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5.0 out of 5 stars They're Beyond Everything....
Hum is a band that can be embraced by both indie snobs and fans of more commercial rock, and for good reason. The songs are beyond compare, the lyrics are romantic in a highly intelligent, strange, and yet comforting manner. And of course, the riffs destroy just about everything in its path. Like the guitar haze of My Bloody Valentine, Spacemen 3, and Flying Saucer...
Published on June 20 2004 by Paul H.

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars taxiing down the runway....... still taxiing down the runway
I really like these guys...I would have given it a higher rating if there had been more strong points throughout the cd, but they are too few and far between. It's as if Hum is taxiing down the runway, but just can't seem to get enough lift to take-off. I got the same feeling from their previous release, "You'd Prefer an Astronaut" (B000002WSX). The only song on...
Published on Sept. 9 2002 by J. C. Carmichael


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2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing!, Aug. 28 2003
By 
ado74 (Arvada, CO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Downward Is Heavenward (Audio CD)
"you'd prefer an astronaut" is one of my favorite albums and "electra 2000" is very enjoyable...however...this album...grossly disappointing. the lyrics compared to astronaut's clever metaphors are completely uninspired or in fact repeated. out of ten songs only two sound like the band tried. this is an afterthought of an album and i'd say pass on it and go listen to "you'd prefer an astronaut". and for the previous reviewers, you completely mislead me into believing this album was worth buying.
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5.0 out of 5 stars epic. expansive. celestial., Aug. 20 2003
By 
Sam Saunders "law student" (Ann Arbor, MI) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Downward Is Heavenward (Audio CD)
as far as modern rock goes, its a pretty saturated market, with lots of bad four- and five-piece bands who dress the same, and even more sadly, sound the same. hum could not be farther from the norm.
this album is perhaps best described as 'mindnumbing' and 'stunningly beautiful.' absent are the strings, bad vocal effects and random bad rappers that seem to dominate rock music these days. at the heart of 'downward is heavenward' are the songs -- ten seperate compositions about life, space, science, and the cosmos. time spent with this album is time spent meandering through the inner workings of the human [or nonhuman?] mind. introspection is also a large part of the music. buy the cd, put it in your car stereo on a starry night, play track nine, and then reassess your position in the universe.
rarely does an album of such prolific quality slip through the proverbial cracks of the music industry as intensely as this one did. this is a lost classic of not only late 90s alt-rock, but should be held in such regard as 'ok computer' [which seems to be a cousin of 'downward is heavenward, somehow.], 'vs.', 'kind of blue', 'pet sounds', and 'abbey road.'
buy it. absorb it. it will change your view of music, life, and maybe the universe.
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4.0 out of 5 stars NOT TO BE OVERLOOKED, May 7 2003
By 
Barold (Columbus, OH) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Downward Is Heavenward (Audio CD)
I've been a HUM fan since "You'd Prefer An Astronaut" and was even lucky enough to catch one of thier last shows in Cincinatti.
"Downward Is Heavenward" capitalizes on the bands insatiable lust for heavy distortion and captivating melodies. This album is a great follow up to all previous HUM albums.
Although, "Downward Is Heavenward" is an excellent album, my favorite is still "Astronaut". Even though these guys are not together any more, I still never tire of the pieces of great art they have left us.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Will never get sick of this album, Feb. 17 2003
By 
Naveen Reddy (Los Angeles, California United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Downward Is Heavenward (Audio CD)
I saw Hum back on the 'You'd Prefer an Astronaut' tour (man I'm gettin old), when they opened for The Verve. The funny thing is that when I saw these these guys live, you would never have thought that such a nebish and nerdy looking bunch of kids could deliver such a wall of melodic sound. You could tell by the crazy chords the guitarist/lead singer (I can't remember his name) was playing, that there was something pretty special going on. My friend and I went to talk to them after the show...boy what a bunch of [rudies].
Rock star/double platinum attitude not withstanding, I figured these guys would fade away like the rest of the alt rock movement. They did .....but not without leaving this one undiscovered gem. While inconsistent in some places, this album puts together a melodic and sonic soundscape that is unrivaled by anything else I have ever heard. It is an unadulterated corner of the music universe, which is meant to be enjoyed by the few who are lucky enough to appreciate it. The best part, is realizing that something truly beautiful can come from a very unlikely and long forgotten place.
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5.0 out of 5 stars OMG, Feb. 11 2003
This review is from: Downward Is Heavenward (Audio CD)
This CD is worth dying for. The songwriting skills these guys possess is ridiculous... PURE MUSIC!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hum, Jan. 21 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Downward Is Heavenward (Audio CD)
hum has become a religion...one of the best cd's of all time. it's breathtaking....
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Listen, Dec 8 2002
By 
Ben (Toledo, OH USa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Downward Is Heavenward (Audio CD)
Hum is not a band that gets radio play. You won't hear one of their tracks booming over the public airwaves and then go buy the album for only one catchy song. Hum is good because they are consistent, not the same sound on every song, but they develop every song fully and distinctly. You may not appreciate their effort the first time you spin their record, but on the second listen it will no doubt grow on you. They play rock music that truly makes you want to listen, not weak, catchy tunes that endlessly repeat a refrain. Hum's endeavor is to produce creative music that yields a listening experience, not songs that they hope catch radio listeners' ears so that they can make a buck. Downward is Heavenward is a solid listen that will stay in your collection for years to come, getting played whenever you want to hear honest, flowing rock. Hum's music will float out to you and let your mind gently mull it over. Downward is Heavenward is a good purchase for anyone seeking a listening experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best [money] you will EVER spend., Nov. 10 2002
By 
a fifteen-year-old dude (HARWINTON, CT United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Downward Is Heavenward (Audio CD)
Hum is one of those absolutely transcendental bands. I think it's clear that DiH is their magnum opus... the production in particular on this album is unbelievable, and yet it's not overproduced. I think that back in the days of alternative rock, people just went about recording much differently. It was all about creating an original sound, and that is one of Hum's biggest strengths. It was kind of frustrating when, upon trying to get into these guys, I found nothing on the internet but a barren wasteland of dead end links. I can only assume that the band is now defunct... If I had to liken Hum to bands people know better (which is a difficult task mind you) I'd say it's sonically in the vein of Smashing Pumpkins- but by that I mean only the guitars, bass and drum production techniques. Maybe if the Pumpkins never made it big and were a humble indie band, then they might be something akin to Hum. But compositionally, Hum's songs are just something else. Tool-esque, maybe? Not quite. Hum don't aim to impress with musical technicality, and yet their music always has just a bit of a learning curve... You'll have a bit of a tough time grooving to "Isle of the Cheetah" or "Comin' Home" on the first listen. But the challenge of the music is never so much that it hinders the vision of the song or takes the spotlight. And lyrically, these guys are perfect. The lyrics are cryptic, yes... but not in the nerdiest sense, thank god. ("Yeah, there's speculation that the H stands for heroin, or heaven and hell, or the H in Jesus H. Christ, or...") They will grow on you. You will listen to a song one day, and a particular line that never caught your attention will all of a sudden describe you, in that moment, perfectly. I think there's another element in their music too... insecurity. Being known by many, respected by some, understood by very few. Obviously, Matt Talbott knows a thing or two about solitude, as the curiously scientific ring of almost all his lyrics suggest an introverted dude who's got some time on his hands. But when others are brought into the spotlight, the dominant feelings are love. Sometimes they even venture on all-out adoration, a connectedness so special that you create dreamscapes to be with the person.
So let's see, if you're already into Hum, maybe you have "Astronaut," or maybe you remember stars. But to give a song by song breakdown- "Isle of the Cheetah" is a mid-tempo masterpiece. The climax of this song (somewhere around that massive drum fill toward the end) is love incarnate, and the melody and chord changes... it's definitely one of my favorites. "Comin' Home" is a straight up Hum hard-rocker. And when these guys rock out, they rock out. I couldn't help but notice that this album has a "strategy" for hooking the listener that's similar to "You'd Prefer An Astronaut." Both albums start out with a spacey, mid-tempo tune and then go straight into a fast, heavy rocker for the second track. I'm not complaining, it works. "If You Are To Bloom" seems to groove in a way that's very un-typical for Hum, and takes a bit of getting used to... but it's positively a love song, and the lyrics follow suit. "Ms. Lazarus" is catchy, but there's not much to it for me. I think they could have put a little bit more into writing this one. "Afternoon With the Axolotls" is my favorite track. Lullaby-soft to enveloping, creeping along... right up there with the Pumpkins' "Soma." "Green to Me" gets us back to the r a w k. Energetic, but it also has that unbelievable melody to it that's pure Hum. "Dreamboat" is my second fav. A masterpiece. There are no words to describe the outro to this one. "The Inuit Promise" is kind of cute. Definitely one of the more discordant tunes. "Apollo" is the album's slow tune, and it is *perfect*. Not at all mushy or whiny, but delicate and heartfelt and desperate. And finally, we end with "The Scientists." I guess Hum didn't want this album to end on a down-note, because this tune bounces along happily.
"Downward Is Heavenward" is easily one of my top ten favorites. Hum's genius is something more modern bands should aspire to. Oh wait a minute, alt-rock is dead. Damn!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The world needs more music like this, Sept. 22 2002
By 
This review is from: Downward Is Heavenward (Audio CD)
I just got this album little under 2 hours ago,and i already know I am going to be listening to this album for a long time. It's rare that u will ever find another band such as Hum.Unlike alot of music that is out right now, these guys have THEIR OWN SOUND. It's melodic,yet hard.U could sleep or rock out to it.It takes so many different forms,each song is different from the other.Like I said, i wish the world had more music like this...
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3.0 out of 5 stars taxiing down the runway....... still taxiing down the runway, Sept. 9 2002
By 
J. C. Carmichael (Washington, D.C. USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Downward Is Heavenward (Audio CD)
I really like these guys...I would have given it a higher rating if there had been more strong points throughout the cd, but they are too few and far between. It's as if Hum is taxiing down the runway, but just can't seem to get enough lift to take-off. I got the same feeling from their previous release, "You'd Prefer an Astronaut" (B000002WSX). The only song on "Downward Is Heavenward" that really stands out to me is track #6, "Green to Me". I really like the way that song kicks in. The rest of the cd ranges from mediocre to almost good. I must agree with some of the other reviewers who compliment Hum's ability to create heavy melodies. I would like to hear how Hum would have honed their creative and technical abilities over the years had they not disbanded (so I am told).
Bottom line... Hum presents a fresh sound with much room for improvement.
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Downward Is Heavenward
Downward Is Heavenward by Hum (Audio CD - 1998)
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