|1. Little Bones|
|2. Twist My Arm|
|4. The Luxury|
|5. Born In The Water|
|6. Long Time Running|
|7. Bring It All Back|
|8. Three Pistols|
|10. On The Verge|
|11. Fiddler's Green|
|12. The Last Of The Unplucked Gems|
I only heard of them last year, but I have a lot catching up to do.
This is the Hip's second studio album, following a self-titled EP and "Up to Here," and it's probably one of the ten best rock albums ever produced, anywhere.
Despite the frequent comparisons to REM (mostly due to lead singer Gord Downie's weird antics on stage) the Hip, musically, don't really resemble REM; ther sound is far harder and more rigidly arranged. That being said, the Hip is, first and foremost, a band. Few rock bands play as well as a unit; their songs are masterfully crafted with not a note out of place, every sound made being part of a whole. Rob Baker and Paul Langlois weave their guitars together like silk; on songs like "Cordelia" and "Bring it all Back" it becomes hard to tell who's playing what. Gord Sinclair weaves his bass line in with expert precision, and Johnny Fay's drumming supports without being intrusive. While listening to "Road Apples," you never really notice any one of the instruments - you hear them all, all contributing to tell each little story along the way.
Gord Downie's lyrics have been exhaustively discussed elsewhere, so I won't discuss them (they're amazing - there, I said it) but "Road Apples" is definitely his finest VOCAL work. Downie sings with incredible power on "Road Apples," power he lost a few albums later, and sings with a range he doesn't display on "Up to Here." His singing is unique, wonderful, and at the time was without peer.
There isn't a bad song on the album, and there aren't many songs here that aren't flat-out genius. If you like rock and roll, RUN and buy this album. Don't wait another day; you'll be glad you got this one.