jan. 12, should the fine folks down at the DMV (whom I have found wholly undeserving of their unfortunate reputations) think me worthy. I've spent an awful lot of time standing at bus stops in my life, usually in the rain without an umbrella. And I've watched happy people drive by and thought "I wonder why they're so happy" on more than a few occasions.


The song's writer, Reclinerland's Michael Johnson, must have found himself in a similar position quite a lot while living in Portland. From what I understand, Johnson—now living in Germany—recently found a lovely girl who doesn't mind the fact that the songwriter isn't much of a driver. That's good news, because this song, which strikes me as a distant relative of that great Muppets standard, "The Rainbow Connection," is quite a heartbreaker. In fact, his whole new album is full of heartbreaking songs about loneliness. Johnson has always excelled at semi-theatric, lyrically sharp tunes that sound like standards from Hollywood musicals, but even his most upbeat tunes have some melancholy in them. I've long been a fan of his songwriting and his singing, as well. So it's good to hear Johnson's Reclinerland making a comeback, even if the whole thing has been uprooted and sent overseas (this disc was recorded in Finland). 

Nothing seems to be lost in translation on Reclinerland—the third self-titled album and seventh album in total from the group of the same name. Johnson's chops continue to develop, and should he head back stateside for a summer tour (I ran into him in the graphic novel section at Powell's this summer, but it was only a quick visit, he said), he'll have to bring 10 great new songs along with him. Meanwhile, you can grab Reclinerland on iTunes or over at Amazon dot com.


 
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