Dreaming Seamless Dreams

My Maudlin Career by Camera Obscura

I first listened to My Maudlin Career on a bus heading towards the University of Washington; at the time, I was desperately trying to come out of a two year musical dry spell. The person I cared about most (at the time) was on a plane, flying out of my life, and suddenly Campbell was singing "You pull my heart out and then you run away/From Chicago to Cleveland you leave me pain" and my dry spell was over.

My Maudlin Career is a cleaner, slicker follow up to Let's Get Out of This Country, with the same compelling emotion, sentimentality, and enjoyable, awkward sweetness. Campbell's talent for writing so compellingly about heartache is once again a strong point for the album, with a recurring emotion of not being able to control how strongly she loves someone — in "French Navy" Campbell sings, "I wanted to control it/But love, I couldn't hold it", while in "Honey in the Sun" she elaborates, singing "I wish my heart was as cold as the morning dew/But it's as warm as saxophones/And honey in the sun for you". Though there is a wide variation in the setting for each song, the emotion is much more specific, narrating Campbell's many struggles to stay out of love. In "The Sweetest Thing", Campbell finds herself "going on a date tonight/To try to fall out of love with you/I know I know this is a crime/But I don't know what else to do".

Nearly every reason Let's Get Out of This Country deserves to be on a best albums of the decade list applies to My Maudlin Career. Aside from some refinement and growth, both albums stand as awkward, sentimental, witty and charming albums.

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