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07.18.18 Cold Girls06.03.18 Ranked Gavin Ranked
03.05.18 Classic Skate Videos 02.08.18 Cold's Comprehensive Cursive Collection
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Cold's Comprehensive Cursive Collection

A meticulous overview of all physical Cursive releases in my own personal favorite order, with small summaries and track rankings. The only physical release not included is the compilation "The Difference Between Houses And Homes", solely for the fact all the songs can be found on early Cursive splits and 7" releases. Furthermore, in honorable mention are digital-only releases and songs found on other compilations that didn't quite fit into this list. With all that being said, I'm definitely not the best writer what-so-ever, and a lot of what is discussed is straight off-the-cuff. Cursive has been one of my favorite bands since the turn of the century, and I'm always down to give them their proper dues. Enjoy.
31Saddle Creek
Lagniappe


HONORABLE MENTION:

5. Discovering America (Digital single)
4. Ten Percent To The Ten Percent (from Lagniappe compilation)
3. I Thought There'd Be More To This (from The Difference Between Houses And Homes)
2. Frankly Mr. Shankly (from How Soon Is Now? tribute compilation)
1. Nonsense (from Saddle Creek 50 compilation)
30 Cursive
The Sun And The Moon


2012, Saddle Creek Records

A single from the weakest Cursive album surprisingly has some really good B-Sides. And correct me if I’m wrong, “Supernova ‘95” is actually an old song that just sat on the shelves forever. Well, until they decided to release this single.

4. The Sun And The Moon
3. The Cat And The Mouse
2. Chemical Strain
1. Supernova 95’
29 Cursive
Cursive/Ladyfinger


2009, Saddle Creek Records

A Record Store Day release for the band. Nothing noteworthy, except I believe it’s their first RSD release. The only shining piece of this split is the B-Side “Universal Shrug”, which I felt they could’ve added to Mama, I’m Swollen. But we got this split instead, and that’s pretty cool

2. From The Hips
1. Universal Shrug
28Cursive
I Am Gemini


2012, Saddle Creek Records/Big Scary Monsters

Let’s get this over with. Here’s the unpopular opinion. I don’t like I Am Gemini. I Don’t. While there are some good songs on here, it’s not enough to save this album. Cursive completely lost me when they released this. It’s utterly lackluster and recycled. Mind you, this is only my opinion, I know this album resonated with other people. It just didn’t do it for me. It was completely disappointing to hear a Cursive album so phoned-in and by-the-numbers...
27Cursive
I Am Gemini


...I saw this shift coming after their previous album, but still held hope they would get back to basics. They didn’t. Instead they released this, much to my displeasure. Every year, I spin this to see if with age it gets better. It hasn’t. Yet…

13. Wowowow
12. Lullaby For No Name
11. Double Dead
10. This House A Lie
9. Drunken Birds
8. Eulogy For No Name
7. The Sun And The Moon
6. A Birthday Bash
5. Warmer, Warmer
4. Twin Dragon/Hello Skeleton
3. Gemini
2. This House Alive
1. The Cat And The Mouse
26Cursive
Mama, I'm Swollen


2009, Saddle Creek Records

Okay, I’m going to put this out there right now: As a Cursive fan, I am strongly appreciative, influenced, and adamantly all about the Cursive releases from Domestica and back. Everything they’ve released since, I’ve liked less and less. That doesn’t mean they’re not good albums, they just didn’t make me feel how I felt when previous releases came out (the only exception being The Ugly Organ)...
25Cursive
Mama, I'm Swollen


...I also wasn’t a fan of Clint Schnase leaving the group. His drumming was a defining factor of Cursive, and when he was replaced, it was totally noticeable. Mama, I’m Swollen ended up being a slow burner for me, it took a while for me to really appreciate it. While it’s low on the list, it’s still a welcome addition to the Cursive catalog.

12. All I Know
11. Mama’s Baggage
10. Caveman
9. We’re Going To Hell
8. What Have I Done?
7. In The Now
6. Donkeys
5. Mama, I’m Satan
4. Let Me Up
3. I Couldn’t Love You
2. Mama, I’m Swollen
1. From The Hips
24 Cursive
Big Bang


2007, Saddle Creek Records

The last single to be released for Happy Hollow, there are no B-Sides to speak of on this single. So once again, nothing to really discuss here.

3. Rise Up! Rise Up! (Live At Park Avenue)
2. The Recluse (Live At Park Avenue)
1. Big Bang
23 Cursive
Bad Sects


2007, Saddle Creek Records

This single follows the format that most singles do. Original track, followed by remixes. So really, nothing much to say about this single.

4. Bad Sects (A Crude Mechanical Mix)
3. Bad Sects (Instrumental)
2. Bad Sects (String Quartet Arrangement)
1. Bad Sects
22 Cursive
Dorothy At Forty


2006, Saddle Creek Records

Not too much to say about this single, it was released to start the hype for the upcoming album Happy Hollow. The B-Sides do stand out, most notably “The Bitter End”. A somewhat waltz-y track that touches on the topic of suicide. And of course, Cursive totally nails it. On the other hand, this single holds what might be the worst Cursive song to exist: “The Censor”.

3. The Censor
2. Dorothy At Forty
1. The Bitter End
21 Cursive
The Recluse


2004, Saddle Creek Records

Another single released from The Ugly Organ, this 7” includes TWO B-Sides from The Ugly Organ. Now, it’s noticeable as to why they chose not to include these songs, they’re a little out of the box in comparison to the rest of the album. But that doesn’t mean these songs aren’t good. No, as a matter of fact, not only are these the two best B-Sides from The Ugly Organ, they turned out to be two of Cursive’s best songs to date. The hop and dissonant swing of “Once” to the gloomy and soft-spoken “Adapt”, Cursive has a knack for expanding their musical range.

3. The Recluse
2. Adapt
1. Once
20 Cursive
Art Is Hard


2003, Saddle Creek Records

Now, I won’t spend too much time discussing the singles, but the B-Sides they include are definitely worth a nod. This one in particular, includes The Ugly Organ B-Side, “Sinner’s Serenade” which honestly, would’ve fit perfect on the album. But nope, we get it here, which makes this single worth tracking down and getting. (Although you can now find all these B-Sides on the remastered The Ugly Organ, but what’s the fun in that?)

2. Art Is Hard
1. Sinner’s Serenade
19Small Brown Bike / Cursive
Small Brown Bike/Cursive


2001, Makoto Recordings

A little known split done with Small Brown Bike, a band who I feel needs no introduction. This 7” is super rare, with only 2,000 ever being made. Cursive goes to what they know and creates a dark, hyper, bass-driven track. As to why both bands only included one song each is a mystery to me, that could be what adds to its’ mystique.

1. Nostalgia
18 Cursive
Sucker And Dry


There’s not too much to say about this release, except for that it’s another great Cursive 7”. While this one is short, and may not have as much bite as The Disruption and The Icebreaker, it’s still a welcome addition to the Cursive catalog. Not too much is known about this 7”, as it was a pretty limited release. But totally worth the download, and if you’re saavy, a nice addition to your vinyl collection.

2. And The Bit Just Chokes Them
1. Sucker And Dry
17Cursive
Happy Hollow


2006, Saddle Creek Records

This album marks the departure of cellist Gretta Cohn, and introduces a horn section arranged by Nate Walcott. The horns play a seminal role in this album, almost doing away with the strings that added so much texture to the few previous Cursive releases. It’s a bit jarring at first, but you grow accustomed rather quickly. This sees the band aiming at another concept album, this one taking themes of Kasher’s Catholic upbringing, small town fixations, and the hypocrisy of religion...
16Cursive
Happy Hollow


...While the music gets just a little less heavy and chaotic, the real star of the album is Kasher’s lyrical content. He digs down deep and wretches up some of the most brutal honesty he’s ever written. But it’s also sort of a bad thing since the music took a small backseat to the lyrics. But nothing can be perfect, and Happy Hollow definitely isn’t perfect.

15. No News Is Bad News
14. Bad Science
13. Opening The Hymnal/Babies
12. Retreat!
11. So-So Gigolo
10. Flag And Family
9. Rise Up! Rise Up!
8. Dorothy Dreams Of Tornadoes
7. Big Bang
6. Into The Fold
5. Bad Sects
4. Dorothy At Forty
3. At Conception
2. The Sunks
1. Hymns For The Heathen
15Cursive
Split W/ Silver Scooter


1998, Crank! Records

Released as a 10” split with Silver Scooter, Cursive see themselves honing their musical craft. While the Silver Scooter side of this split is enjoyable, the real shining jewel is Cursive’s side. Here we have some of the greatest overlooked Cursive songs to date. What’s sad is that a lot of people don’t even know this split exists, and that’s sad to me. If you haven’t heard it, I deeply implore you to give it a listen.

3. Returns And Exchanges
2. Pulse
1. Tides Rush In
14Cursive
The Icebreaker


1998, Saddle Creek Records

Another early 7” saw Cursive take on a very stark and icy (no pun intended) approach to their sound. Released after their first album Such Blinding Stars For Starving Eyes, Cursive wanted to keep the ball rolling, so they released this 7” among other splits to keep the band and interest going. Like The Disruption, information has been lost through time. A very common thread in early Cursive releases.

4. Polar (Intro)
3. Pivotal
2. Polar
1. Icebreakers
13Cursive
The Disruption


1996, Lumberjack Records

The very first release from Cursive, The Disruption saw a lot of promise in an upcoming band. Formed out of past members of Slowdown Virginia, Cursive released this 7” on Lumberjack (which is now Saddle Creek Records). Throughout the course of 20+ years, a lot of information surrounded this 7” has been lost in time. Still, for a band’s first ever release, The Disruption has some real solid tracks.

4. There’s A Coldest Day In Every Year
3. The Knowledgeable Hasbeens
2. A Disruption In Our Lines Of Influence
1. A Disruption In The Normal Swing Of Things
12Cursive
Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes


1997, Crank! Records

The often-overlooked debut album from Cursive, this is the only album they recorded for Crank before making the jump to local label Saddle Creek. This came after Saddle Creek really started to pick up steam with bands like Lullaby For The Working Class, Commander Venus, and eventually Bright Eyes. The album itself is what you would expect from a debut album, a band in its’ infancy trying to make a name for its’ music. But what Cursive did here was something unexpected, they released a dark horse of an album, contrary to all the negativity it gets. People tend to compare their early work to what they captured on Domestica, never fully appreciating what led Cursive to that iconic album and writing if off as “emo drivel”...
11Cursive
Such Blinding Stars for Starving Eyes


...What they forget is that Cursive was still fairly young and tinkering to get the perfect sound, even though the band would hone their craft in later releases. This is some of the most passionate Cursive material to date, and Tim really overreaches himself with his vocal and lyrical work. Luckily, the first two Cursive albums have been remastered and reissued for your listening pleasure, and to maybe revitalize interest in those early releases.

11. Downhill Racers
10. Eight Light Minutes
9. The Farewell Party
8. Dirt Of The Vineyard
7. Target Group
6. Ceilings Crack
5. Dedications To Desertion
4. Warped The Wood Floors
3. Vermont
2. Retirement
1. After The Movies
10Cursive / Eastern Youth
8 Teeth To Eat You


2002, Better Looking Records

Another lead-up to The Ugly Organ, Cursive churned out this split with Japanese band Eastern Youth (whose side of the split is amazing as well). Released after Burst And Bloom, this sees the new Cursive lineup working its’ own kinks out, while simultaneously, getting just that much more darker with their song writing. A lot of that falls onto Gretta Cohn, Cursive’s newly recruited cellist. Who, on Burst And Bloom, wrote her parts over songs that were already written...
9Cursive / Eastern Youth
8 Teeth To Eat You


...While on this split, she played a crucial role in the songwriting itself. And it really shows with the spastic cello lines in “Excerpts From Various Notes…” and the forlorn “May Flowers”. This material just might be some of the bleakest material that Cursive put out, and it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. These days it’s been subjected to just being B-sides from The Ugly Organ.

4. Escape Artist
3. Am I Not Yours?
2. May Flowers
1. Excerpts From Various Notes Strewn Around The Bedroom Of April Connolly, Feb. 24, 1997
8Cursive
Burst and Bloom


2001, Saddle Creek Records

The EP leading up to The Ugly Organ can easily stand as a great Cursive release on its’ own. With the exception of “Sink To The Beat”, which touches on topics found on The Ugly Organ and with it’s more upbeat approach, the EP is quite dark and brooding, something not too new from Cursive. This time, not only can you hear it, but they convincingly make you live it and feel it, right down to your core. A reason for this is the soundscapes created by the newly integrated strings in the music...
7Cursive
Burst and Bloom


...Burst And Bloom introduces Gretta Cohn on cello, who would go on to play a cruicial role in the sound of this EP, 8 Teeth To Eat You, and most notably, The Ugly Organ. She adds a whole new texture and dynamic to the ugly/pretty sound that Cursive really grew into. I would go as far to say that this lineup is the definitive Cursive lineup (even though I’m a fan of the Steve Pedersen days). All in all, this just might be the best lead-up EP there is.

5. Tall Tales, Telltales
4. Fairytales Tell Tales
3. Sink To The Beat
2. Mothership, Mothership, Do You Read Me?
1. The Great Decay
6Cursive
The Ugly Organ


2003, Saddle Creek Records

Cursive had previously tried concept album elements on their previous effort, Domestica. But it’s here where they went full-on rock opera, and completely aced every aspect of the term. The album expands on themes carried over from Domestica, added in with newer challenges the band faced. It seems as if Tim Kasher carried a lot of the weight of the band’s success on his shoulders, solely. With songs like “Some Red-Handed Slight Of Hand” and “Butcher The Song”, it’s audible that he was scared of failing and letting his band, loved ones, and fans down. But, at the same time, Tim seems so tired of always having to wear those worries and his heart on his sleeve just for the sake of the song and commercial success, which is seething in songs like “Art Is Hard”...
5Cursive
The Ugly Organ


...The album is cluttered with metaphors regarding sex, personal melodrama, self-doubts, etc etc. All strung together by thematic chord progressions, melodies, distorted pianos, and the all-new string section creating one enormous play (lyric book reads the same as a play as well). Some may have thought this was too ambitious, or too much of a task to take on, to the delight and chagrin of others, Cursive released what is definitely their masterpiece.

12. The Ugly Organist
11. Harald! Frankenstein
10. Harold Weathervein
9. Staying Alive
8. A Gentleman Caller
7. Sierra
6. The Recluse
5. Art Is Hard
4. Bloody Murderer
3. Some Red-Handed Slight Of Hand
2. Driftwood: A Fairy Tale
1. Butcher The Song
4Cursive
Domestica


2000, Saddle Creek Records

So many words and terms are tossed about regarding this release, such as “magnum opus”, “masterpiece”, and even “cult classic”. These words fall on deaf ears, primarily because words can’t quite express this album. Domestica is quite possibly the single most important album of the entire Saddle Creek catalog, even besting out albums like Fevers And Mirrors by Bright Eyes and Danse Macabre by The Faint. Hell, it could possibly even be the album for an entire generation, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. After the band’s breakup in 1998, no one knew the future of Cursive. During this time period, vocalist/guitarist Tim Kasher was still going through his own personal breakup, albeit a divorce that we’ve heard him sing and scream about since. There was no real “A-ha!” moment where Cursive got back together, it just kind of happened...
3Cursive
Domestica


...But, this time without long time member Steve Pedersen. Instead, they recruited Ted Stevens (Mayday, Lullaby For The Working Class) to pull both vocal and guitar duties. And much to our pleasure, Tim and Ted synced up together better than PB & J, possibly maybe even more so than Tim and Steve. The newly put-together Cursive headed into the studio and wrote and recorded one of the most important albums of our time. The rest is history, Domestica was released to high praise and it set the bar really high for other artists, and especially, Cursive themselves. Which is something they would touch on with their next release…

9. Shallow Means, Deep Ends
8. The Game Of Who Needs Who The Worst
7. Making Friends And Acquaintances
6. The Radiator Hums
5. The Lament Of Pretty Baby
4. A Red So Deep
3. The Martyr
2. The Night I Lost The Will To Fight
1. The Casualty
2Cursive
The Storms of Early Summer


1998, Saddle Creek Records

Released in 1998, this album goes down as Cursive’s long-forgotten hidden gem in their lengthy discography. While most fans foam at the mouth and chomp at the bit towards albums like Domestica and The Ugly Organ, The Storms Of Early Summer: Semantics Of Song could’ve been their magnum opus under different circumstances. The band itself broke up before the album’s release, and although the band would eventually get back together, they would do so without co-songwriter/guitarist Steve Pedersen (who would go on to form Criteria). But this breakup was more damaging than they ever imagined. Fans either dismissed the album, or didn’t even know it was released due to poor promotion. So, it never got the full appreciation that it deserved...
1Cursive
The Storms of Early Summer


...The band had perfect chemistry on these songs. The tight rhythm section of Matt Maginn and Clint Schnase being the driving force, and of course, the complimenting mesh between Tim Kasher and Steve Pedersen is on full display with this Cursive release, and they perfect their craft with these 11 songs.

11. Absense Makes The Day Go Longer
10. A Little Song And Dance
9. Break In The New Year
8. A Career In Transcendence
7. Proposals
6. Semantics Of Sermon
5. The Rhyme Scheme
4. The Road To Financial Stability
3. Tempest
2. Northern Winds
1. When Summer’s Over, Will We Dream Of Spring?
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