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Hüsker Dü

Hüsker Dü: Candy Apple GreyCandy Apple Grey (1986)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: lostandclownedlostandclowned
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One of the things Hüsker Dü is best known for is its hat trick of superb albums released between 1984 and 1985. Within 18 months, the band released the double-concept album, Zen Arcade, New Day Rising and Flip Your Wig to nearly universal acclaim. However, when the band signed to Warner Bros. Records shortly after releasing Flip Your Wig and released Candy Apple Grey in March of 1986, it was clear that there was a shift in the Hüsker's focus. That isn't to say that Candy Apple Grey was different from the band's previous work -- it mostly wasn't. There are songs where the trio still rage on with an uncompromising frenetic intensity as they build a wall of sound that virtually every alternative rock band in the `90s would emulate, but the album has a unique feature in that it is the sound of a band breaking apart. And the depressing nature of the songs reflects it.

Referred to by many as the "punk Beatles," the usual duality between the introspective Bob Mould and more optimistic Grant Hart is nigh non-existent. While the initial blast of Mould's "Crystal" is nothing new to anyone familiar with Hüsker's work, it is accompanied with Hart's "Sorry Somehow" as a more mid-tempo, but no less bitter song than any of the others on the album, with lyrics like "You want me to beg forgiveness, tender an apology. It's not my fault and you're not getting one from me."

Perhaps the album's most surprising moments, though, can be found in the middle of it. "Too Far Down" and "Hardly Getting Over It" are two acoustic songs that garnered the band a fair amount of criticism from fans more acquainted with its hardcore tendencies. Although "Hardly Getting Over It" remains a live staple at Bob Mould concerts, the two songs are startling reminders that sometimes there can be more emotion invested in an acoustic guitar than a song like "I Don't Know for Sure."

The penultimate song on the album is "No Promise Have I Made," Hüsker's only song led by a piano. The band's previous work with pianos had been limited to them either being an interlude ("One Step at a time," "Monday Will Never Be the Same," from Zen Arcade) or only playing a supporting role ("Books About UFOs," from New Day Rising). The song is a traditional ballad with the addition of strings and cymbal chiming but remains a sparse disappointment.

Released to middling reviews, Candy Apple Grey is a true sellout record. Bob Mould has said that "truth be told, the last two years nobody wanted to be in [Hüsker Dü], except that we were making a lot of money." Ironically, though, the quality of the band's output did not suffer a great amount. The songs were always good, but it was the band that suffered. In 1987, Hüsker Dü would release another double album and then break up in less than a year. Candy Apple Grey is the start of a slow decay but an album that remains an enduring, if under-appreciated listen.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Jawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldHüsker Dü - New Day RisingOperation Ivy - Operation IvyMinor Threat - Complete DiscographyThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimDescendents - I Don't Want to Grow UpJawbreaker - BivouacAlkaline Trio - Goddamnit

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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.
eazyd2 (September 15, 2008)

needs more cowbell.

mikexdude (September 14, 2008)

That's funny guys, I'm 100% sure New Day Rising is the best.

someone-yeah (September 14, 2008)

Punk Beatles? Really?

billnye (September 13, 2008)

husker du is the shit. warehouse rules. this shit rules. fuck i''ll blast this shit everyday instead of listening to that gaslight trash

Scruffy (September 13, 2008)

Score is for Warehouse.

DrGunn (September 13, 2008)

actually probably more like two stars. candy apple grey is what warehouse would have been if they had ditched half the songs (the weaker half).

DrGunn (September 13, 2008)

score is for warehouse. i'm fully willing to fight about that.

mattramone (September 13, 2008)

This album has nothing on Warehouse. Ya heard me. Wanna fight about it?

xkidxdynamitex (September 13, 2008)

only 3 stars? what up with that?
i absolutley love this record.

scientistrock (September 13, 2008)

Then he'll just turn you away though.

mattramone (September 13, 2008)

Tell him Rollins sent you.

scientistrock (September 13, 2008)

Talk to Greg Ginn.

bytheslice (September 13, 2008)

As much as I love Husker Du, they seriously need to remaster/repackage their work. It would really bring out the songwriting and performances. Just a thought.

scientistrock (September 13, 2008)

Everyone is wrong. Zen Arcade is objectively the best. DUH! I'm drunk now.

Scruffy (September 13, 2008)

Seconding Jon. This IS the best Husker Du. Album is amazing.

mattramone (September 13, 2008)

Jon I love you but you are WRONG.

That is, unless I read this incorrectly and it really says Flip Your Wig. Then you woul dbe correct.

SloaneDaley (September 13, 2008)

this is the best Hüsker Dü, not opinion just fact.

mattramone (September 13, 2008)

This is one of my favorite bands of all time.

That said this record is pretty bad.

weegmc (September 12, 2008)

Mostly quality material here, although I do agree they slipping a bit. Moulds got an eye on his future and hart on the needle?
Who knows, clearly one the lesser records but as noted, its still Husker Du.

lostandclowned (September 12, 2008)

and i believe obcbyl says that they were knew they were going to sign, but they only did so in november, after Flip was released.

lostandclowned (September 12, 2008)

WB were actually following them when Zen Arcade was released.

scientistrock (September 12, 2008)

I think it should have read "concept double LP." But I'm nitpicking. And I will now do so some more. They knew they were going to sign to Warner before they made Flip Your Wig. In fact, I believe they were talking to WB before New Day Rising came out. I may review Our Band Could Be Your Life.

DrGunn (September 12, 2008)

a little inconsistent, but it's still husker du.

GlassPipeMurder (September 12, 2008)

good band, but punk Beatles I think not.

lostandclowned (September 12, 2008)

haha. i can't tell if you're joking. i think it's a little rough around the edges but gets the point across. thanks org!

Sliced-T (September 12, 2008)

That right there is a well written review.

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