Lyrics: An intense, multi-angled examination of religion in today’s world. Topics covered include: evolution vs. creationism, the existence of a supreme being, fighting wars in the name of a supreme being, homosexuality in the clergy, abortion and more.
Sound: Cathartic and energetic progressive rock that’s often colored with blaring horns and chaotic dissonance, but the music never devolves into noisy meandering. Instead, funky basslines, romping riffs, high impact grooves and quick hitting songs keep Happy Hollow moving at a stunning pace.
Vocals: Tim Kasher’s erratic yowl still sloshes in and out of keys, but it’s more tuneful than usual and a great fit for all the questioning angst.
Heavy Rotation tracks: “Hymns For the Heathen“; “Bad Science“; “Retreat!”
Medium Rotation tracks: “Big Bang“; “Flag and Family“; “Dorothy at Forty“; “The Sunks”
Recommended: This is certainly not one for the faint of heart. With the lyrics tackling such tough issues and the music boldly blazing new trails, Happy Hollow is daunting but quite rewarding. It’s by far the tightest, most exciting and satisfying release in the Cursive catalogue. And despite the heady material, they sound like they’re having way more fun than ever before.
Grade: A- (Top 20 Albums of 2006 Candidate)
(As posted 9/4/06 on davepowersmusic.com)
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