Cursive
Domestica


5.0
classic

Review

by zach USER (27 Reviews)
March 26th, 2007 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cursive creates a depressing, beautiful masterpiece of a relationship gone awry.

A person’s emotional state is always important on the decisions they make. For example, I’m feeling mostly uncreative and clichéd, so I’m starting off with this completely unoriginal opening. My emotional state is also very important in musical selections I’ve made. I’ve subsided mainly on bombastic self-pitying emo/hardcore and bleak self-pitying indie for the past half of a year, because I’ve been in some sort of rut of depression for just as long. So, when Cursive’s Domestica was described to me as the best post-hardcore album besides At the Drive-in’s Relationship of Command, I had to, of course, get the album as soon as possible.

Another detail that helped me enjoy the album even more was the fact that I had to write a short story for my creative writing class. Due to this, I was in desperate need of overly pretentious metaphors to use and prove how much of a deep thinker I was and Tim Kasher’s lyrics definitely got me going in the right direction. Proclamations such as “Your tears are only alibis/To prove you still feel/You only feel sorry for yourself/And that’s how you find/Your sorrow’s a gold mine” and “Some lies last a lifetime/They keep our diaries hidden/They don’t let the whispers slip/Between the cracks of the bathroom stalls/Or be written on the bathroom walls”struck me hard, and almost made me consider not even trying to write anything, knowing I could never achieve something as profound as that.

Kasher also does a tremendous job of creating a concept album of sorts centered around an abusive couple only known to the listener as “Pretty Baby” and “Sweetie”. Each song is told from one of the character’s perspective and is a really truthful glimpse into a broken relationship, as Kasher wrote the majority of the album after a nasty divorce, though the same fate doesn’t hold true for Pretty Baby and Sweetie, which may be the most depressing aspect of the album. Through all of the lies, the cheating, and the abuse, the two stay together.

The sound of the album is most reminiscent of Fugazi’s 13 Songs, except, it’s a lot more interesting. The bass is great, as Matt Maginn always sets a terrific little groove to get you dancing your seat. The drums compliment the bass very well, and while never doing anything spectacular, they do the job their assigned to do perfectly. One of the highlights of the album is the break in “The Lament of Pretty Baby” where everything stops and all that can be heard is Clint Schnase banging on his drums, and while it is not anything truly spectacular, it fits the music perfectly and is like a catharsis of the characters. Kasher and Steve Pedersen play guitar on the album and there sound is the most reminiscent of Fugazi, often using a palm-muted method usually connected to the band.

Despite having a rough and grating voice for first-time listeners, Kasher is one of the better vocalists I’ve heard. He always stays perfectly in character on the record, never shouting where it doesn’t fit and always infusing the perfect amount of emotion into each note. When Kasher does sing clean, it is a lot easier to get into than his shouting voice, but once you hear it enough, it really ceases to become a problem and it soon becomes one of the highlights of the album.

What Cursive succeeds in most on this album is keeping it simple. While some bands try to make concept albums with complex, intricate storylines, Cursive keeps their concept simple. All Kasher is trying to do is document the pain he felt through his breakup and trying to help other people relate to it. The rest of the band follows to create a canvas and let Kasher’s words paint a masterpiece.



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user ratings (560)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Nevin (5)
Cursive's 2001 masterpiece is raw and phenomenal with its writing and musicianship....

Jared W. Dillon (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
The Jungler
March 26th 2007


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice to see you review again, good work.
This album is absolutely amazing, every song owns. One of my favorite guitar albums of all time as well.

Intransit
March 26th 2007


2797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good album. Good review too.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2007


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

glassjaw and not the afghan whigs? okay.
Decent album. Absolutely inconsistent and pretty shoddy lyrics/songwriting.

iarescientists
March 26th 2007


5863 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I don't know no Afghan Wings. I was going with the storyline similarities with Glassjaw and I knew someone would get mad at me.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2007


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i listened to like the first four tracks then i had to go somewhere but i guess i'll finish the album sometime soon or w/e ok i didnt read it but good review

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
March 26th 2007


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good review. SO FUCKING TRIUMPHANT.

Doppelganger
March 26th 2007


3124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. I have The Happy Hollow and I enjoy it a lot, though I have a feeling this is probably completely different.

pixiesfanyo
March 26th 2007


1223 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

One of the best albums ever.

Syncratic
March 26th 2007


756 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I really, really liked 'The Ugly Organ,' so I'll check this out....

711
March 26th 2007


1341 Comments


Excellent review, as always. Again, I dont know why you still arent approved...
I love what I have heard of this album, but I can never find it. I can always find The Ugly Organ and Happy Hollow, but this is never there

cbmartinez
April 1st 2007


2525 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

[quote=pixiesfanyo]One of the best albums ever.[/quote]

Yup. Breathtaking, can't decide which is better this, or The Ugly Organ.

KritikalMotion
April 25th 2008


2262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The Game of Who Needs Who the Worst is amazing.

PatchworkNeurology
May 25th 2008


352 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I lost the will to fight

TheGoddamnBatman
July 3rd 2009


404 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Definitely Cursive's best record. This band definitely don't get the attention that deserve.

AllyWarh01
November 13th 2009


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

One of my all time top 20 desert island discs......

kitsch
January 8th 2010


5107 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i can tell this is an old review by the comparisons you make...

it was still awesome though.

this album goes down as a top 5 personal favorite

4strings
September 13th 2010


27 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is a good review and an awesome album. I'm split between giving it a 4.5 or a 5, because the while the instrumentation of the bass and drums fits the music perfectly, it isn't incredibly talented. But you may have influenced me to change to a 5 by showing that it doesn't have to be that talented or else it kinda would get in the way I guess. Like Rancid, Matt Freeman is an amazing bassist, but he is Rancid, making their music unbalanced.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
September 13th 2010


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

where is the bass slapping

i don't understand

Winsomniac
September 13th 2010


7983 Comments


Would you say this is better or worse than The Ugly Organ?

fromtheinside
September 13th 2010


18717 Comments


i wouldn't want to

Digging: Devin Townsend Project - Z2



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