Personnel: John Darnielle (vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, keyboards); Peter Hughes, Peter Hughes (electric guitar, bass guitar); Owen Pallett (strings); Jon Wurster (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Scott Solter.
Recording information: Baucom Road, Monroe, North Carolina (04/2009-06/2009); Electrical Audio, Chicago, Illinois (04/2009-06/2009); Sonic Ranch, Tornillo, Texas (04/2009-06/2009).
The Mountain Goats are, for all practical purposes, the endlessly clever and prolific John Darnielle and whatever musicians he surrounds himself with, which means that while the soundscape may change from project to project, the overall tone and feel of Darnielle's work remains remarkably consistent. An impressive achievement, really, since THE LIFE OF THE WORLD TO COME is his umpteenth album (his 16th, actually, and sixth for 4AD), and if an album where every track is named after a Bible verse looks like it's going to be a radical departure for Darnielle, rest assured, it isn't. This isn't some praise & worship affair, but is instead a considered treatise on the use and meaning of faith in our lives, and it's a theme Darnielle has visited frequently in his past work, and it isn't the first time he's used Bible verses to provide narrative structure to a song, either. He's always done that here and there on his projects, but this is the first time a whole album from him has used Bible verses as an over-arching scheme. Other than that, THE LIFE OF THE WORLD TO COME is business as usual, with Darnielle musing on the need to believe and keep faith in something as the pressures, horrors, and oddities of life in the 21st century flash by at the speed of a keypad. This isn't a religious album in any normal sense of the word -- Darnielle certainly isn't preaching here or trying to point anyone to Heaven or any other place -- but it is a deeply spiritual one.