Saddle Creek | Cursive | Reviews


Happy Hollow

08/29/2006 | | | Album Review
Cursive's newest release, Happy Hollow opens with a circus-influenced frenzy of guitars, swelling vocal arrangements, fast-paced drum beats, and horns. No, not strings, but horns. Since their last release, The Difference Between Houses and Homes, Cursive has lost cellist Gretta Cohn and picked up Nate Wolcot to head a five piece horn section. Don't fret, the horns stay true to Cursive's quiet-loud-quiet signature sound. The album consists of fourteen tracks each of which have significant meaning and incredible instrumentation.

The first track is titled as a two-part song the first is "Opening at the Hymnal," while the second is called "Babies". "Babies" opens with Kasher calling out, "Now baby, baby, baby this world must seem so immense compared to the womb...Baby, baby, baby, you learn so fast, you seem to carry a special gift." In only the first track Kasher starts out by talking about our existence and that the idea of any of us being a special gift are "delusions we all struggle with." According to Kasher, "We simply exist."

The next track, "Dorothy At Forty" is about American dreams and American truths. Kasher is talking to every adult dreamer out there, "Dreams are all you have, dreams have held you back, dreamers never live, only dream of it...American dreams pollute our cities, our piece of the pie can't fill our bellies." Instead of singing and screaming about his life, Kasher is utilizing this release to share his quasi-political and religious views with the world.

"Bad Sects" tells the story of a two religious men drinking together and waking up next to each other. Kasher never tells us that the two would "never live it down" - "They can't know what we've done, Our whole world would come undone...I know this is wrong, cause we're taught this is wrong."

Happy Hollow is quite possibly Cursive's best release since Domestica. Kasher talks about religion, war, and our existence. Happy Hollow is different from past Cursive releases, but somehow the same. There are horns, accordions, and pianos and they all help remind us that Cursive is dissonant yet melodic, smooth yet sharp, and quiet yet loud. If there are only three albums you buy this year, make this one of them.
Happy Hollow

Happy Hollow

LP / CD / MP3