Frightened Rabbit
The Midnight Organ Fight


4.5
superb

Review

by natey USER (46 Reviews)
June 22nd, 2008 | 271 replies | 94,709 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: They bear cute Scottish accents reminiscent of Shout Out Louds, the wounded, intimate lyrics of Conor Oberst, and the musical aesthetics and sensibility of Sufjan Stevens.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

Hailing from Selkirk, Scotland, Frightened Rabbit was formed in 2004 by brothers Scott and Grant Hutchison. Billy Kennedy joined the group in 2006 making it a trio, and debut album Sing The Greys was quietly released that same year. This, their follow-up, The Midnight Organ Fight was recorded back in 2007 and released on April 15, 2008. In 2008 Frightened Rabbit also became a quartet with the addition of keyboardist/bassist Andy Monaghan.

Opening track “The Modern Leper” serves as the perfect exposition to the album and the group as a unit. In Scott’s own words, “it sums up the album's sonic and lyrical scope. It’s not that dark a song but the lyrics are a bit more intense than some of the ones on the last record.” The rest of the album follows suit with blatant, at times profane lyrics. Musically, the album is just as interesting. The quartet manages to create a number of different enveloping textures. From the raging energy in single “Fast Blood” to the beautiful, almost traditional “Good Arms vs. Bad Arms” featured in a Grey’s Anatomy episode, the album is extremely moving. There’s just a real emotional power in Scott’s vocals, and the accompanying music compliments it perfectly. It’s a wonderful combination having heartfelt, raw vocals combined with dynamic but sensitive music. I can’t say how many times I’ve driven to “Good Arms vs. Bad Arms” and “Fast Blood” shouting at the top of my lungs, jumping around my trucks cab. Frightened Rabbit have crafted something truly hazardous in its emotional intensity.

On “The Twist”, Scott’s voice is as cutting as ever as he sings I need human heat. Not all of his songs are totally depressing, yet his voice is just so passionate I feel like exploding no matter what he is saying. The percussion at the end of the track is very tasteful, and the repeated keyboard counterpoint in the background is beautiful. Besides all of the vocal led tracks there are also two instrumentals on the album. “Bright Pink Bookmark” is the first, serving not so much as filler but as a nostalgic moment. It nods back to “The Greys” with similar chord structure and it borrows the trumpet and percussion parts in “I Feel Better”. The other instrumental is “Extrasupervery” which is a simple but enjoyable break. The affecting power of Frightened Rabbit’s music isn’t so much in epic or beautiful moments like those shaped by Sigur Ros or post-rock composers; rather, within the group’s emotional setting, the music forms its own unique poignancy.

“Keep Yourself Warm” showcases some of the cruder lyrics on the record.
It takes more than ***ing someone to keep yourself warm
, and you won’t find love in a hole. The lyrics could be dismissed as immature, yet their earnest delivery somehow excuses their repugnance. And behind every line in every song is emotive music, making it that much harder to be bothered by them. It is definitely an odd album to swallow, but the meal is so satisfying it erases a lot of potential quirks. Your opinion of the album will definitely change based upon the angle you view it from. If the frank emotion is perceived as feigned or idiotic then hating this album should feel pretty natural. Yet if the passion is embraced then this album has the ability to inspire and enchant.

Compared to Sing The Greys, Frightened Rabbit’s sophomore album shows among other things a much more expansive range. “Poke” showcases that range, turning a catchy, innocent number into an emotional song with its moody bridge. Sing The Greys definitely had its highlights, but it didn’t travel anywhere beyond typical indie folk. On this album Frightened Rabbit really move beyond the conventional limitations that may have hindered them earlier in their career. It’s a release that I expect will excite different responses in different people. Those able to appreciate it will likely fall in love with it. I am one of those devotees, and am continually unbound by the album’s desperate emotion.



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user ratings (494)
Chart.
4.3
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
foreverendeared
June 22nd 2008



14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i'm guessing this is as re-submission. this is a good review. i absolutely love this album which is somewhat surprising seeing as how close these guys can get to sounding "country" at times and i hate country music.

plane
Staff Reviewer
June 22nd 2008



6073 Comments


I don't like this album at all.

foreverendeared
June 22nd 2008



14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"you're the sh*t and i'm knee deep in it"
one of the coolest lines ever

natey
June 22nd 2008



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Planewreck are there parts that turn you off or is it just not satisfying?


plane
Staff Reviewer
June 22nd 2008



6073 Comments


The whole thing just feels fake. That's hard for me to explain, but I kind of see it like Crash at the Oscars. I get really annoyed listening to it.

Kiran
Emeritus
June 23rd 2008



5992 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm glad someone finally reviewed this. The Modern Leper is such a great opener.

natey
August 28th 2008



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Can we say the best (my favorite) album of 2008?

Kiran
Emeritus
September 23rd 2008



5992 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I bumped this to a 4 cause I've been listening to it a bunch and I've actually grown to like it more than I initially did. I find something really charming about this album.

jredmond
December 3rd 2008



209 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is good

monorail
December 7th 2008



22 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

#2 of 2008 i seeeeeeeeeee..

natey
December 11th 2008



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

That's a low rating for a potential #2 of the year

fatfreddiesdrop
December 17th 2008



5 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

what is this £$&%&$*£(

natey
January 20th 2009



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"Keep Yourself Warm" has passed "Fast Blood" and "Good Arms" as mah fave

STOP SHOUTING!
January 24th 2009



628 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Loving this album. Not much of a comment I know. But I just wanted to say I'm definitely loving this.

Knott-
Emeritus
January 24th 2009



10193 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

it's all about My Backwards Walk & Poke & Modern Leper & Good Arms & Fast Blood & Twist & Keep Yourself Warm & Head Rolls Off

armfarm
February 8th 2009



572 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this album is nuts

gaslightanthem
February 8th 2009



5209 Comments


yep

Knott-
Emeritus
February 9th 2009



10193 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

crazy good

natey
February 9th 2009



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Isn't it?

SeaAnemone
February 27th 2009



18752 Comments


I'm a few songs into this and it's giving me the same feelings I had the first time I heard Neutral Milk Hotel and Elliott Smith; I'm not comparing them, I just think this is gonna be really really good.



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