Cursive - The Ugly Organ (Cover Artwork)


The Ugly Organ (2003)

Saddle Creek

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.