Friday, 27 November 2009

The Ugly Organ

Today my commute CD was the reason why I am going through my loosely alphabeticised CD albums. The reason why I needed to listen to things I may have missed, the reason I needed to give something a second chance.
Today the CD was The Ugly Organ by Cursive. At the very least I may have listened to this once before but I suspect this was the first time I had played this album. It came to my notice as I think at the end of 2003 it was featured highly in the year end lists of people who’s opinion I trusted. I must have lost it in a bulk of other CD’s though as it never made an impression at all.
So to the CD, as I said this CD and other CD’s like it is the reason that I am going through my collection, it is an absolute beauty, a real genuine great album.
Released on Saddle Creek it draws its influence, not massively, but a little from Saddle Creeks most famous son, Conor Oberst. However it’s main influence is Brand New. Sonically it draws heavily on the sound Brand New explored on their first two albums. Vocally Tim Kasher falls between that of Brand New’s Jesse Lacey and Bright Eyes’ Oberts, musically they are more aligned, at least on this album with Brand New than Oberst’s folk leanings.
It’s a stunning album though, and one I am pretty angry for missing, it is 6 years old after all, and 6 years it has been on a shelf of mine ignored. I strongly suggest that if either of the influencing artists float your boat, you seek out The Ugly Organ.
How this does differ from Brand New and Bright Eyes though is this album displays a little more aggression than those two are seemingly capable of. The Ugly Organ is a concept album that explores, Wikipedia tells me, the ugly organists life of love lust and empty sex. At times anger comes through but also despondency. It really does take you on a rather fantastic musical journey.
This all leads to the final track, Staying Alive, you recall my criticisms of the bloated Coheed and Cambrai album? Well the final track is a 10 minute epic, with contributions from a Nebraskan who’s who, after 10 minutes, I wanted another 10, I didn’t want it to end and as the album drew to a close, I wanted more. A brilliant and ridiculously good album. 10 out of 10, easily.

Staying Alive by Cursive

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