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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best album of 2004
In addition to having the most idiosyncratic song titles ever to grace the back of a CD jacket, We Shall all be Healed is John Darnielle's best song writing yet. Look for 15-20 lines on this CD to kill you again and again. The music is a little less eclectic than on Tallahassee, their last studio album, but it's also more cohesive, sticking mostly with John's acoustic...
Published on February 26, 2004 by jeffffffff

versus
7 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars alack!
i'm probably the biggest mountain goats fan in colorado, and i was probably the biggest fan in georgia when i was there, too. now that pavement is history, they've climbed to the top of my favorite artists list. i've been following every release, vinyl and otherwise, since _nine black poppies_ and i've gone back to find everything released before that. so you can trust me...
Published on August 3, 2004 by Davy


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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best album of 2004, February 26, 2004
By 
"jeffffffff" (Manchester, CT USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: We Shall All Be Healed (Audio CD)
In addition to having the most idiosyncratic song titles ever to grace the back of a CD jacket, We Shall all be Healed is John Darnielle's best song writing yet. Look for 15-20 lines on this CD to kill you again and again. The music is a little less eclectic than on Tallahassee, their last studio album, but it's also more cohesive, sticking mostly with John's acoustic guitar, Peter Hughes on bass, and Franklin Bruno on piano. That is until Mole, a song so sparse it can't help breaking your heart. It opens with a few verses about the narrator visiting someone in the hospital (all the character's in these stories seem to be speed addicts with vague hopes and dreams that set them apart from each other while their situations bind them firmly together). The song then breaks into a piano and guitar bit that moves along slowly but surely, like clouds marching determined across the sky. I can only describe John's strumming here as fatalistic -- I can only assure you that this will make sense once you hear it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Songwriter's Dream, August 16, 2005
By 
This review is from: We Shall All Be Healed (Audio CD)
The debate that I've heard often about this album is whether the slick production values take away from the Mountain Goats feel. If you're unfamiliar with John Darnielle's previous albums, one of the big draws was that he recorded directly to a boom box. I don't believe that this retro recording style was what really made his work great. The man is simply a great songwriter, in the vain of such great Americana-ists as Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen. To that end, "We Shall All Be Healed" definitely stands tall and proud with his other works. A few legends surround the method by which Darnielle develops the stories for his albums. However he does it, the albums come together as cohesive observations of different walks of life across the country, and this album is no exception. The story here is occassionally unclear to me, as it sometimes seems to switch narrators, but the songs are beautiful and emotional. By the end of it, you'll care deeply for these charaters, thanks to both the lyrical precision and the haunting melodies.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best Mnt Goats record so far and that's saying something, February 5, 2004
This review is from: We Shall All Be Healed (Audio CD)
John Darnielle has been quoted as saying that this record is by far his best work ever and I am inclined to agree. And that means something coming from a guy who owns every record this one-man virtuoso has put out. Like his last album Tallahassee, We Shall All Be Healed is a concept album. Each song is written for and about a group of tweakers from Claremont CA. As unromantic a subject as that is, John turns their plight into an epic. He turns their struggles into poetry. He gives words to desires that most people will (hopefully) never know. The first single, "Palmcorder Yajna" is an instant favorite. It is a straightforward Mnt. Goats song with everything you have come to love: Simple strumming, intense nasal singing and beautiful imagery of the profane. The thing that sets it apart is the amazing tone that Darnielle captures. I can only describe it as the hope of the hopeless. "Your Belgian things" is a slower and heartbreakingly beautiful lament while "Linda Blair Was Born Innocent" is a dark and powerful ode to the burning desire to get spun. John Darnielle teamed with other one-man wonder band John Vanderslice in the production of this album and it works. It maintains the connections to John's Low Fi beginnings while giving him an atmosphere in which he is able to make music that is not only lyrically charged but aesthetically beautiful as well. I can't recommend this album strongly enough.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The smoothness doesn't make it less edgy, July 25, 2004
By 
James Maxey "James Maxey" (Hillsborough, NC United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: We Shall All Be Healed (Audio CD)
I've loved the Mountain Goats ever since Atom and His Package covered three songs. The songs were so honest and funny I had to seek out their source. The first Mountain Goats album I laid hands on was Full Force Galesburg, and it was a shock. Atom and His Package was electronic and frantic. The Mountain Goats was almost exclusively one man with an accoustic guitar performing songs that were still honest and funny, but also haunting and raw. His songs were recorded on poor equipment--you could actually hear the drone of the tape recorder's motor in the quieter moments of the album. The lack of polish and pretention gave the songs greater emotional impact for me, and I became an instant fan, buying up every MG recording I could find.

My first reaction to "We Shall All Be Healed" was mostly negative. The songs are professionally produced and expertly engineered. The guitar is accompanied by organs and piano and synth effects like glass breaking and insects chirping. It almost sounded like a different band.

Fortunately, I stuck with it and now I'm hooked. The cleaner, more professional sound actually makes for a terrific backdrop for the lyrics, which are still as powerful as ever. The ugliness of addiction, death, and betrayal found in the lyrics float on the beautiful music that makes the truths in the words harsher and starker. It took a little while to grow on me, but I now think this is the best MG album yet. I'm using songs from this album to spread the Mountain Goats gospel. Check it out.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mountain goats keep rolling on, December 2, 2004
By 
Dagwood (Going to Maine) - See all my reviews
This review is from: We Shall All Be Healed (Audio CD)
At first, I was suprised at how much more refined the sound was for this album. I missed Tallahassee. The last Mountain Goats album I got was Ghana. The move to higher production levels doesnt quite sit right with me, there is something very intimate about listening to the tape recording winding in the background of earlier albums.

Its still an impressive album, with excellent, well crafted and insightful lyrics. There are flashes of earlier albums on a couple of tracks (eg. Home again garden grove), and tracks like palmcorder yajna, and pigs.... are excellent.

Bottom line, you get this, you still get the goats in all their artistic glory, just with a bit more polish
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best records of 2004, January 30, 2005
This review is from: We Shall All Be Healed (Audio CD)
Some of the richest metaphors ever found in song...they'll creep out of the music and into your mind ever so slowly over the course of many listens, all their angles and breadth.

The production is a perfect compliment to the songs, not at all a sell-out for the MG's, but tasteful, minimalistic fleshing-out of the tunes, that can hopefully make the MG's sound just that much more accessible, maybe Mr. MG himself can quit the day job, should he want to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something Wonderful, February 21, 2011
This review is from: We Shall All Be Healed (Audio CD)
If I die today, I'd be pretty pissed that I never wrote my priase for John Darnielle and his Mountain Goats. This is right up there with being pissed that I never drove an Italian sportscar off a bridge and parachuted out to a grand applause and fireworks, so it's a big statement.

I'm not even sure where to begin and how to even start to summarize how good of a songwriter this man is. His extensive catalog is made up of countless lo-fi boom box recordings up to his superb collection of studio efforts. And while some people lean more towards one way than the other, the fact remains that it's all just brilliant songwriting. As a "songwriter" myself, I listen to this man's music and it just makes me want to give up. He paints such chaotic, beautiful, humorous, twisted scenes on whatever he is recording, whether it's a bedroom tape or a studio outing- one thing never changes- the pure songwriting of it all.

All that said, this album itself is just another of the many, many gems in the John Darnielle box. This is a "studio" Mountain Goats outing, and while I love his lo-fi intimate adventures, I really enjoy his studio releases- his great musicianship coming to it's fullest life in my opinion.

Anyway, to the album at hand. If you wiki it, you'll find something like "the album focuses on semi-fictional accounts of band leader John Darnielle's years as a teenager, particularly his friends' and acquaintances' experiences in California and in Portland, Oregon as methamphetamine addicts." So take that thought, word it with an extraordinarly imaginative tongue, and put it to some energetic strummings, some driving, catchy melodies, some pianos and a soft touch of haunting beauty, all song perfectly in John's quirky, addiciting tones and that might give you an idea.

Just plain wonderful.

And oh, you should get all his other stuff too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A time in a young man's life..., June 3, 2008
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This is the first album by the Mountain Goats, where it was written mainly about himself, about John's past.
John used to have a major addiction to meth and these songs are so beautifully written in a form where they are never judgmental, but purely observational to a time in his life that was hard, not only for him, but hard on friends and loved ones that he had to watch decay as well.
We Are The Young Thousands is one of the battle cries that comes forward, as well as a repetition of the line "and the headstones climbed up the hill" during "Palmcorder Yajna", which turns out to be one of the most wonderfully written songs ever.
If you are a fan of tMG's, this is a must memorize album. If you are a fan of folk rock, another must have, but if you are just starting out with tMG's, I would suggest another album or two before this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!, January 12, 2013
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This review is from: We Shall All Be Healed (Audio CD)
My son received this CD for Christmas and is so very happy with it. Loves to listen to it as he travels on the T.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I want to hear more, February 17, 2005
This review is from: We Shall All Be Healed (Audio CD)
This is the only Mountain Goats album I've heard and I'm amazed that its this good in light of how material is already out there from this guy. I don't know what to make of the lyrics yet really, maybe pretentious aburd or whatever but I can't remember the last album I heard with authentic poetic lyrics. The music is very impressionable though, gives me goosebumps, heartfelt and magical sounding. check it out. 4 and 1/2 stars probably.

I like tracks 1,2,4,5,6 and 8 the best so far.
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We Shall All Be Healed
We Shall All Be Healed by The Mountain Goats
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