Album Review

The Milk Carton Kids - I Only See The Moon

I Only See The Moon might not aim sky-high, but its pensive pastiche is inviting all the same.

The Milk Carton Kids - I Only See The Moon Album Cover
May 15, 2023 11:39 am GMT

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The Milk Carton Kids - I Only See The Moon

Label: Far Cry Records / Thirty Tigers

Release Date: May 19, 2023

Producer: Kenneth Pattengale

Tracklisting:

1. All Of The Time In The World To Kill
2. Star Shine
3. When You’re Gone
4. Wheels And Levers
5. I Only See The Moon
6. Running On Sweet Smile
7. One True Love
8. Body & Soul
9. North Country Ride
10. Will You Remember Me

Success hasn’t spoiled The Milk Carton Kids.

Sure, they’re festival favorites and have locked in a prestigious role as ongoing emcees for the Americana Music Association’s annual awards ceremony. But, for all the honors those efforts afford, their music retains its unassuming attitude via an understated sound, one that mainly consists of two acoustic guitars and the duo’s hushed harmonies.

Eight albums on, I Only See The Moon sticks to the same basic format that defined all their earlier offerings. Save for some occasional strings, there’s no indication they’re amping up their sound or adding any exuberance to their mostly mournful notions.

It’s a sedentary sound that still appeals to those already considered fans and followers, shared without regard for something that may appeal to the masses. To that end, Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan maintain a decidedly low luster, wholly immersed in quiet contemplation and, at times, even a painful perspective.

The only hint of what might remotely be considered an upturned attitude comes in the form of the rambling banjo strum of ‘When You’re Gone,’ courtesy of a lyric that suggests there’s at least some cause for satisfaction; ‘I asked you for a favor / you ain’t let me down yet’.

Likewise, ‘Body & Soul’ offers some possibility of finding an optimistic outlook. Granted, the entire album isn’t nearly as dire as the softer sentiments might suggest, but it’s hardly the kind of music that could sustain the energy of a party throughout the overnight hours.

Ultimately, the obvious comparisons to Simon and Garfunkel remain intact, an association they wear well given their melancholy melodies. Yet, given the fact that gimmickry and extraneous effects dominate so much of what passes for music these days, the duo’s passion and perspective ensure their purity remains intact.

I Only See The Moon might not aim sky-high, but its pensive pastiche is inviting all the same.

7/10.

The Milk Carton Kids' 2023 album, I Only See The Moon, is released May 19, 2023 via Far Cry Records / Thirty Tigers.

For more on The Milk Carton Kids, see below:

Written by Lee Zimmerman
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