Titus Andronicus – An Obelisk (album review)

by Woody on July 10, 2019

photo by Ray Concepcion

An Obelisk is the sixth album by Titus Andronicus. Fronted by Patrick Stickles, a man who is constantly in search of the perfect piece of art. I know most musicians and writers suffer from this but Stickles strikes me as the type who is a bit of a mad scientist; at times overthinking things. This is based on nothing but interviews, which is why this article in Vice where he ranked the prior 5 albums was simply brilliant. The conversation between him and Dan Ozzi is well worth your time.

On An Obelisk, Stickles seems to have realized whatever vision he had for this album. How do I know? I don’t. More of a gut feeling but sometimes you can watch an artist or band and say, “yep, that’s it. That’s what they were trying to do on that album or on that tour. By George, they’ve done it here.” The band or other fans might feel different but we all connect to music in a different manner. Hell, that’s what makes it so fun.

An Obelisk strips away most of the excess from 2018’s A Productive Cough (an album that I’ve grown to really love). Mostly gone or greatly reduced are the horns, strings and loads of backup vocals for as uncomplicated an album that I can remember Stickles making. The overriding theme I take from this album is that like most people, Stickles is angry and confused by what’s going on in the world. Does he have all the solutions? Nope, but sometimes it feels good to share your frustrations with someone. From I Blame Society to Hey Ma to Tumult Around The World, Stickles tries to navigate his way, sometimes wondering how if he’s complicit in any of the issues that piss him off in some self-reflection.

This is a great punk rock album that you should most certainly spend some time with. I’d also suggest spending some time reading any interview you can find with Stickles. He’s one of the most honest and forthcoming people in music.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Titus Andronicus is here

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