REVIEW: Cursive – ‘The Ugly Organ’ Reissue


Artist: Cursive
Album: The Ugly Organ Reissue
Genre: Post-Hardcore, Indie
Label: Saddle Creek

Cursive recently reissued their monumental album, The Ugly Organ. Featuring the original work remastered, and eight bonus tracks, The Ugly Organ revisited is a wonderfully eccentric trip down memory lane.

Featuring a fuller, more prominent production, every percussion hit, guitar resonance, and vocal outburst feels all the more weighted. For those who–and there are many of you–adored the psychedelic rock experience that was The Ugly Organ back in 2003, there is no reason for you to not once again be gawking over its glory these eleven years later.

But, one of the beauties on this marvelous reissue, is that while fans from a decade past will reignite their love with the work, hopefully, The Ugly Organ is being presented to an entire new audience who had never found the record on their radar for whatever reason. With that possibility, The Ugly Organ reissue is the perfect place to begin.

It makes me ecstatic for the state of a new listener, knowing that they can go from the indie hit “The Recluse,” to the cathartically questioning “Butcher The Song.” I wish that I could relive The Organist’s journey anew, though with that not being possible, this reissue is the best alternative.

“That organ’s playing my song, but this song’s gone on too long.”

But, for those of us returning to the world of The Organist, the vibes are strong. One of the things I cherished most about The Ugly Organ was not individual tracks (though they are fantastic), but being 12 when I first experienced the work, it was the feeling that the entire piece emitted. As a relatively new listener to rock music, and being new to finding my own tastes for that matter, it was The Ugly Organ that helped show me what a rock song could truly be. Gone were my preconceived notions of a genre that I heard on the radio, as well as the exposure of Springsteen and Warren Zevon from my parents, and born was an entirely new landscape of possibilities.

The reissue of The Ugly Organ also comes with the addition of eight rarities and b-sides, making the experience new and fresh even for veteran fans of the album. Whether these were fan favorites from before, the remaster makes its way to revitalize the energy the tracks held from whichever part of Cursive’s long timeline they came from.

Going through every single track of the album would feel like a disservice to the work, for The Ugly Organ works on a whole other level when experienced on a grand stance versus a singular one. The album, with this new reissue, is just as important as it was in 2003, and new and old listeners can unite to unlock the wonder of the work, and remind us all old and new, why this album still matters.

SCORE: 9/10
Review written by Drew Caruso — Follow him on Twitter

Drew Caruso

Drew Caruso is a Bostonian who, when not writing about music and film, spends his time getting lost in New England, reading books, talking about science whether people want to listen or not, and more. To see the thoughts of a scientist by day and a writer by night, follow him on Twitter.
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