Cursive
Happy Hollow


3.5
great

Review

by Travis Montgomery USER (3 Reviews)
October 5th, 2010 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Instead of his usual optimism, Kasher instead reverts to a pre-teen hating the world for no reason.

From what I can see here, Kasher has lost it; and not in the good way like Patton, Zappa, and Mangum have. On Happy Hollow Tim has lost his optimism that he displayed so beautifully on Domestica and The Ugly Organ ; in place we have an album full of desperation and dashed hopes with no sight of the silver lining present on both previous albums.


Throughout Domestica , Kasher’s not-yet-perfect emotive vocals display the story of two lovers and their fights, struggles, and disputes. Later in an interview Kasher stated that despite all the hate, disappointment, and cheating, “Pretty Baby” and “Sweetie” are faced with, they stay together; something that can’t be said for Kasher’s own marriage. The Ugly Organ has an even more distinct redeeming quality to it. Despite living amidst the depression, murder, lies, and hate of life, The Ugly Organist proclaims that he’s “Staying Alive.” That beautiful aspect redemption is nowhere to be found on this album. Instead we are left with a completely depressing album, at least from my point of view.


While a redeeming aspect of the album is the exceptional musicianship, it just doesn't have enough strength to save the it from the desolate and depressing lyrics. A vast majority of the album is made up of solely of anti-religious tones and though not as pronounced, a few instances of anti-military themes. I’m all for people expressing their opinions and views, but at least back them up with some experience or something! Take “Big Bang” for instance; Although it is probably the best song on the album musically, its lyrics are just depressing! “There was this big bang once, now we're endlessly drifting in space” . So basically there’s no God and we have no real reason for existence. Tim, if you want to demolish one road, at least give us a hint to where the next road is instead of just leaving us at a dead end.


Though, if you can get past the horrendous philosophy throughout the album, you might find something to enjoy. With the departure of Gretta Cohn, the woman with the Cello, the woman who made [i]The Ugly Organ[I/] so exceptional, Cursive is left somewhat empty. On Happy Hollow Kasher recruits Nate Walcott to fill in this Cello-shaped hole with his magnificent horns. The addition of Walcott’s horn arrangements add a flair to the album that set it apart from many of the other alt/indie albums of the time. Catchy accessible songs aren’t a hard thing to find on this album, “Dorthy at Forty“, “Bad Sects“, and both the opening and ending hymnals being some of my favorite. Though he doesn’t nearly stand up to Cohn, Walcott does a better than good job of filling her shoes.



If you’re looking for some inventive, catchy music from a tried-and-true indie band along with some the introspective musings of a horribly depressed 30-some year old teenager, then this might be just the album for you. However, if you’re looking for something to learn, or want something to take away from this album then look elsewhere, because you’re not going to find any of it here


user ratings (304)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Jared W. Dillon (4)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
TRMshadow
October 5th 2010


4982 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Yeah It's short, but it has substance. Please comment

WatchItExplode
October 5th 2010


3313 Comments


space that out brah...review is solid but I cannot dig on this band for the life of me. With the exception of a few songs I find nothing redeeming about cursive


TRMshadow
October 5th 2010


4982 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I hate when [tab]s don't translate to sputnik

WatchItExplode
October 5th 2010


3313 Comments


much more digestible now...I do not get this band's allure shadow

SeaAnemone
October 5th 2010


20946 Comments


so the band's lyrics being desolate and depressing is an unforgivable crime what?

Digging: Viet Cong - Viet Cong

TRMshadow
October 5th 2010


4982 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

@ Explode, The more I think about it the more I question why too now

@ Anemone, No, I just want some closure

SeaAnemone
October 5th 2010


20946 Comments


inventive, catchy music from a tried-and-true indie band

musically the album is quite exceptional

I'm sorry I usually like you dude but the points you try to make in this review are really dumb

TRMshadow
October 5th 2010


4982 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Well it was a quick review. I wanted to say that I loved the music, but I completely abhorred the lyrics. It's not really easy for me to put that into words

SeaAnemone
October 5th 2010


20946 Comments


@ Anemone, No, I just want some closure



ironic considering your review doesn't end with any sort of punctuation

Gyromania
October 5th 2010


16088 Comments


The Ugly Organ has an even more distinct redeeming quality to it! Despite living amidst the depression, murder, lies, and hate of life, The Ugly Organist proclaims that he’s “Staying Alive.” That beautiful aspect redemption is nowhere to be found on this album!

These exclamation marks look a little awkward to me.

While musically the album is quite exceptional, it just doesn’t redeem that the album’s lyrical content is so desolate and depressing.

You should re-word this to something like "While its redeeming quality is that it's musically exceptional, the album's lyrical content is too desolate and depressing".

A vast majority the album

Missing 'of'.

Although it is probably the best song on the album musically, it’s lyrics are just depressing!

*its

leaving us at a dead end as an open question!

I think you should just end this with 'dead end.'

[b]“Dorthy at Forty“, “Bad Sects“, and both the opening and ending hymnals [b]

I'm sure that by the time I've posted this you'll have already caught this, but your coding is missing a '/'

Not too bad for a third review, and I'm glad to see that you're contributing more to the site now, I've seen you in a lot of threads before. I'll pos after those corrections and proper spacing of the paragraphs.



SeaAnemone
October 5th 2010


20946 Comments


I don't know why you think the lyrics are what, directionless? Because i have no idea how depressed and pessimistic lyrics would have an inherently negative connotation... if that were true Elliott Smith would be a really shitt writer so don't go there.

But yeah, the entire album is very much pointed at calling the church's word untruthful and horrible...

maybe you just couldn't relate to the lyrics? But they are well-written and very much relatable, whether you personally relate to them or not. Coupled with all the praise for the band you have outside of the lyrics, I have no idea how this is average?

It's generally well-written besides the things Gyro mentioned, but your content (the most important part, really) seems pretty off-base to me, honestly. Sorry, I neg'd.

TRMshadow
October 5th 2010


4982 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

It's fine. I did all this last night between 2AM and 5AM, so I may have not been in the best mindframe. But yes, I do get a major stick up my a** when people start hating on the church seeing as it's had nothing but a positive effect on my life.

I'd understand if Kasher was calling down on the catholic church for the whole pedophile thing or all the hypocritical types of Christians, but we're not all like that.

SeaAnemone
October 5th 2010


20946 Comments


lol not even gonna start

Gyromania
October 5th 2010


16088 Comments


I don't know why you think the lyrics are what, directionless? Because i have no idea how depressed and pessimistic lyrics would have an inherently negative connotation... if that were true Elliott Smith would be a really shitt writer so don't go there.

Yes, I completely agree with this. Eric makes a great point: your qualm about the lyrics for being 'desolate and depressing' is unfounded and them being depressing shouldn't be a detractor.

your content (the most important part, really) seems pretty off-base to me, honestly. Sorry, I neg'd.

As it's well-written (after corrections) and just a third review, I don't think that you should neg it, although I understand why you did, and I agree that the content is off-base though.

For future reference, Travis: add a bit more substance by delving into things a little more, and making your paragraphs longer (it just makes your work look stronger).

Phideaux
October 5th 2010


1656 Comments


It seems strange to say something has exceptional musicianship but still give it a 2.5. I've never heard this album so I can't really bring my own opinion to the table, but I dunno if you should rate it so low for the lyrics. There's a lot more to an album than lyrics and that's really all you talked about.

astrel
October 5th 2010


2614 Comments


wah! There is too much whining on this record! wah!

SeaAnemone
October 5th 2010


20946 Comments


but guys no album that questions the church can possibly be good no matter how exceptional the musicianship is!

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 5th 2010


17230 Comments


up the punx

Gyromania
October 5th 2010


16088 Comments


You can't question church, Eric... Don't be silly now ;)

DiceMan
October 5th 2010


7068 Comments


I believe that The National wrote a song sort of like the comments section of this review... Wasn't it called "Lit Up?"



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy