Right Away, Great Captain!, ‘When I Met Death’ – Song Review
As reported earlier, Right Away, Great Captain! (familiarly Andy Hull, the fuzzy-faced frontman of Manchester Orchestra), has completed the ‘Bitter End’ trilogy, his solo, three-album concept album about a 17th century sailor who finds his wife in an, ahem, compromising position with his own brother. As the story goes, there’s a little cuckolding, a lot of fratricide, and a bit of good old-fashioned legal justice and regret.
The album, preceded by 2006′s ‘The Bitter End’ and 2008′s ‘The Eventually Home,’ is titled ‘The Church of the Good Thief’ and was released digitally on June 12 and as part of an already sold-out 4-LP box set.
Our first taste of the album, ‘When I Met Death,’ is a plaintive, close-harmonied climax for the trilogy’s anti-hero sailor as he prepares to set sail again, this time down the proverbial River of Hades. And as a part of an already dramatic song cycle, the track is a heart-rendering bright spot in an already glowing collection of songs.
The Right Away, Great Captain! side project has been an ideal way for Hull to showcase his lyrical abilities and hone his musical character studies. And it’s apparent that he relished the chance to explore his story’s inevitable character, Death. Less apparent, lyrically, is whether or not the song’s anachronisms were intentional: The gasoline he sings about wasn’t around for another two centuries. And we swear he says something about a TI-83, that staple of post-’90s trigonometry classes everywhere. No matter. We like a little ‘Quantum Leap’ in our death shanties.
Listen to Right Away, Great Captain’s ‘When I Met Death’