Review Summary: A slow day for these Canadian rockers.
We Are The Same
The Tragically Hip
The Tragically Hip are considered Canadian music legends. As a Canadian myself, I can tell you that every single person in my home nation can list at least one of the Tragically Hip's hit songs. Their light rock and punk influenced tunes are the scourge of Canadian radio, with such classics as 'Poets' and 'Fireworks' being featured radio singles for the past ten years. 2006's 'World Container' was met with little negative criticism, and every one of their albums since 1995 has managed to top the Canadian album charts for often weeks at a time...
But now it seems that the Hip have lost their cool and have sunken into the ocean of averageness that every band eventually falls into. If I could use one word to describe 'We Are The Same', it would have to be 'boring'. Not one song here really has any replay value whatsoever, let alone catchiness. Most of the album is made up of bland, radio friendly soft rock, complete with boring, uninspired lyrical matter.
Aside from simply producing some unexciting, average songs, the Hip have also made the mistake of making the single 'Love Is A First' seem like the only noteworthy song here. In Canada, it has overstayed it's time on the radio, and becomes more and more annoying with every listen. Although the beginning verse is catchy and sounds like classic hip, any originality or fun is quickly eroded by the chorus, where the words "Love Is A First!" are simply shouted out amongst some sloppy, unoriginal, overloud guitar arrangements. This otherwise terrible song is made worse by a section near the end, where the singer (Gordon Downie) begins to start talking about how people should respect the power of love. All in all, the song just ends up as a messy pile of radio friendly rubbish.
The first four songs of the album, running at about four minutes each, are boring acoustic songs, with bland, uninteresting lyrics dealing with romance. The instrumentation for each song is particularly dull, making it seem as if all four songs are one. Although they are not as terrible as 'Love Is A First', they are frightfully uninteresting, and would provide good background music for a day at a bus stop.
Not every song here is bland, with the nine minute epic 'The Depression Suite' dividing the album in half and acting as a respite from the nightmare 'Now The Struggle Has A Name'. The acoustic and electric guitar melodies on this nine minute song compliment the vocals very well. The lyrics deal with the sadness of people having no money, and then being fired from their jobs. Although it is the longest song on the album, it is the most interesting, and also features a very mesmerizing guitar solo.
Another note worthy tune goes by the name of 'Frozen In My Tracks', which lyrics deal with coping with a harsh Canadian winter. The song has an almost bleak feel, which adds to the feeling of being trapped out in drifts of snow. The vocals here are done in a more traditional Hip style, which adds to the quality of the music.
In conclusion, it seems as if the Tragically Hip are losing their ability to produce catchy, interesting material, and are starting to simply expel bland radio rock. There are a few decent songs breaking the sea of averageness, but this does not save the album from being thrown to my trash bin.
-'The Depression Suite'
- Some interesting guitar parts
-Songs seem to blend together
-The single seems to be the one song selling the album
-First four songs blend together
Recommended Tracks (Download Or Die)
-'The Depression Suite'
- 'Frozen In My Tracks'
MY RATING: 2.2/5