Keith Canisius’ latest album, This Time It’s Our High, starts off as an annoying reminder as to just how much excellent music exists which you will probably never, ever hear about. The burden is almost crippling. At some point, though, you just have to suck it up and delve in full on, putting aside the daunting reality that you will never experience everything great in the world. You just have to be grateful you discovered something that made you feel this way in the first place.

“People’s Faces,” the intro track to This Time It’s Our High, makes me feel this way. It took me completely by surprise, its existence standing in sharp contrast to what I was expecting (which was, to say simply, something disposable). Not so. “People’s Faces” hinges on a seesawing slide on the guitar, and culminates in a magical moment where the phrase, “Life in general,” cycles repetitively for a good two minutes, punctuated every time by a different emotional adjective or verb. Yet it lulls you, its fluting background sounds and slight sonic deconstructions somehow not just holding, but commanding attention.

Listen to “People’s Faces” – DOWNLOAD MP3

I’m not sure that the rest of the album ever really reaches the high bar set by “People’s Faces,” but there are some standout tracks to be found in the unruly earnestness of “First Tambourine Love” and the gentle grooves of “The Beach House.” Low moments abound as well, though, particularly in the unfocused “Kill Your Systems For Earth,” the forgettable “Gentle Guys,” and the rather obnoxious album closer, “Jimmy.”

Despite being a hit or a miss album, This Time It’s Our High is great in small doses, and if only for “People’s Faces,” you should check this out.

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