The tracks are by and large intensely intimate and intensely depressing: some designed to be genuine tearjerkers, others so bluntly depressing that they become comical - I think intentionally so. When Mark sings “my uncle died in a fire on his birthday” (pretty bloody depressing stuff) he seems to not be wallowing in the sadness of it but instead admiring the irony.
There are moments in which the humour is certainly much less subtle, like in the track “dogs”. Even most gangsta rappers wouldn’t dare to reach the jarring levels of sexual explicitness found in this song. It's exactly what you don't expect to hear on a folk record, and that itself makes it humorous.
Then there’s the closer, “Ben’s my friend”, perhaps my favourite track on the album. Some of the vocal hooks such as “blue crab cakes” and “sports bar shit” are hilariously bizarre and the arrival of a bass guitar, drums and a smoky sax into the mix all help to create a classy and elegant crescendo to the record, transporting the listener to a swanky apartment overlooking the moonlit New York City skyline. Well, that's the scene I pictured anyhow.