Transcendental Youth
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Transcendental Youth

October 2, 2012

Song Title
Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1
Lakeside View Apartments Suite
Cry for Judas
Harlem Roulette
White Cedar
Until I Am Whole
Night Light
The Diaz Brothers
Counterfeit Florida Plates
In Memory of Satan
Spent Gladiator 2
Transcendental Youth

Product Details

  • Original Release Date: October 2, 2012
  • Label: Merge Records
  • Copyright: 2012 Merge Records
  • Total Length: 39:02
  • Genres:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,651 Paid in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 Paid in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Great Poetry October 2, 2012
Format:Audio CD
It's hard to predict what exactly The Mountain Goats will release with each upcoming record. Singer/songwriter John Darnielle might put out an elaborately themed concept-album - he may release a collection of character sketches. Along this continuum, TRANSCENDENTAL YOUTH falls in the latter; the record feels like a healthy smattering of good emotions and smart ideas. The lyrics of this record glance across Judas Iscariot, the Amy Winehouses of the world, rhythm-and-blues singer Frankie Lymon, Satan, characters from Scarface, and the Amish. If this all sounds cerebral, never fear: Darnielle is as sincere as songwriters get.

TRANSCENDENTAL YOUTH starts with "Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1," and ode to living and being adventurous. It's surprisingly upbeat and optimistic - Darnielle's earnest delivery sells the track. Most of the album after this opening cut is a bit more downtrodden and gloomy, not that that's necessarily bad. One of the album's highlights, Harlem Roulette, centers on the refrain "the loneliest people in the whole wide world are the ones you're never going to see again." Darnielle's lyrics border between the universal and the intimate - some of the details he writes off feel so personal that they make the more universal statements (like the previous refrain) feel all the more vital.

One of the elements that separate this record from the rest of The Mountain Goats' discography is the inclusion of the horn section. Jazz composer Matthew E. White lends his talents on TRANSCENDENTAL YOUTH, bringing in trumpets and other assorted brass to add a little bit of flair to the record. It doesn't dominate the album, but it does add a nice texture to some tracks (the title track in particular).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two reviews for two different groups October 30, 2012
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
Mountain Goats fans:
As a recent Mountain Goats fan myself, I can tell you that this album is pretty much in the vain of the more recent Mountain Goats album All Eternals Deck. I can also say that there's not quite the end-to-end greatness of Tallahassee, but there doesn't seem to be quite so much sorrow and sadness of that album either (the sorrow is still there, it's just not as IN YOUR FACE as Tallahassee). The vocals are still solidly on point and pretty much the entire album just "fits" the Mountain Goats feel (at least, post-self-recorded tape era). It's just about a must-buy, especially if you can get some Amazon mp3 credit to put toward it.

non-Mountain Goats fans:
As a recent Mountain Goats fan myself, I can tell you that this album is pretty much a buy for most people. John Darnielle is an excellent singer-songwriter and his vocals, though they can take some getting used to, are excellent and catchy. Transcendental Youth doesn't seem to have the same sadness prevalent in much of the Mountain Goats early work and that can almost be a better introduction for most people (All Eternals Deck is a good intro too). I would argue that Tallahassee is probably my favorite Mountain Goats album, but it is full of deceptively happy sounding songs with terribly depressing lyrics. Transcendental Youth is definitely a good starting point for new Mountain Goats fans, but just know that it's an addiction :)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JD's prescription for our shattered teenage selves. October 19, 2012
By Sola
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
The previous album, All Eternals Deck, didn't quite succeed in reaching me, though I listen to a couple of the songs regularly. I worried (like you do) that John was going to go somewhere I couldn't follow with his work, and I was going to lose one of the few people currently working who write things that resonate with my soul.

But Transcendental Youth was exactly what I needed.

The honesty and emotion in his writing and singing is a mix of healing balm and concentrated sunlight through a magnifying glass. Perhaps it's best described as something that lances old wounds and lets the poison drain. It's what I love him for: everything he tears open, he puts back together a little better than it was before, and after I've worn through an album, maybe I'm a little more sane.

One thing that particularly caught me was the moment in Night Light when he sings, "Jenny calls from Montana ... Probably never see her again in this life, I guess." We met Jenny on All Hail West Texas, when they ride into the sunset, triumphant for the moment. He hopes she's heading east; he leaves the lights on for her, counting his few scant hopes. I'm left remembering a time when I was fifteen, staring out my window like I could force the love of my life materialise in my driveway, if I believed hard enough.

-- the altogether too emotional spouse of the owner of this account.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tMG at their depressing/hopeful best January 21, 2013
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
This album, more than any other, runs with the common Mountain Goats theme of broken, screwed-up, desperate people who're still hopeful and still trying. It's bizarrely heartwarming. "Amy aka Spent Gladiator 1" and "Cry for Judas," especially, are wonderful anthems for people who have things really wrong with them and still deserve happiness. The music is incredibly good (horns!) and the lyrics are just as wonderful as they always are. Get it, you won't regret it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Preview
I listened to the amazon previews and thought I would like this album but what I didn't hear is really disorganized and not some thing that is replayable.
Published 6 months ago by Beau
5.0 out of 5 stars yet another great record
Hard to go to far wrong with the Mtn Goats; no exception here. Listen to Lakeside View. And catch them live when you can.
Published 6 months ago by S. S. Ulrey
5.0 out of 5 stars The First Line of the First Track is Worth the Price of the Album.
Another beautiful collection from the Mountain Goats. Unique, searing lyrics set to subtly stunning instrumentals. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mike Duncan
4.0 out of 5 stars One of His Best
John Danielle has written a lot of great songs. His ability to pierce right to the soul and engage you in a perfectly told and timed story is a gift. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Connor Dempsey
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is my favorite album in the last couple of years. The lyrics are wonderful and there is not a weak song in the bunch. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jacob Garten
5.0 out of 5 stars This album is wonderful
This is my favourite Mountain Goats album. It may not be their best, but I enjoy listening to it the most.
Published 13 months ago by Lauryn Marton
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
I do not like this as much as other releases by The Mountain Goats but it still has some pretty good stuff.
Published 13 months ago by Peter
5.0 out of 5 stars Familiar territory, more polished, developed, and retold
Mountain Goats follows up off the last record, All Eternals Deck, with a very similar approach. The sound is more polished and full, with a greater variety of effects and... Read more
Published 14 months ago by River
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good
I was not familiar with this group, but heard a song on SiriusXM and bought the album. It was only $5 and worth the risk. I enjoyed the album. Read more
Published 16 months ago by OSS
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Darnielle classic
If you're a fan of the mountain goats, you'll like this album.

If you're not a fan of the mountain goats, that's okay. You can get started here
Published 16 months ago by AgentCoop
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