Review Summary: A worthy addition for old-time fans of the band and also serves as a wonderful starting place for new comers.
6 of 6 thought this review was well written
I was initially quite nervous to review this. Yeah, I'm Canadian, meaning I own or at least have heard a bazillion songs by The Tragically Hip on the radio. But anyway, I didn't want to constantly point out that they're Canadian over and over again to try and install initial interest in the reader, and I'm just going to assume that that formula wouldn't have worked anyway. I could go on and on about how Canada is, in fact, one of the most egotistical countries out there whether it deserves to be or not. I could go on about the meaningless stereotypes that come along with the nationality. In fact, I could just go on about anything concerning the country and it would seem, essentially, annoying and narrow-minded. So it seems too stupid to focus on such a topic for a music review, music being the supposed "universal language".
Reading over my opening paragraph, it appears I've already failed to stray from the topic that annoys me so much, so I'm going to try and start over. Let's pretend that Canada's infamous The Tragically Hip haven't changed for this album. Considering this is their eleventh album, perhaps the formula of power-chords, rock 'n' roll and Gordon Downie's unique vocals would have worn thin by now. It's been accepted but stretched out for the past four or so years, but it really hasn't presented the listeners with anything new or innovative, no matter how enjoyable it might be.
So it's quite a relief that the Hip's new album, World Container, takes a more youthful and modern approach to their sound. Instead of taking their same approach to their former work, the Hip seem to have taken pointers from the more underground side of Canadian music. At times, the album can sound like something that The Arcade Fire would have inspired in the group, displayed by songs like "The Family Band" and the atrociously titled "Luv (Sic)". It's more downbeat than the Hip are probably used to, so I'm quite surprised at how well they pull it off. It's relatively simple, rarely voyaging beyond the standard rock formula of rhythm and lead guitars and fast-paced bass and drum combo, but it also remains interesting because of the fact the band pulls it off like more complex bands such as The Arcade Fire or Broken Social Scene with a such a standard formula. And it's always fun to heard Gordon's signature yelp of a voice overtop, quite a treat indeed (Gordon's "yelp" is not nearly as annoying as it may seem on paper, for the record).
Not to say that the band has completely ditched their older sound. This album features some fantastic rockers, some of them being their best since 92's "Fully Completely". The lead single, "In View" indeed has a more upbeat and "indie-rock" tempo to it, but the band pulls off their older sound in the chorus with the happy and simple music complimented by the beautifully choreographed vocal patterns that few but ol' Gordie can pull off. "The Drop-Off" and "Yer Not The Ocean" are purely Hip, with the band hammering away at their, respectably, rock 'n' roll dedication sound ("Ocean") and their modern-day blues rock with even a tad of western ("The Drop-Off"). The band even slows things down for a few songs. The title track and "Pretend" are gorgeously composed songs that feature the magic team play of a trudging piano and the purely heartfelt vocal performances that, quite, frankly, steal the show time and time again. Reminiscent of their older work, yes, but for a change it sounds fresh and dedicated rather than purely re-used.
In the end, this album is a worthy addition for old-time fans of the band and also serves as a wonderful starting place for new comers. The Hip combine some killer methods that they've either perfected or merely dabbled in, and the overall result is one of their freshest - not to mention best - albums yet. Recommended for basically anyone looking for a good, non-repetitious rock album, old fans of the band and even someone looking for a more down-to-earth twist on indie-rock. All in all, an excellent album that lacks anything resembling a bad song.
Nice man, you finally did this! Turned out really great.
Downie's voice may be an aquired taste, but he writes great lyrics and puts on one hell of a show.
One of my favorite bands, perfect upnorth cottage music. This album is a bit more poppy than past works, but songs like Lonely End of the Rink and The Drop Off are classic Hip. And In View is catchy as hell. This has gone down a bit after relistening to their other albums but its still pretty good.This Message Edited On 02.27.09
This is a VERY accurate statement and is why the band hasn't taken flight in the United States.
It's not necessarily that, but probably because of their (mostly) Canadian (cdn politics, history, hockey, cities ect) themed lyrics and such. 'Too Canadian' if that makes sense, even if that is contradicting with the first parapgraph..This Message Edited On 02.10.07
I LOVE THE HIP. i saw them when they came to hamilton, and they ripped the place apart. great review to a pretty good album (still like fully comeplely better though). this is a shout out to all those of you who thought i was dead, IM NOT, and IM BACK. and the first thing ill do is my 5150 review. and this time, i mean it is very soon.