Saddle Creek | Cursive | Reviews


The Ugly Organ

Author: Cara
08/27/2003 | Daily Cougar | | Album Review
Pixies. Pink Floyd. The Smiths. Classics. These are all classics. Not everyone knew the Pixies at first, or other classics in the making for that matter, but regardless they are, and one small Omaha band is on its way to joining them and inspiring musicians for decades to come.

That band is Cursive, and the album that's going to do it for them is The Ugly Organ.

A sophomore release since the band's rebirth with its 2000 Domestica, it is hands down the most innovative album since Bright Eyes' 2002 Lifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground.

A treasure to sensitive indie fans thirsty for something emotional they could rock to, The Ugly Organ introduces newcomer and cellist Gretta Cohn in this musically diverse-yet-cohesive concept album that nakedly expresses ugly emotions like anger, guilt, shame and self-doubt. And it does it all while mocking the music industry and process of creating a hit album at the same time. 

Songwriter Tim Kasher's confessional style cuts and stings with honesty reminiscent of the grunge era. Take the chorus from the first number, "Some Red Handed Sleight of Hand": "Our father, who art in heaven/ Save me from the wreck I'm about to drown in/ Didn't I learn anything counting out/ My sins on rosary beads?"

Other times the lyrics and music take a softer turn as in "The Gentlemen Caller": "Whatever I said to make you think/ That love's the religion of the weak/ This morning we love like weaklings/ The worst is over."

"The worst is over." If anything, the worst is over for Cursive. The only direction left is up. And the reciprocal relationship between the Saddle Creek label and its bands should help them to do just that. 

And as Cursive gains popularity and sells out shows across the world, fans should be able to look back upon the masterpiece that won their admiration, it's green printed sleeve complete with an illustration of the organ and its last verse that foreshadowed it all: "I've decided tonight I'm staying alive just kicking and screaming/ Blood boiling and streaming/ There are things far too dark to comprehend/ Sleep on it one more night my sad old friend ... The worst is over."
The Ugly Organ

The Ugly Organ

LP / CD / MP3