The Antlers
Hospice


5.0
classic

Review

by Hogan CONTRIBUTOR (38 Reviews)
March 23rd, 2014 | 27 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Please, don't wake me up.

It seems an eternity has passed since your first visit. I remember it clear as day, just like you told me. It was late in the night, somewhere past 2 o’clock. I was plagued by sullen ghosts that night, tormenting me each time my eyes closed. One was so terrifying, that I screamed. Louder than the banshees that haunted my sleep, it echoed through the hollow hallways of the hospital. Nothing moved, and the only thing disturbed by my scream was the silence. I began to cry all at once, tears flowed down my cheek in streams of light blue. But then I caught the sight of your snow white coat, and your wide smile. I do not know how long you had been there, but you seemed unaffected by my unorthodox appearance. I then noticed a jet black piano stretching horizontal from my bed. I should have been afraid, but your appearance suppressed the madness within me. I asked you to play me something special, a song that no one else but me could understand. Without saying a single word, you stretched your fingers across the keyboard, and danced about its fine edges. You sang with a cherubic voice, but I didn’t tell you that. I just stared into darkness and closed my eyes. Morning came early that day.

Your visits became frequent. Each night you greeted me without the use of words, and each day you played me a new song. I began to feel a sense of comfort for the first time in years. It suppressed the paramount isolation that I once felt, but yet I still couldn’t crack a smile. Something about the way you felt, the way you looked at me, made me hide my feelings. I would yell at you, attempt to tear your spirit in half with each of my offensive insults. You pretended to not care, but I knew it was taking a toll on your health as well. The songs became miserable, and you began to sob silently as you attempted to sooth me each night. I began to realize that you were falling into a perpetual love with me that had no cure.

One day you stopped playing the piano, and began playing me recordings of songs you and your friends made. There were five songs, each labeled with a specific name. They were finer in tune, and they each shared a similar theme. They all had to do with your feelings towards me. You told me you had been working on it ever since you first met me, and that your music would paint the truth before the canvas shattered. You said to listen with all the energy I had left, and so I did. It all passed by faster than I could comprehend. It was a journey that served as a fervent reminder to what I put you through. The music was beautiful, from the grand chorus of Sylvia to the prancing piano of Kettering. Everything formed a valiant cloth that was threaded together by your incredible voice. Yet, hidden behind all of the marvelous sounds, there lived sorrow and tears in your words. The lyrics found on the track Bear, reminded me of that silly analogy you once told me about my disease. But you shared it as if there was still hope for me. You believed that I could make it through all of the pain I still endure. It’s clear through your words that you tried your best to save me from a miserable conclusion. I loved hearing all of it. You told me there would be more music in the future, but I craved for more. Even after you fell asleep that night, I continued to listen; and I couldn’t help but smile.

A week passed in a matter of minutes, and yet you still refused to show me a finished product. It angered me, and my screaming and cursing became even more unstable and violent. You told me in time I could hear it. Something in my heart ached with anxiety, for I became sad without the music. The sensation became unbearable, and I finally threatened to pull the plug. You became shocked at my words, and with a melancholy glance at your feet, you provided me with another four songs. But these songs weren’t like the ones you previously gave me; these were dark and twisted harmonies that shot my mood into nothing. They told of stories that I didn’t remember, stories that were told behind my back and while I slept. When Two’s upbeat acoustic guitar line entered the horizon, I began to smile a bit; that was until the lyrics told me of the truth. They told me that I didn’t have a chance, that everything I hoped for was a lie. They showed me how you felt, and as I looked at you our tears reflected. I could see through your hazel eyes that there was only depression hiding behind your skin, that I really was tearing you apart.

So now I tell you this, spread the word of your music. If you hope for me to live on even after I pass away, then let me live in your music. Even though you said the final song would have to be completed after my death, I ask you to let me hear it before I pass on. I wish for one last chance to hear your wonderful voice, one last chance to enjoy myself in this life. I’m sorry we didn’t get to live the life you hoped for. I’m sorry that I drove you into such a poor state, but in a way you saved me. You saved me by telling our story perfectly. People must know that my condition is a lot worse than they think it may be. You made it so that I could repel the demons from my sleep, but now I must dose off into an eternal slumber. Maybe this dream will become a better reality then the one I lived in.

The music really was special. The tale of a hospice worker falling in love with his delusional patient has become widely acclaimed by critics and music fans alike. The lyrics draw details to every emotion, every physical detail supporting the man’s point of view. But I always wondered what the patient was thinking, throughout all the turmoil and madness. Though the relationship was broken at best, maybe the patient truly did love her husband. Epilogue, the conclusion to the depressing album is both beautiful and melancholy. The man has visions of the girl, visions that will forever haunt him until his untimely demise. The constant fear of dying, the aggravated anxiety of losing someone close to you; it all fits together to form one of the most remarkable and gorgeous pieces of music I have ever heard. Hospice serves as a narrative master piece, accompanied by music that sooths the mind better than any sedative. Give Hospice a good listen, and lose yourself among its radiating light.



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user ratings (1284)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • thepaintedalice (5)
    "I wish I would've known in that first minute we met, the unpayable debt that I owed you."...

    mike197 (5)
    Utterly wrenching, this album has to be heard to be understood....

    gypsyrick (4.5)
    Shallow waters are deeper than any surface could ever be. This is liquid music for the sad...

    Blair Chopin (5)
    Don't let anyone tell you you deserve that...

  • Banion (5)
    But something kept me standing by that hospital bed, I should have quit but instead I to...

    Alex Robertson STAFF (4)
    The hardest thing is never to repent for someone else, it's letting people in....

    Luke Rhinehart (5)
    Pretty much something you need to hear. Now....

    Jonathan Langer (4.5)
    A tender, yet decidedly intense concept album revolving around the loss of a loved one....

  • GiantBoyDetective (3.5)
    A great album surging from a more serious Bon Iver like tragedy...

    Dylan S. (5)
    Heartbreakingly sad, but also undoubtably beautiful....

    Eric (4)
    Hospice, for me at least, is the quintessential "grower." It sounds as if Silberman slaved...

    Cam EMERITUS (4)
    it's like i can't stop drinking; everytime i try i can't stop thinking...


Comments:Add a Comment 
hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2014


1646 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yep this kinda had to be done. Especially since I have been repeatedly listening to this for a while now. People who haven't listened to this before, do It now.

SnakeDelilah
March 22nd 2014


7904 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yep

Digging: Sun Kil Moon - Benji

Futures
March 22nd 2014


11684 Comments


Great review as always hogan! I gotta jam this.

Digging: Mock Orange - Nines & Sixes

Gyromania
March 22nd 2014


15941 Comments


I began to cry all at once, tears flowed down my cheek in streams of dark blue.


dark blue? the fuck?

good review overall, albeit a little awkward/cheesy/lame at points. i'm partial to burst apart, but this is indeed very good. feel like it reaches its apex in the second song though

Digging: Lantlos - .neon

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2014


1646 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Gyro, lol I don't know what I was thinking there.. I will change that! But thanks! And Sylvia is fantastic.

Gyromania
March 22nd 2014


15941 Comments


yah sylvia is awesome as well.

i haven't written a 'concept' review yet because the problem inherent with them is having to adequately conjure up images of places and people and such, and what i normally find is that people who attempt them teeter on sounding too profound or emotional. i do enjoy your reviews though

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2014


1646 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks gyro, and this is my first attempt at it. It was rather hard.. But even though this may sound a bit cheesy I feel that it fits my perspective of the album.

Ryus
March 22nd 2014


3153 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review dude, a little self-indulgent at times but haha overall really well written

Digging: As We Draw - Mirages

avonbarksdale221
March 22nd 2014


8247 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

pretty much all concept reviews are a little cheesy, but that doesn't stop this from ruling hard. great review, love you hoges.

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2014


1646 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Lol thanks guys! And yes, it is self indulgent(; ILY2 though.

Green Baron
March 22nd 2014


20000 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

another great review hogan, mind pos'd

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2014


1646 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks man!

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2014


10848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow sweet. I'll read later when I have time

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2014


10848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fantastic read dude! Sums up the concept perfectly.

StallionMang
March 23rd 2014


5831 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn good review as always Hogey

Digging: LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
March 23rd 2014


1646 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks guys! glad you like it!

JS19
March 23rd 2014


4331 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Awesome dude, these kinds of reviews only work when there's plenty other actually describing the music already, but I think 3 pages counts! Really well written

Digging: Gates - Bloom and Breathe

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
March 23rd 2014


1646 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks a lot, and well I don't really like writing a review for an album with a lot of reviews, but I felt I had to write something about this.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
March 23rd 2014


10848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As long as it doesn't have like 7 pages who cares? Plus this is pretty unique to the rest of them

hogan900
Contributing Reviewer
March 23rd 2014


1646 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Cough cough american idiot..



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