Saddle Creek | Cursive | Reviews


I Am Gemini

Author: Ed Masley
02/22/2012 | Arizona Republic | | Record Review
It's been three years since Cursive followed "Happy Hollow," one of modern rock's best concept albums, with "Mama, I'm Swollen," an equally inspired meditation on the art of turning 30. And the new one, "I Am Gemini," is as conceptual as any Cursive album.

In a recent sit-down with the Onion A.V. Club, Cursive's Tim Kasher explained his fascination with going conceptual.

"I just love storytelling," he said. "Even if something wasn't going to be specifically a concept record, I feel like I'm always going to do albums that share a theme. Actually, I shouldn't say I will always do that, because I won't -- anyone should have more freedom just to write whatever the (expletive) they want -- but I lean toward wanting to have everything come together, have it be about something."

This one is about twin brothers named Cassius and Pollock. Separated at birth, one brother grows up good, the other ... if not evil, definitely troubled -- "an orphan, thrown out to the wolves; not prodigal, far worse," as Kasher sings in the opening track, a rollicking, waltz-time ballad called "This House Alive." The two brothers meet in the third song, "The Sun and Moon." And as their tale unfolds, we meet twin sisters conjoined at the head while a chorus of angels and devils advances the plot.

Recorded at ARC Studios in Cursive's hometown, Omaha, Neb., with producer Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Minus the Bear), "I Am Gemini" marks the first time Kasher's written lyrics to an album in linear fashion, starting with the first song, ending with the last.

The overriding mood is definitely favoring the urgent side of Cursive's sound, with guitars front and center and plenty of passion on the mike. In fact, it's probably the most consistently they've rocked out since "The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song" way back in 1998. And that would seem to bode well for the live show.
I Am Gemini

I Am Gemini

LP / CD / MP3