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Carissa's Wierd's retrospective album, They'll Only Miss You When You Leave: Songs 1996-2003, is out today , the first record from the band in six

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Four Reasons to Buy the Carissa's Wierd Retrospective, Even Though Their Three Full-lengths Will Soon Be Reissued

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Carissa's Wierd's retrospective album, They'll Only Miss You When You Leave: Songs 1996-2003, is out today, the first record from the band in six years. Sure, there are reasons to overlook this release. It's been five years since the band's records went out of print, so waiting until November for their three full-lengths to be reissued isn't that much longer. Plus, They'll Only Miss You When You Leave features no new material, making it essentially a greatest hits collection.

But the 16-track album is still worth shelling out $12 for. Here's why:

1. These are the best and most-loved Carissa's Wierd songs, all in one place. And that's not just my opinion: when I interviewed Mat Brooke and Jenn Ghetto a few weeks back, they said they hand-picked these 16 tracks based on their songs' popularity with fans and using ranking information from last.fm as a guide. (Compare the track listing for They'll Only Miss You When You Leave to the list of Top Tracks on the band's last.fm page, and you'll spot the similarities easily.)

2. You can't find the song "Die" anywhere else for less than $75. "Die" was originally on 2004's I Before E, an out-of-print comp that isn't being re-issued. The song has been promoted heavily by Hardly Art as the retrospective's single, and there's good reason. It's violin-driven, incredibly depressing, and one of the band's most melodic songs.

3. Listening to all three Carissa's Wierd's full-lengths will severely depress you. If you wait until October--when Brooke told me the full-lengths will be released--and buy 1999's Ugly but Honest, 2001's You Should Be at Home Here, and 2002's Songs About Leaving and listen to them, one after another, you may never leave your house or apartment or garage again. The band's lyrics, like these from "Low Budget Slow Motion Soundtrack Song From The Leaving Scene," are some of the most hopeless ever written: "How long will you be gone?/ How soon till you come home?/ Where is your sweetheart?/ Who shelters her from the cold now?" Combined those words with quiet, slow instrumentals, and Carissa's Wierd's songs, although beautiful, are happiness-killers. (Seriously, the band also wrote a song called "Die," remember?)

4. Taken as a whole, it's a great album. Brooke and Ghetto made smart choices putting this record together, and the songs complement each other well. "You Should Be Hated Here" is the right precursor to "Drunk W/ The Only Saints I Know." "They'll Only Miss You When You Leave" is the perfect tongue-in-cheek closing track. If I didn't know this was a collection, all I'd hear is a lovely, lilting, tragic record.

 
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