Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Worst is Over

I remember when Cursive's "The Ugly Organ" was first released. Kyle Munson, of the Des Moines Register, gave it a glowing 5-star review and I went out and bought it immediately. It was one of those albums that wasn't quite like anything I had heard up to that point and, for a time, I listened to it all the time.

At least I thought I did.

I'm pretty sure that when this album came out, the closest that I had ever come to a broken heart was never meeting Stephanie from "Full House". I hadn't really dated anyone, so the subject matter of the album was ultimately lost on me.

Fast forward to today and I just got done listening to it for the first time in what must be, at least, 7 years. Most of the songs hit me in the gut like a sledgehammer, not just the music, but the narratives. The manic guitar that opens up the album is the perfect sound of the confused anger in my chest. Lyrics on songs like "the recluse", "driftwood", and "gentleman caller" brought tears to my eyes.

As much as I felt like I was hearing this album again for the first time, there was a genuine surprise: the final track called "staying alive". I honestly don't think I ever heard this one, although I must have. I just didn't remember it. The haunting chorus that closes the song, and album, singing "the worst is over" is what it must sound like when one passes into the afterlife.

My thoughts about it today are this: Even if the worst is over, there are still lingering effects of it. Think about the Jews that survived the holocaust. They survived, but now they have to live their lives trying to process the horrors that they lived through. Or, where I'm calling from, it's over, but that doesn't mean the damage is repaired.

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