TRML’s Sound Selections #10

Jonathan Coulton - Artificial Heart

Jonathan Coulton – Artificial Heart

Artificial Heart was Jonathan Coulton’s first official studio album. Previously he had released his “Thing-A-Week” compilation and a live album, but this was his first LP written as a cohesive entity. Produced by John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants, Artificial Heart maintains some of the humor Jonathan was known for in his previous works, but shows a definite maturity in his songwriting. Sure, you have the humor of “The Stache” and “Je Suis Rick Springfield”, but you also have songs like the darkly beautiful “Now I’m an Arsonist” and the regretful word of warning that is “Today With Your Wife” to balance out the tone. I’d even go as far as to say the “silly” songs that appear humorous on the surface hide a knot of complex emotions underneath.

I have listened to this album so many times I practically have it memorized. It’s one of those albums that really shaped my early foray into writing music. I’d sit there and pick it apart to try and figure out the secret sauce of WHY it’s so good. There are a lot of little things that one can attribute to its success, but ultimately I feel it’s so good because it’s RELATABLE. I believe that everyone can find a little something of their own experiences in these 18 songs. Whether it’s grappling with adulthood, navigating the grind of the 9-5, or hoping to be noticed, everyone has a little Artificial Heart in them. Even murderous computers…