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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern psalm of sorrow and loss., 23 Sept. 2011
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This review is from: Hospice [Explicit] (MP3 Download)
This is my third attempt at writing a review of this extraodinary album!

Hospice is a "once in a group's lifetime record" where every song/piece fits into the collection. I have read that this album was the result of the lead singer's experience of having endured an abusive relationship with someone suffering from cancer. The songs manage to commit to music the gamut of emotions of a deteriorating bond with a dying person. I also have to say that while I never like singers playing tricks with their voices, the lead's falsetto is near essential for this.

In my mind the first three songs are laments: sorrowful 'Kettering', raging 'Sylvia' and quiet reflective 'Atrophy'.

Then there are two songs which deliver an uplifting musical accompaniment :'Bear' which manages to mix acceptance and the vulgarity of the situation. 'Two' which relates the desperate silliness in the mess, recounting the memories that lead up to it. My previous reviews never appeared because I quoted certain lines with profanity in Bear, but I dare say all of it is justified in this album by making the lyrics very powerful.

Following that, there is the return to the hush of dying and death with 'Shiva'. 'Wake' is the singer's attempt to put a point across to the departed but it sounds like he is repeating the mantra to himself to make it real.

Then to reiterate the group's creative streak, the happiest tune in the record, 'Bear', gets twisted into a hollow and macabre sadness of loss: 'Epilogue'.

There are two non-lyric pieces which I thought were originally fillers: 'Prologue' and 'Thirteen'. On repeat listening to the album as a whole they are vital placemarks and tone setters. Unfortunately if you're sampling this never gets across properly. Indeed, Prologue would put many people off immediately as the first sampler.

NPR Music bravely voted this album of 2009. I shall paraphrase their advice of just letting this run on a lonely weekend morning. And in my own words, I leave you with this: Hospice is a modern psalm of sorrow and loss .
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Sep 2011 21:18:58 BDT
Thank you for telling us about the site. The live recording is as close as I will get to hearing them in person.

Posted on 30 Sep 2011 11:52:07 BDT
@Forbidden City Cop

Your welcome. Sadly the falsetto is hard to maintain live. I prefer the album recording because its what's in my head when I see the cover.
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