Saddle Creek | Cursive | Reviews


The Ugly Organ

Author: John Lovell
04/15/2003 | The Beacon (Florida International University) | | Album Review
What can I say? I'm a sucker for string instruments. Here's a band that is finally getting the recognition and popularity it deserves.

Indie-rockers Cursive are starting to make a real name for themselves with their new album, The Ugly Organ. A full-length follow up to 2000's Domestica.

One thing you'll notice right away is the cello, present on every track. The band first experimented with the string instrument on 2001's five-track EP, Burst and Bloom, when they picked up cellist Gretta Cohn. This has become a fixed element in Cursive's lineup and it distinguishes them as a band apart from others in the indie-emo rock scene.

While it may not be a completely perfect album, (with a few tiny flaws here and there) I have to be completely honest when I say that The Ugly Organ is indeed a perfect follow-up. It's full of trademarks; singer Tim Kasher's breathy voice and dark lyrical style, a sexy combination that compliments the seemingly sex-inspired lyrics throughout the album. The depressed motif also works incredibly well, even with songs that are more upbeat, just as it does on previous Cursive material.

These are all very typical of Cursive, making the album familiar and appealing to fans and newcomers alike. They've evolved as well by playing with some abstract instrumentation such as organs, trombones, and bells; all working and blending together in beautiful harmony.

As I mentioned above, Cursive is known for their depressing and bitter attitude. This may be the one and only flaw, and it's miniscule. It turns The Ugly Organ into an album that makes me want to kill myself, very reminiscent of Sunny Day Real Estate's Diary. To be honest, it isn't necessarily a bad flaw, just a deterrent from constant or repeated listening. One can only take Kasher's sadness for so long.

Still, the album is worth more than one listen as it contains so much material to spend time with and analyze intimately. Its complexities show Cursive's true professionalism and unique talent. 3.5 out of 4 stars
The Ugly Organ

The Ugly Organ

LP / CD / MP3