Tim Melina Theo Bobby is the farewell album by experimental rock group Joan of Arc. The brain child of band leader, and only consistent member, Tim Kinsella, he formed the group in 1995 after the demise of Cap’n Jazz. The discography spans 22 records over 25 years and is filled with experiments in rock and electronica. The most pertinent question regarding this album is whether it wraps up the discography with a bang or if it falls flat on its face.
The album begins with “Destiny Revolution”, a strong opener and the best track of them all. It has a very nostalgic sound to it, reminiscent of the 90’s indie scene from whence the group emerged. There are multiple layers of synthesized sounds, guitars and drums, and the voices of each of the four members fading in and out. The lyrics are almost inaudible, but two lines stick out amongst the haze: “let go” and “hold on”. They are the only lyrics that repeat, giving them a certain significance compared to the rest. Their contradiction each other, and seem to reflect the feeling of confliction when bands decide to separate. On one hand having to “let go”, to let the band separate in peace, and on other a desire to keep it together, to “hold on” to it. It is a beautiful song, and genius in its execution.
While none of the other tracks live up to ”Destiny Revolution”, there are a few that are worth repeated listens. The song “Creature and Being” starts off as a typical art-y rock song, but switches to an R&B song half-way through. The instrumental “Land Surveyor” is very Tortoise-esque with its bass tone and odd assortment of synthesized noises (the name “land surveyor” also sounds like something off TNT). The remaining songs are less captivating, but agreeable.
Tim Melina Theo Bobby delivered a satisfying conclusion to the band’s long artistic legacy. While it was not a bold, artistic statement, it never needed to be. The group has such a vast discography, that they would be hard pressed to find something they have not already said. They gave it one last shot with “Destiny Revolution”, but the rest of the album felt as though the band was taking it easy, content with what they had accomplished. It was not a bang, but befitting nonetheless.