Album Cover
The Veils
The Runaway Found
Rough Trade
April 20, 2004


I won't mince words. The Runaway Found is worthless.

Utterly, utterly. But I suppose it starts out really good. "The Wild Son" is a deceptively worthy song. Sweeping and majestic, it is a horribly anticlimactic buildup to an album that quite literally has no worth. The repeating chorus, "Bless this night, bless tonight, bless tonight/ None of my fears are as dear to me," is actually a memorable line, and it is delivered convincingly! I truly believed that none of his fears were as dear to him. And I was prepared, briefly, so briefly, to believe that the rest of the album sort of slipped by and was made without his knowing.

Frankly, I can't explain it. Well, yes I can. They're "veiling" (coincidence? That's a thinker) a wretched album behind a decent single. And I won't forgive them. I won't forgive Finn Andrews, the offending party, the songwriter, the singer, the singer. He sings and it sounds like Julian Casablancas swallowed Thom Yorke and they're both moaning, the one from gastrointestinal discomfort and the other from inconvenience-- the moans, they are unbelievable. They surround you. Listen to "Talk Down the Girl," and you will physically cringe in disgust and pain. It should not be available to children.

I mean, you accept it, even like it, from Thom Yorke, because Radiohead has melodies you can get behind. But none of the other songs on The Runaway Found even approach decent melodies. "The Wild Son" had, despite the band's apparent intentions, quite a catchy melody behind it (once you get past the opening, which bears a slight resemblance to that Michael Jackson song with the video about starving children)-- but the rest of the album is unforgivably sparse in the department of memorable or at all catchy tunes ("More Heat than Light" is comprised of two notes a half-step apart), and whatever decent snippets of music they blindly stumble upon post-track one have already been done better by someone else.

The album declines even more as it progresses-- the first half at least kept your attention, it was still a kind of shock, but as it ends it just gets quiet and intolerable. "The Valleys of New Orleans", "The Leavers Dance", "The Nowhere Man", the violins are even moaning now and you long for the days when the mention of this album would not summon the bilious dislike but would make you think, Oh yeah I heard that one song by them, it was pretty good.

I do suggest finding the first track, and enjoying it. I also suggest shunning the rest with a violent passion. Because if you like things that are good, you will not like this album. And for those of you who do, bear in mind that my opinion is $60 a year more valid than yours.

Noah Jackson

Track List

  1. The Wild Son
  2. Guiding Light
  3. Lavinia
  4. More Heat than Light
  5. The Tide that Left and Never Came Back
  6. The Leavers Dance
  7. Talk Down the Girl
  8. The Valleys of New Orleans
  9. Vicious Traditions
  10. The Nowhere Man