There are some things, like artichokes and role-playing games, that aren’t for everybody. This album is very similar to an artichoke. Initially, you may be a little disgusted by the drawling vocals, the lack of catchy hooks (though not the lack of hooks – interestingly enough), and the refusal to do anything that is expected. But honestly, Cursive doesn’t give a shit, and neither do I.
“In The Now” rocks the intro to the album, with meaningless noise replaced by a chanted “don’t wanna live in the now, don’t wanna know what I know”, and a guitar solo that sounds straight out of purgatory. But that song meshes into “From The Hips”, a calm yet swollen (good album title) tune that takes poetic license and builds to a heavy rock song. “I’m at my best when I’m at my worst”, Tim Kasher drawls like an emo Bob Dylan, and you will know like I do that his best is pretty amazing. Like on the 6-minute closer, “What Have I Done”, a ballad that revels in its brash bombastic self. “Caveman” is marked by horns and a prog-influenced Broadway sound.
Overall, though, the album doesn’t measure up to Cursive’s The Ugly Organ, a concept album for the centuries that fits the band perfectly. “Donkeys” just gets annoying, and “Let Me Up” is a weak joint on the album that causes some other bones to break. But the body remains intact. This isn’t quite as good as Cursive thinks it is, but luckily for us, it’s close.
For wallowing like a pig in the mud of your brain, watching mainstream rock through binoculars like a spy, odd metaphors. Try “From The Hips” (free mp3!) or the full album, cause that’s how it’s best. Preview or buy this album on