Without The Sun, There Is No Moon. Without Me, There Is No You.

Is there anything better than wine with food? Seriously, what other combination can turn a $5 Little Caesar’s pepperoni pizza and a $12 bottle of Chianti into a meal fit for kings? Those two things are what my Saturday night has consisted of…that and replaying one of my favorite videogames, Mass Effect.

Now that I’m completely off-topic from what this post was initially supposed to be about, I’ll try to steer back onto the road. This is going to be a review for the newest album from one of my favorite bands — Cursive. Cursive is one of those bands that I’ve liked for about a decade. One of their earlier releases, Domestica, was one of the first albums to get me into the music I currently like and was also the album I consider Cursive’s masterpiece. The raw pain and lyricism that frontman Tim Kasher displays on that record, pouring his heart out over his recent marital troubles, is astounding. It will make you hurt and feel every ounce of emotion Mr. Kasher was going through, which is what all good albums should strive for.

This is you...after listening to Domestica.

Cursive’s new album is called I Am Gemini and is a concept album about a man who discovers he has a long lost twin. Generally, I’m not a fan of concept albums, as I feel it constrains the lyric writing process. Unfortunately, Cursive falls into that trap here. Think of a synonym for or something regarding twins or people being opposites. Have some? Doppelganger, symmetry, gemini, sun/moon, light/dark, any opposite you can think of really — they’re all on this album…several times. That’s not to say the lyrics are horrible. Cursive is generally known for kicking out some thought-provoking, dark lyrics and they do a decent job here, even with the overabundance of twin imagery. The title for this post is from a song called “Wowowow” and is one of my favorite pieces of writing on the record, as well as one of my favorite parts musically.

On that note, pun intended, let’s talk about the music. Cursive is known for being all over the place instrumentally and vocally. They’ve included everything from organs, to horns, to cellos on previous albums and Kasher’s voice can go from a whisper to a full on frantic scream at any given moment. Things are no different this go around, although the hecticness may have been kicked up a notch. After the quiet, haunting beginning of the opening track, “This House Alive,” the album doesn’t slow down again until the aforementioned part of “Wowowow.” That’s probably why the ending of that song is one of my favorite parts of the record. Between all of the instruments fading out besides a subtle piano and the harmonizing of Kasher with his famale gemini twin, the softness and simplicity breaks up the album quite well and is reminiscent of some of Cursive’s more subdued moments on earlier work.

Besides “Wowowow” there are a few other standout tracks on the album. Lead single, “The Sun and Moon” is a catchy tune with driving guitars and synths, “Double Dead” and “Gemini” are classic Cursive and a frantic one-two punch in the middle of the album, and “The Cat and Mouse” is perfectly scattered and has easily the catchiest chorus on the album.

With that said, I was slightly disappointed with I Am Gemini…but only because their previous albums like The Ugly Organ and Domestica are so fantastic and the concept album gimmick is a bit overplayed. Gemini is by no means a bad album, although at times it leans a little too close to the math rock genre that I’m not entirely fond of. At it’s core though, Gemini still sounds like Cursive and delivers long-time fans and newcomers alike a cohesive, well put together package.

Album Grade: B

On a side note, I’ll be seeing Cursive live at Record Bar in Kansas City, Missouri, next week! Although I’ve been a fan of the band for a long time, I’ve never seen them live, so it’s sure to be a great time.

Awesome.

On another side note, I’m a huge vinyl fanatic and the LP for this album is one of the better looking I’ve seen in awhile. Oh, and here’s a few songs to check out from I Am Gemini!

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Comments
2 Responses to “Without The Sun, There Is No Moon. Without Me, There Is No You.”
  1. Nice post! Am I the only one who hears System of a Down, just less hard on the tracks you provided? Granted this dude is deff not Surj, nor is he describing a shooting in a remote African village. Good stuff, I will check out the band. If your a fan of just great American Songwriters check out this guy. Album comes out tomm. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfTCteetFwg

    • They definitely went a little more “metal” on this album and I could certainly hear some SoaD, especially in the sporadicness of the song structures. Great recommendation on the artist as well. Good stuff!

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