It helps that The Caribbean lay out their mission statement on the cover of the album, as part of the art: Discontinued Perfume seems to be about living a strong, practical, grown up life and being comfortable with leaving that world and accepting the unknowable. In short: adult music.
If youre still trucking along at this point, youre in for a trip. Discontinued Perfume falls somewhere between The Mountain Goats intimate story-songs and the bizarre experimental pop of Xiu Xiu. The songs are all melancholy and calm, but abrupt rhythmic shifts, unusual chord changes, eccentric arrangements and more keep the listener off-guard for the majority of the album. The Caribbean never sets down a straightforward song; thats not the point of this album. For proof, just try and guess whats going to happen next, lyrically and musically, in Mr. Lets Find Out. Its impossible.
This is the sort of album that melds itself to people who find it at the right time. I cant separate out Damien Jurados Rehearsals for Departure from a specific time and place, and I will defend the record nearly to the death; this will almost inevitably be the case for someone who picks up Discontinued Perfume at exactly the right time. Its just that sort of album. Hopefully youre that listener. Stephen Carradini