In Jasper Vol. 3, No. 4: Record Reviews - Mat Cothran's Failure

"Cothran has always had a penchant for brevity, but this, his final release of 2013, takes that credo almost to its breaking point. Of the four songs here only one passes the two minute mark, and just barely at that. Fittingly, it’s also the songwriter’s most direct paean to apathy yet, with dark pronouncements that 'all last year I wanted to die / and no one was there to change my mind' and 'someday we’ll beg to die' clouding his warm, cozy melodies and lo-fi arrangements. There’s less use of keyboards and synthesizers here than we get from a typical Elvis Depressedly or Coma Cinema release, with mostly acoustic guitars and prominent bass lines guiding these songs along. That starkness is perhaps why this is one of his rare releases to get tagged with his given name. For all its slightness, though, the power of Cothran’s seemingly innate gift for song shines through brightly here. On the closing 'I Don’t Know,' he sings with aching poignancy and intimacy of 'sinking down into your heart where I belong / but in the end my secrets keep me alone' over a spare guitar line, and the record ends just a few moments later, leaving you painfully, beautifully alone.  –Kyle Petersen

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