The Mountain Goats

Mountain Goats mainstay John Darnielle has a recurring, if uneasy, relationship with Christianity. After the death and illness in recent years of several people close to him, he turned to hymns, niche Christian artists, and of course, the Bible. The latter’s impact on the Mountain Goats’ new The Life Of The World To Come is obvious: every song is named for a Biblical passage. The lyrical content is a bit more diverse, showcasing Darnielle’s longstanding ability to speak volumes with just a word or two. Musically it’s a mixed bag as well, pairing whispered ballads with gently rolling folk-pop and hints of fuller rock thanks to returning bassist Peter Hughes and drummer Jon Wurster. Even Darnielle’s bristling vocals are smoother as he arrives at something closer to actual singing. For all his iconoclastic ways, the beloved songsmith always conjures at least one great single on his near-annual albums, and the one this time around is “Genesis 3:23.” With Final Fantasy. All ages. DOUG WALLEN

Tue., Nov. 10, 8 p.m., 2009

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