Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cursive - I Am Gemini

'Wowwowwow" is the name of the 9th track and my initial impression of this ambitious 7th full length release by long time indie rockers Cursive. I continue to love everything Tim Kasher whether it be with this band, his first side-project The Good Life, or now his solo stuff he does not disappoint and "I Am Gemini" definitely does not. While instead of semi-autobiographical lyrics that spill his soul bare of tales of love lost and drinking this tells a much bigger story that doesn't quite hit the mark. I find the conceit of the album's story extremely compelling just didn't quite live up to my expectations. I have been struggling in deciding how I wanted to write this review being I like this album very much so, but I guess it is just not up there with the highlights of Tim's career. But really how many Domestica's, Ugly Organ's, Album of the Year's, or Game of Monogamy's can you expect out of someone. Those are some seriously hard highlights to match. But what is right there with everything is instrumentally and songwriting wise this album is as good as anything Tim Kasher has produced and has all the staples you have come to expect from Cursive's sound, being led by Tim's usual off kilter guitar riffs.

I think the problem is I couldn't connect with this album emotionally like I usually do with any of Tim's work and I think that comes with an over the top story that you can't follow completely without help from the lyric book which instead being traditionally done is setup like a playbill for an actual Greek style play. And I am glad I got the actual vinyl copy of I Am Gemini because with this version the lyric book looks exactly like a playbill you might get as you enter the theater, with an actual cast of characters and stage directions to help set the stage in your mind. I really should get around to telling you the concept of this concept record which is the
musical tale of Cassius and Pollock, twin brothers separated at birth. One good and one evil, their unexpected reunion in a house that is not a home ignites a classic struggle for the soul, played out with a cast of supporting characters that includes a chorus of angels and devils, and twin sisters conjoined at the head.
taken from the Saddle Creek Records store description for the album where you can buy it. The biggest problem is that these different characters are all voiced by Kasher in the same manner so without the playbill on you, you never know what character is speaking. Making the story difficult to follow along to as well as with
the stage directions involved means you are completely lost on this tale without the liner notes. The icing on the cake of my dislikes is that the themes aren't really clear and I am left lost and dissatisfied with what Tim was trying to do with this release.

Wow it looks as though I have spent a lot of time shitting on something that I like which is not what I set out to do here, so getting back on track I do love the fact that this went all in on the concept. This is meant to be listened to as an entire work and not doing so is doing I Am Gemini and the band a disservice. It is refreshing to see an album that completely defies the all singles all the time mentality that plagues today's music in my opinion. But with all that I am still going to embed my favorite track off the album for your listening pleasure. I Am Gemini is now in stores(came out yesterday). Cursive is playing Amoeba Records for free on Thursday, the Troubadour on Friday and the Glass House out in Pomona on Saturday which should all be tremendous shows.

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