The Ugly Organ
4/8/2003 | IMPOSE | Album Review
So a band starts to consider their music with a more serious brow. Next obvious move: a "concept album" or a cellist joins the band. Both are present forces on Cursive's new album. The Ugly Organ. Now, I'm not a sucker for that "indie sound" (or anything outta Omaha) but this is a tight band. The tunes move in and out to the next. Each instrument holds a disjointed but specific weight. The guitar, organ, and cello line are succinct and slow. The way they move and riff with each other is respectable; as if someone's looking you in the eye as they initiate a firm handshake. However, beyond the initial setup, the body of each tune feels boxed. And Tim Kasher is a big proponent of this "box". The timber of his voice and the content of his self deprecating lyrics chafe like indie crooner. "Your self afflicted pain is getting to routine...well here we go again, trying, trying not to fail to boost your cd sails." Oh the painful irony. All summed up with a cute and clever title: Art is Hard." I appreciate Cursive for this attempt at a "concept album" whether they consider it one or not. Something in them has obviously shifted; moved in comparison to the way they felt music on their previous four albums. At least it's not some super drama of a catharsis with pouty boys screeching over what they think is lost love. I respect them for this growth; not their musical aesthetic.