Life in a Blender
(Fang Records, 2017)
After 25 years of creative output, singer-songwriter Don Rauf has perfected his particular brand of rock. Even if that brand isn't particularly particular: Life in a Blender has worn many hats over its nine studio albums—sometimes screaming punk, sometimes delicate pop. On Happy Enough, the music reflects the sonic and aesthetic elements of some of the late-'90s releases of Cake or Eels. Happy Enough has the approach of the auteur front man waxing poetic where the band builds worlds around the lyrical qualities, to provide a foundation and bedrock for the themes themselves to exist. The musicianship on the album's 10 songs is top-notch; on "Submarine," all the musical and lyrical pieces converge on a chorus so catchy and anthemic it may have fit alongside Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros' "Home" or Arcade Fire's "Wake Up" on early 2000s alternative radio.