Rah Rah: The Poet’s Dead

Rah Rah, Poet's DeadRah Rah: The Poet’s Dead
On the album’s titular track, Rah Rah‘s Marshall Burns sings “the poetry is in your head/though the poet’s dead,” juxtaposing human mortality with art’s seeming immortality. The idea of art’s potential to outlive the artist is what drives so many musicians and it is what seems to drive Rah Rah. But can that type of ambition be fulfilled by a relatively unknown band from Canada?

For the answer to that question, I point you to Arcade Fire. There seems to be a lot of similarities between Arcade Fire and Rah Rah: both bands are from Canada, both bands mix the genres of indie, folk, and rock, and both bands have potential to produce music that long outlives their members. While Rah Rah’s The Poet’s Dead may not win a Grammy, it probably will be more deserving than whatever album does.

The Poet’s Dead is a loose concept album about why each member loves being a musician. The album’s opening track and lead single, “Art & a Wife” is basically the life story of Marshall Burns as a musician. He sings about his early years playing guitar simply because he had a guitar then developing that interest into an actual art. While the song occasionally inartfully states things (ie. “then I got a band/we drove around in a van/we played some shows, made some fans/we crushed a few cans/we drove around in a van”), it’s catchy chorus and joyous vibe makes it an album highlight.

Another of the album’s highlights, “20s” is about the plight of being an aging musician. Music is a young person’s game and singer, Kristina Hedlund knows it. She sings in the song’s chorus “I spent my twenties on rock ‘n’ roll/I’ll spend my 30s feeling old.” Although the song hints that she is currently in her twenties, it shows that she expects to still be making music in her thirties, even if she risks being out of place.

It is that type of commitment to art that is expressed throughout the album. It becomes fun to listen to a band that wants to sing about how much they like being in a band. By only singing about music, Rah Rah makes an album that is as joyous as it is catchy. Although it probably will not go platinum, The Poet’s Dead‘s catchy choruses and well-written lyrics will certainly resonate with many listeners. Mission accomplished Rah Rah.
Rating: 8.3/10
MP3: Rah Rah “The Poet’s Dead”
Buy: iTunes or Insound!

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