By Joseph Mazzola

There is something quite strange about having to pause to write a review of a song about dealing with the world because you took time to deal with the world. So when you get around to writing the review, the song feels uncomfortably honest. I suppose that “uncomfortably honest” is an apt descriptor for most of AJJ’s catalog, and their new song, “Best Of All Possible Worlds” featuring Kimya Dawson and Kool Keith is no exception.

“Best Of All Possible Worlds” is a slow dreamy ponderance on the multiverse. An acoustic guitar and synths pull listeners along while Sean Bonnette and Kimya Dawson sing, and, in the case of Kool Keith, rap. That seemed like a left-field choice at first, but Bonnette has called both Dawson and Kool Keith inspirations since 2000, and AJJ took Open Mike Eagle on tour multiple times (including the last AJJ show I went to), so this wasn’t really a surprise. Dawson, ever the utopian, sings of a different, better world without bombs or genocide or hunger. The song goes out with Bonnette asking, “Is this the best of all possible worlds?” and, “Is the best of all worlds even possible?” To which he sings the answers: “Probably not,” and, “I hope so.” That hope is baked into this song, with its three collaborators hoping for something better, something more just, and a waking up to a more livable world.