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I Can't Go on I'll Go on

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 23, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

The Broken West's debut LP, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On is a power pop gem, shimmering and cool, with sharp edges and soaring melodies. Recorded over the course of a year with Raymond Richards at Red Rockets Glare in Rancho Park, CA, I Can't Go On, I'll Go On deals with eternal themes of isolation, distance and the longing for a center - a sense of place - in this topsy-turvy world. The Kinks, Big Star, and The Byrds, as well as more contemporary favorites like Spoon, Wilco and Teenage Fanclub are certainly touchstones, but The Broken West's winning songs stand on their own. Formed in Los Angeles in the summer of 2004 and originally called The Brokendown, the band self-released a critically acclaimed EP- The Dutchman's Gold and criss-crossed the country, we're assuming in a beat-up van.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 23, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Unknown
  • ASIN: B000LP6KOO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #405,120 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Story Time: After listening to this album a few times back when it was released - I forgot all about it. Eventually it found its way into the box of CD's that I decided to sellback to a local store. A while later I was stuck in an airport - and I pulled out my iPod - and noticed it was still on there - so I decided to give it one last listen before I deleted it (after all I sold the physical disc - it's only fair). After listening to it that one last time - I realized my grave error - this is a fantastic album! So, I found myself back here on Amazon purchasing another copy - it's worth that double dip

Review: It's a power pop blast of excitement! I don't understand how tracks like Big City, Down in the Valley and Baby On My Arm didn't propel these guys into something special. They play the kind of simple fun rock music that I've really grown to appreciate in bands like Big Star and The Kinks. Every track gives you something - some more than others - but enough that when you bundle them together onto this album - it's a very enjoyable experience and it's probably one of my favorites of this past decade - I highly recommend giving it a shot.
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Format: Audio CD
If you read any of the music blogs out there, you'll know that I'm not the first to say the following: This is a record that will likely stand as one of the great musical statements of its generation.

Not since the Strokes' debut has a band appeared with so cohesive and persuasive a document of the feelings of people their age. Superficially, there is very little to recommend a comparison to the Strokes. The Broken West feature harmonies, handclaps, keyboards and an expansive production palette. Yet, both are the standout bands of their relative cities and scenes (in case of the Broken West, the Silver Lake/Echo Park power pop scene), elevated above the rest of the pack due to the excellence of songs, production, lyrics, musicianship and no small amount of charisma.

Just as the Strokes have their own clear influences, it is not difficult to tell that the Broken West adore their Brian Wilson, ELO, George Harrison and Alex Chilton LPs. "I Can't Go On, I'll Go On" isn't an exercise in replication, however. Instead, the band reforms these sounds of innocence and lost love. It weaves them into a blanket that it drapes over a dystopic vision of youth and young manhood in which we are guilty by association with the world into which we are born and we question if we'll ever find love enough to lose. For all its sunshine and "ooh-ooh-ooh"s, there's a tension to this music, a feeling that at any moment the curtain might be pulled back and we'll be forced to reckon with the fears we keep hidden from others and, mostly, ourselves.

The Broken West embrace and repurpose decades of power pop music, mix in their own ideas and outlook and emerge with a stunning and coruscating record of a life that is helpless but not without hope.
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Format: Audio CD
The title of this debut album from the Broken West says it all. This deep acoustic pop band revels in the contradictions of life. Relationships are challenged, the angst of youth surfaces, and still life goes on. All this on top of music combines the best of indie influences updated with contemporary pop sensibilities.

I Can't Go On, I'll Go On is a pleasure to listen to when the day is going tough, and you want a vicarious pick-up.
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Format: Audio CD
The Broken West is the first band in some time that provided a double-take moment when "panning for gold" on XMU. You have to sift through a lot of junk, but once in a while, you come across a real nugget like The Broken West's Brass Ring. Keep up the good work.
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Format: Audio CD
I saw the Broken West open up for The National, summer 2007... what a show. One of the few opening acts that could've headlined. I'm sure they will be shortly, based on this album. They have some upbeat pop elements but stay true to the 'indie' title... are we all getting sick of calling REAL GOOD MUSIC indie, or is it just me? Anyway, on with the review...

The album starts with what most say is a great song, although I don't like it. Nothing too catchy. Track 2, "So It Goes", starts with pounding drums, and I think this was how they opened the concert. Instantly drew me in. Kind of like Brian Wilson crooning over one of Spoon's happier songs. "Down in the Valley" starts with some grungy (another one of those terms that needs replacing) guitars, then brings in some semi-effected/filtered vocals, ala The Bigger Lovers/Electric Soft Parade, but finds more of a melody than most of eithers' catalogues. "Shiftee" is downbeat and forgettable. "Brass Ring" picks things up again, in the same vein as "So It Goes". Hopefully this will be Broken West's bread and butter. What a song. "Big City" contains some synths and funky piano riffs, reminding me again of Spoon, but also a bit of Beatles in there, and some other influences I can't pin down yet. "You Can Build an Island" has simplistic melody, soothing vocals, solid guitars, and is a true gem. Brings to mind Julian Lennon's song "I Don't Wanna Know".

This leads into the album's standout, in my opinion. "Hale Sunrise" has it all. Great vocal arrangements, pounding beats, grooving piano. This one will be in heavy rotation for me for quite some time. Really digging this track. Very uplifting. "Abigail" follows and is a nice addition to the ever growing list of songs with first names of women.
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