Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Ugly Organ Review

There's something about an angry singer singing angry lyrics angrily that appeals to me. Tim Kasher of Cursive seems to be a perfect example of this in the band's fourth studio release, The Ugly Organ. Throughout the album we're shown themes of anger, spite and emotional drainage, all perfectly wailed by Kasher's appropriate vocals. Much like my previous Radiohead experience, this is the first time I've listened to the band. They without a doubt delivered a solid first impression.

The first track that really captured my attention was The Recluse, a flowing song about sex and desperation, and a perfect example of the band's sound on this record. Kasher's desperate words falling off the tip of his tongue over the cello of Gretta Cohn simply oozes emotion, making it one of the best and most memorable on the album.

"And I can hardly get myself out of this bed/For fear of never lying in this bed again/Oh Christ, I'm not that desperate/Oh no, oh God, I am"

What I find to be unique about the album are the interesting things added in, like the Pinocchio narration voice at the end of Butcher The Song and the beginning of Driftwood: A Fairy Tale. It adds a creepy and theatrical feel to the two tracks. Along with that, I'm new to the thought of a cello and an organ mixed with guitar and percussion, but it works seamlessly and adds a necessary element to the album.

An ever-present theme of the album is Kasher's anger towards the record industry and the pressure put on him to deliver greatness with every album. The theme is perfectly portrayed on the second track, Some Red Handed Sleight Of Hand, where he pinpoints that he can hide nothing from the audience, as it always appears in his lyrics. The precise display of his overwhelmed head makes this another great track on the record. Along with that, you get to hear some serious shredding on the cello.

"So why do I think I'm any different?/I've been making money off of my indifference"

At the end of the anger and desperation filled tracks of the record, we're served a bit of optimism. Staying Alive, playing for a little over 10 minutes, shows us the narrator's push through everything that's held him down. This is a spirit lifting song, and I think the perfect end to an album such as this; however excessive the length may be. Once the chorus of singers begins their doo-do-doo's, it feels like a choir of hope, and it sounds great.

In a conclusive statement, I'll say this is a very good album. It has its weak spots, but they are few and don't bring down what the other tracks have to offer. A beautiful cacophony of Kasher's voice, a cello, and some wonderful guitar and drum are what you'll get from The Ugly Organ, and I enjoyed nearly every track. This should definitely be on your list of albums to pick up. It's an interesting and enjoyable experience.

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