David Bazan
Curse Your Branches


4.5
superb

Review

by Adam Thomas STAFF
September 1st, 2009 | 24 replies | 8,742 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The former Pedro the Lion singer embraces his doubts.

When David Bazan started Pedro the Lion some fourteen years ago, his intimate lyrics and overwhelming sense of perception gained him quick adoration from more devout indie fans. He never was content singing praise songs, but instead penned testaments to his struggles with faith and addiction. After all, like the rest of us, he's only human. For many of his fans, Bazan's early songs connected at a personal level, especially songs like “The Secret of the Easy Yoke”. As Bazan's career progressed so did his doubts. By the time Pedro the Lion called it quits in 2005, Bazan's views on sex, his heavy drinking, and tales of betrayal rather than those of praise and forgiveness had alienated many of his former fans.

In the five years that have passed since Pedro the Lion's swan song, Achilles Heel, Bazan's doubt has turned into rejection. His first solo full-length Curse Your Branches is an inward gaze into the mind of a man no longer questioning the fading of his convictions but embracing it. “Wait just a minute/ you expect me to believe /that all this misbehaving/ grew from one enchanted tree?” he asks on the album's opener “Hard to Be”. His new found acceptance of his ventures into agnosticism drives Curse Your Branches. Not only does he clarify his descent from faith, but also defends it from those closest to him, especially on “When We Fall” where he bitterly sings “If my mother cries when I tell her what I discovered/ then I hope she remembers she taught me to fallow my heart / and if you bully her like you done me with fear of damnation / then I hope she can see you for what you are”.

Bazan's heavy lyricism is held in check by the vibrant instrumentation. Developing the more lively and twangy aspects of Achilles Heel, most notably on tracks such as “Bearing Witness” and “Please Baby, Please”, Bazan presents a strong country vibe to the mid-tempo indie rock sound that he has worked with since the late nineties. That's not to say that he has abandoned the somber acoustic numbers that have made him so endearing. If it wasn't for the lyrical shift “Harmless Sparks” would fit snugly between any of the songs on 1998's It's Hard to Find A Friend.

On David Bazan's Barsuk debut, he spills his heart into every aspect of the album. Curse Your Branches is yet another glimpse into the soul and psyche of one of America's most over looked singer songwriters, and is easily Bazan's best work in over a decade.



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user ratings (58)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Andrew H. EMERITUS (4.5)
Formerly Pedro the Lion, David Bazan abandons his faith and writes the best record of his career....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 1st 2009



17200 Comments


I fucking LOVE this album.
stream for those interested http://www.spinner.com/new-releases#/2

LisbonGirls
September 1st 2009



832 Comments


hmmmm....can't say I enjoyed this. good review tho.

Wizard
September 1st 2009



19240 Comments


Tbqh, I've been listening to more indie then my metal mind can take. Really digging the genre from what I've heard. This sounds interesting as well. Sweet little review.

Digging: Cloak of Altering - Plague Beasts

charlesfishowitz
September 2nd 2009



1794 Comments


sounds intrestn

natey
September 2nd 2009



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

right on right on

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2009



17200 Comments


bearing witness reminds me of george harrison

CelestialDust
September 6th 2009



3155 Comments


just started listening and the first song is ****ing ace

AlexTM510
October 24th 2009



1398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is gold

Awesome review pos

ratedrsuperstar
October 26th 2009



186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awesome review and great album.

alt
November 20th 2009



230 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

more people need to listen to this

Waior
December 17th 2009



11425 Comments


Really good.

natey
December 28th 2009



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ogg this is so fine

ninjuice
December 28th 2009



6761 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

His voice is both boring and interesting and the lyrics are great.

natey
December 29th 2009



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

the music is my favorite part

ninjuice
December 29th 2009



6761 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well yeah obviously the music is great otherwise this wouldn't be a 4.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2010



17200 Comments


almost a year later and this still packs one hell of a punch.

americanmusicmachine
November 1st 2010



3953 Comments


omg in stitches

natey
November 23rd 2010



4170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i said please baby please baby please

Athom
Staff Reviewer
December 23rd 2010



17200 Comments


this is Christmas music in the Thomas household

AlexTM510
February 12th 2011



1398 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

two months late but man thats some pretty depressing christmas music you listen to



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