well damn!

Cursive – Mama, I’m Swollen
April 10, 2009, 3:25 pm
Filed under: Albums | Tags: , ,

The last three records Cursive has put out (2000’s Domestica, 2003’s The Ugly Organ, and 2006’s Happy Hollow) easily crack my top 15 all time favourite records. Their recent release Mama I’m Swollen is going to have to try a little harder to crack my top 15 of the year…

Mama I'm SwollenDon’t get me wrong, Mama has some great tracks. “In The Now” is a heavy opener, staying in true Cursive form. “From The Hips”, the album’s first single showcases Cursive’s musical range. I’m not really sure what “Donkeys” is about yet, but it has some clever lyrics.

The album itself gels together fairly smoothly. There are no tracks that stick out like a sore thumb or should have ended up on a b-side. The album is fairly intricate, tracks often refer to other tracks and so on. The themes of the album are quite clear from both a lyrical and musical stand point, but there is something missing. This album is missing the next step. Each album I’ve listened to from Cursive has been unique and displayed a way in which the band has grown, but this album feels like a stasis, any of these tracks could easily be mistaken for belonging to another album.

My friend and I theorize these boys are going to release a spectacle of an album, and this was more of a tie over to keep people interested and assure us Cursive are alive and well.

First listen: 6/10
Flow: 8/10
Individual Songs: 8/10
Discography: 5/10
Length: 4/5
Album Art: 4/5
Total: 35/50

It’s okay Cursive, I’m still going to listen to it incessantly and wait for it to grow on me


Land of Talk – Some Are Lakes
November 20, 2008, 1:35 am
Filed under: Albums, Music | Tags: , ,

I don’t think that it’s been established, but I’m a huge fan of Saddle Creek Records. They put out music by a plethora of great bands and have created a great musical community. Recently Saddle Creek has started signing artists outside of Omaha, including quite a few up and coming Canadian artists, like Tokyo Police Club and Land of Talk

Land of Talk I’ll admit that it took a few listens to get into this record, but now I’m knee deep. Elizabeth Powell does a great job of fitting her voice in with her music. Her voice evokes the emotions that she’s trying to express in her songs, and it creates a great feeling for the album on the whole. My one qualm? Annunciation. It’s probably the pretentious choir brat in me, but there are times when I think “What on earth is she singing about?”, lucky for her as I mentioned, her voice is very evocative. Oh and one more small complaint. Can we get actual liner notes, with lyrics? Though, this is more of a rant for albums on a whole as of late.

Some Are Lakes starts with the steady drum driven Yuppy Flu. I’m not sure if this is actually in a minor key (heck, the majority of this album might be in a minor key), but there are enough chromatic runs to convince me. The next track, Death by Fire has one of my (many) favourite lyric deliveries off of this record, “One poison, two poison, three boys”, so dark but meaningful. I’ve also mentioned my affinity for Powell’s melodies. These are prevalent in the title track, Some Are Lakes and the closer Troubled, easily my favourite song on the album. Don’t let the sweet melodies mislead you, this band knows how to rock out, just listen to Corner Phone and you too will be convinced.

First listen: 7/10
Flow: 8/10
Individual Songs: 8/10
Discography: 9/10
Length: 5/5
Album Art: 4/5
Total: 41/50

Thanks for living up to my expectations Saddle Creek