Friday, June 23, 2006

exclusive: happy hollow

I have spent half of yesterday listening to Cursive’s new record Happy Hollow. I knew even before listening to the album that it is highly unlikely that Happy Hollow can surpass The Ugly Organ (Cursive’s best album and one of my favorite records of all time). Nevertheless, from the first listens, Happy Hollow sounds like a pretty damn good follow-up. One thing that sets it apart from The Ugly Organ is that Cursive have completely abandoned the cello and strings (Gretta Cohn left the band, very sad!); and instead, their new record features a five-piece horn orchestra... and you know what... the horn arrangements work beautifully!! Another new and different feature in this new Cursive record is that the album deals largely with the theme of religion... extremely different from anything Tim Kasher has done!

1. Opening the Hymnal/Babies [wicked-cool song]
a teaser intro which will eventually be heard again on the last track; "Babies" is a great classic Cursive song

2. Dorothy at Forty [wicked-cool song]
fast drumming intro; a ska-ish/swing-ish sounding song

3. Big Bang [wicked-cool song]
loud horns!! ...a song about the Big Bang Theory... weird

4. Bad Sects [wicked-cool song]
a very soft song... it features one of the best lines on the record: "I know this is wrong, cause we're told this is wrong."

5. Flag and Family
fast and loud; great guitar melodies; another classic Cursive song

6. Dorothy Dreams of Tornadoes
this one sounds like a Good Life song

7. Retreat!! [wicked-cool song]
omg, this one sounds even more like a Good Life song... I love it! it also features some jazz/blues elements

8. The Sunks
this song is sung by Ted Stevens... ok musically, but I don't really like Stevens' voice

9. At Conception
a war song; lovely piano parts; an overall up-beat track with lots of horns

10. So-So Gigolo
a weird sounding song... don't quite know what it's about yet

11. Bad Science [wicked-cool song]
another loud track with lots of horns

12. Into the Fold
the softest song on the album... great vocal by Kasher... there's also a female voice in the last minute and a half

13. Rise Up!! Rise Up!! [wicked-cool song]
amazing lyrics! ...a kind of don't waste your time with religion and fuck the church song... perfect!

14. Hymns For The Heathen [wicked-cool song]
this is an extension of "Opening the Hymnal", which brings the album in full circle

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Happy Hollow comes out on August 22, preorder information coming soon!
In the meantime, you can preorder the "Dorothy At Forty" single here

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