Gold Soundz: "Vancouver Divorce"

I’ve never hidden my unabashed love for Canada’s greatest rock band of the 90’s, The Tragically Hip. The highly literate, driving anthems on Road Apples, Day For Night, and Phantom Power soundtracked my college years and will always be sentimental favorites. But save last year’s excellent “In View”, most of what the Hip have done over the past 7 or 8 years has been significantly less interesting than their classic early material. Sometimes I feel like the band has seemingly given in to the expectations of their (dominantly Canadian) fan base and churned out a series of increasingly predictable albums this decade catering to them.

Not so for Hip front man Gordon Downie though on his two solo albums. In fact, I’d say these are 2 best records Downie has been involved with this decade - both of which have gone in very different directions than his main act. 2001’s Coke Machine Glow is a sprawling, spontaneous sounding, highly poetic affair that houses 2 of the best song’s he’s ever penned (“Vancouver Divorce“ and “Chancellor”). He followed that up in 2003 with the tighter Battle Of The Nudes, an album recorded with his Country of Miracles band. Both albums stray far from the strictures of recent Hip albums, showing less dependence of riffs and more on utilizing the diverse assortment of Toronto musicians who were more than willing to play with a legend of Canadian music. Fans of the Hip’s early years should find plenty to enjoy from these 2 solid albums.

MP3 :: Vancouver Divorce
MP3 :: Chancellor
(from Coke Machine Glow. Buy here)

MP3 :: 11th Fret
(from Battle Of The Nudes. Buy here)

Gold Soundz columns highlight some of my favorite songs of all time. It‘s called “Gold Soundz” because I thought this blog would be cooler if I ripped off a title for a “column” from a not-at-all obscure Pavement song. Previously featured:

Slobberbone :: “Gimme Back My Dog”
The Jam :: “In The City”
World Party :: “Way Down Now”
Elmore James :: “The Sky Is Crying”
John Prine :: “Lake Marie”
The Band :: “Jawbone”
Neutral Milk Hotel :: “Holland, 1945”
The Velvet Underground :: “I Heard Her Call My Name”
Hank Williams :: “I Saw The Light”

1 comment:

My name is Lee said...

Those are also my two favourite songs from Coke Machine Glow. The Hip definitely entered my life when I drove across Canada. But I can't always be driving, and I'm glad this album is there for me.