Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Album Review - Cursive - Mama, I'm Swollen - (Show May 5th - Diesel) Pittsburgh

As mentioned before Cursive is coming to Diesel next week, May 5th. Man Man from Philly will be opening. I am a big Cursive fan. Below is a review of their latest album. They are really a energetic and fun band to see in concert. I will be posting some video that I took (back in the day) later on this week of one of their shows.

“Mama, I’m Swollen” is Cursive’s latest LP and one that shows the band striving for maturity both lyrically and musically. Anyone familiar with Cursive’s previous output knows it’s a driven fast and furious band with fist pumping hooks and lyrics. Front man Tim Kasher appears to be taking a cue from his ‘softer’ side project, “The Good Life”. A majority of the songs are on a different pace from Cursive’s previous outputs, although a few tunes do follow that same frenzied tempo. It definitely took me a few listens before I began to really appreciate the change and direction…it will take the normal Cursive fan a few listens before as well.

The album starts off how the “Ugly Organ” (Cursive’s previous album) left off with an anthem of sorts that makes you want to pump your fist and yell along. “In the Now” has the pounding drums and frantic guitar chops that start the album off with considerable buzz. However, this proves to be a bit of a misnomer of what is to come as the album delves into a slower, down trot.

Beginning with “From the Hips”, the maturity begins to shine through. This song begins slowly before catching fire at the 3 minute mark. The lyrics are dark and depressing: “We’re at our worst when it’s from our lips. Our words caused this rift and it’s as if the whole world has fallen in.” Then a follow up track “Donkeys” shows Tim K. beginning to question his own life, “But isn’t it time you act your age? You got a mortgage on your shoulders on a baby on the way.” Lyrically the album is dark and mysterious while showing a sense of mortality.

Mama, I’m Swollen is very different from what hardcore fans might be expecting. Devotees looking for a repeat of “Domestica” or “Ugly Organ” will be disappointed. Cursive’s latest offering is a bit more laid back and established, moving on and growing up. Tim K. and company deserve a lot of credit for producing an album that is commercially viable and showing their fans a new side that they should grow to like.


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