Cursive - The Ugly Organ (Cover Artwork)


Cursive: The Ugly OrganThe Ugly Organ (2003)
Saddle Creek Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: abileneINloveabileneINlove
(others by this writer | submit your own)

What I said at the end of my review of Domestica, nearly 2 years ago. For those looking for a ground breaking indie album, this isn't it. It's good, it's solid, but it's no "Relationship of Command." Saddle-Creek puts out good stuff, but they will never breed a scene changing record. Some stuff is.
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What I said at the end of my review of Domestica, nearly 2 years ago.

For those looking for a ground breaking indie album, this isn't it. It's good, it's solid, but it's no "Relationship of Command." Saddle-Creek puts out good stuff, but they will never breed a scene changing record. Some stuff is not listner friendly enough, and sometimes it just never gets enough attention to go past that.
So my words I eat. Bright Eyes has been suckling the Rolling Stone teet and the product of which has been in an increase of Tascam 4-track recorders. So all the boys in tight sweaters and designer jeans (drugs) can "document our sadness."

Though Conor is quick enough to submit his greatness in homage to Tim Kasher's throne ("Tim, I heard the new record. Yeah, and its better than good."), we find Cursive taking the backseat to Oberst's warbles (as far as Alt. Press and Spin are concerned, us scenesters know better. ::smirks under meticulously unkempt locks of hair::)

Yet Oberst is right. This record is better than good. Actually, it is fantastic. A horn section is used in the single "Art Is Hard," and the bounce of the song is not unlike a creepy indie-rock Circus. Greta's contributions darken the songs with each swipe of her cello and the rhythm section is precise as always. The guitars squeal and bark at each other appropriately (and at times inappropiately but only to add to the chaos of the matters at end), but at the center there is Tim Kasher.

In an interview Clint described Kasher as an indie-rock Michael Jordan, in that he makes everyone around him sound that much better. Kasher is the maestro in the "Ugly Organ" orchestra and he feverishly whips about and throatily yearns in regions of passion only dreamt about for others. His shirt is untucked from his cumberbundt and he smiles sickly as he leads the pit to crescendo after crescendo.

Lyrically, this album shows literally no hope. Kasher does not believe in love or even himself. While "8 Teeth To Eat You" showed us an impersonal story teller, "The Ugly Organ" Kasher bares all. This is not the tear-brimmed, wide-eyed honesty of "Domestica," but this is a bare bones account of Kasher's struggle with being personal. His intentions of creating music without any preconceptions or pressure is an overwhelming theme.

In closing, Cursive has created another semi-themed album, nearly flawless with untoppable lyrics and musical calamity; the scenery to vocal perfection and one man's life.

I applaude thee Cursive.


People who liked this also liked:
At The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Get Up Kids - Something To Write Home AboutCursive - DomesticaThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Refused - The Shape of Punk to ComeWeezer - PinkertonThursday - Full CollapseAlkaline Trio - Maybe I'll Catch FireOperation Ivy - Operation Ivy

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
thurstonXwhore (February 13, 2007)

Buy this cd for your teenie bopper daughter.

Then get Domestica for yourself.

chickswithdicks (July 28, 2006)

good record.

since everyone else is being a cock to the reviewer, i suppose i should to; Oberst was referring to 'Black Out' by the Good Life as far as I know when singing about Tim's "better than good" record.

Anonymous (March 18, 2003)

i like this cd a lot, must buy for any cursive fan obviously, and a good buy for anyone else. i dont know if its as good as domestica, maybe if it was a little longer it would compare, thats really my only complaint. right handed slight of hand is awesome, driftwood is awesome, tims voice is awesome throughout. staying alive goes on for too long, but its a saddle creek record, so im not complaining. pretty good cd to drink to. bottoms up

that guy that said something about this being a good cd to come out of emo, a trendy genre, has his head in his ass. i hate when bros write comments.

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

Umm...I believe they're still on Saddle
Creek Mr. Anonymous and just created the best album to come out this year. I believe they'll be on tour soon so hopefully seeing them rock your ass with their new material will answer your question. Bands change and Cursive really hasn't...they've just progressed and done well at it.

Anonymous (March 14, 2003)

are you all retarded? have any of you actually listened to cursive before domestica!? this record is garbage. the lyrics are trite and lame. oh, isnt it so clever how they play organs when he talks about organs!?! the music is overproduced and very poorly mixed. they seem like theyre trying to market themselves to a pop crowd now. what happened to the band that wrote "the storms of early summer"!??!

waste_elite (March 14, 2003)

"this review makes me feel like a retard for having uncombed hair."

you mean "uknempt locks"

CrAzYJeb (March 13, 2003)

I felt ripped off when I got this cd...so little music, so much more ambient filler.


Anonymous (March 13, 2003)

Dane Cook does fucking rule!

Anonymous (March 13, 2003)

sticky_floor remembers:

I remember after PFP back in october, Tim was hella wasted and solicited oral sex to me.

Anonymous (March 12, 2003)

this review makes me feel like a retard for having uncombed hair.

Anonymous (March 12, 2003)

adjectives are emo.


Anonymous (March 12, 2003)

"tell me, do your scenester tendencies fit in well at mizzou?"

Fuck MU. KU is a better school, and trendies exhist everywhere.

Anonymous (March 12, 2003)

"haha most real emo is rarely about girls."

That was true at one time, but the definition has changed dramatically over time. I used to say the same thing, but few of those bands exist anymore. So I go with the popular definition.

Anonymous (March 12, 2003)

Dane Cook rules

Anonymous (March 12, 2003)

Dave Chapelle rules.

Anonymous (March 12, 2003)

good review, great album. Cursive are amazing. Spaghetti, Spaghetti, Spaghetti.


Luzzew (March 12, 2003)

I submitted a review for this album about 3 months ago, and still, it goes unposted... let me tell you, it's alot better than this review....


Anonymous (March 12, 2003)

id suggest you quit name dropping and review the album.

im in college, too. tell me, do your scenester tendencies fit in well at mizzou?

Anonymous (March 12, 2003)

This album is pretty damn good, but it seems to me that Cursive is at the brink of something epic and didn't quite hit it here. Songs like "The Recluse," "Driftwood," and "Sierra" have incredible lyrics and backing music. These songs follow from the Domestica style with the guitar interplay and elaborate on the sound of "The Martyr," arguably the best song on Cursive's previous full-length.

The other songs on the CD, most notably "Harold Weathervein" and "Butcher the Song" seem in the realm of where Cursive is headed musically. These songs use dissonance and highlight the powerful cello sound as was first displayed with the song "Excerpts..." off the 8 Teeth to Eat You split. These songs (especially "Harold Weathervein") are the only ones that leave me unfulfilled after listening to "The Ugly Organ." There is a nice guitar riff about 50 seconds into "Harold Weathervein" and semi-chorus that get the song going, and before you know it, the song is over and you didn't get to hear the goodness again. Basically I think a few of the songs were underdeveloped musically.

All things said the end product, as well as everything else Cursive has put out to this day, leaves me satified and waiting for more.

FortyMinutesWest (March 11, 2003)

"Screw you guys. I'm in college."

I fail to see your point.

Anonymous (March 11, 2003)

yes best cd, at least, of this year. i want scotts review!

Anonymous (March 11, 2003)

how did this album not get a ten from the reviewer?! best cd ive heard in a LONG time.

Anonymous (March 11, 2003)

well im glad i know why the cd is so fucking great. or even how hardcore they are?

Anonymous (March 11, 2003)

"Sierra" is the best song on this album...

Fucking Amazing record.

abileneINlove (March 11, 2003)

Screw you guys. I'm in college.

waste_elite (March 11, 2003)

the score is for the review

Anonymous (March 11, 2003)

"This record is awesome. I don't know why people think this bands is emo. Half this album is about the shittiness of the music industry, that doesn't seem emo to me. A good amount of their songs aren't about girls or anything. Anyway, this shit is sweet."

haha most real emo is rarely about girls

Anonymous (March 11, 2003)

This album is pee my pants good. Best album I've heard this year

Katie4213 (March 11, 2003)

cursive is amazing, one of the best live shows i have ever seen. the new album seems promising. i'm going to have to check it out.

FortyMinutesWest (March 11, 2003)

Cursive is pretty cool, too bad this review comes off sounding condescending.

Anonymous (March 11, 2003)

This record is awesome. I don't know why people think this bands is emo. Half this album is about the shittiness of the music industry, that doesn't seem emo to me. A good amount of their songs aren't about girls or anything. Anyway, this shit is sweet.

Anonymous (March 11, 2003)

i can't believe you called "Relationship of Command" a groud-breaking indie record. with ATDI you have to go with In Casino Out.

but yes, cursive is awesome.

BurstAndBloom (March 11, 2003)

In that Bright Eyes song ("Nothing Gets Crossed Out") it seems more as if Conor is referring to the new Good Life record, "Black Out," rather than Cursive.

"Yeah, Tim I heard your album and it's better than 'good' (Good Life reference). When you get off tour I think we should hang and 'black out' togther (the name of the Good Life album).

That was just my perception, anyway. I thought that was a good reveiw. Although I would have given it a 10.

Anonymous (March 11, 2003)

record of the year, "sierra", the lyrics, amazing. The b-side on the art is hard cds is really good to, even though a bit creepy.


pope_schlomo (March 11, 2003)

This is weird classical/carnie music. I expected Fantastic Dan to show up to my house when I was playing it on my stereo. Yet I like it. Can't wait to see this band live.


Anonymous (March 11, 2003)

I've owned this record for less than 12 hours and I've only listened once, but first impression...sounded a little like being at the circus. I guess I need to give it some more spins. Hopefully, it's a 'grower.'

CallingLondon (March 11, 2003)

thank god for saddlecreek.

Anonymous (March 11, 2003)

Yeah, I am not digging this review so much but I am buying this record today. 10 stars for how much I want to listen to this.


Anonymous (March 11, 2003)

Yea the review kind of confused me...
Anyhow, it doesn't really matter. All one needs to know is that this album is fantastic. Only problem I have with it is that it lags a bit sometimes (harold weathervein, I'm looking your way) but overall, it is very good. I would name my favorite songs, but that would be practically the whole damn cd, so we'll just leave it at "Buy it."

Anonymous (March 11, 2003)

This album is amazing but your review is horrible. You talk about Conor Oberst more than anyone in Cursive, get over it. The Ugly Organ is the single most impressive record the Creek has put out to date.

Anonymous (March 11, 2003)

If I didn't already have this album for a few months I'd really wonder (after reading this review) what it sounds like. Great album crappy review. Yes you use big words and paint magical mystical pictures in our heads and you've mentioned bright eyes/Conor nearly ten times but what about this album or this band? I was expecting a few more paragraphs to tell us a little more about the music or even the extra videos on the enhanced CDs but then I realized I was already into the comments section.

sloppyblake (March 11, 2003)

amazing. 5 stars.

Anonymous (March 11, 2003)

DUBAR IS AN Idiot. Who gives a shit if anything is emo or not. thats not a basis for judging music. if you like it you like it, if you dont you dont.

i just wanna say that this is a fantastic cd and this band is simply amazing. goodbye

Dubar (March 11, 2003)

I'm not usually a fan of "emo", but Cursive manages to stand out as one of the few bands in a trendy genre with originality and a lot of energy that you just cant find anywhere else. That being said, this is Cursive's finest album yet. Wow.

Anonymous (March 11, 2003)

god i love this album!

Anonymous (March 11, 2003)

Which song does Conor say that?

dignin (March 11, 2003)

when conor says on his cd, "Tim I heard your album and its better than good" he's talking about The Good Life album Black Out.

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