Kind of like Woody Allen.

I hate buying music. I hate downloading music. No matter what the format, the RIAA has left such a bitter taste in my mouth that I just don't bother anymore (except for indie labels).

That being said, I ran straight to HMV yesterday to buy "World Container", The Tragically Hip's newest album.

The Hip are legendary, but everyone always likes their older stuff better. People don't even notice anymore that their current work is really, really good -- if it's not a #1 smash hit, they've failed somehow.

It gets even odder with a closer look. Can you really say "Boots or Hearts" or "38 years old" are hard-driving rock-your-face-off anthems? Or do we just remember them as such? Maybe that's why I was wary (indignant, even) of their collaboration with "mainstream hitmaker" Bob Rock on this album. Is this going to be the hard-rocking Hip we've always wanted? Is that a good thing? Here's the breakdown:

  • A decent opening track in "Yer Not The Ocean".

  • For once, the first single, "In View", is a good choice.

  • I find "Luv(sic)" boring, but that's a fantastic song title nonetheless.

  • "The Drop-Off" is the hard-rocking Hip we've always wanted.

  • "World Container" continues the grand tradition of "Unplucked Gems", "Emperor Penguin", "The Dark Canuck", and "Goodnight Josephine"... a closing track that almost seems to take wings and fly.

  • All in all, there are five unforgettable tracks, and six regrettable ones. A mixed bag, but worth a listen. However, if you really want proof that The Hip have still "got it", pick up their previous album, "In Between Evolution". Better yet, phone up H____ko, and get him to give you the copy I lent him.

    UPDATE: A lot of those songs improve when you're driving at night. "Luv(sic)" in particular -- it's not so hot as background music, but performed live, it would really blow the roof off the stadium. A reprieve!

    UPDATE 2: Just spent two more hours driving aimlessly with the CD on repeat. Yeah, it's good. And the title track is a perfect drinking song -- bizarre lyrics shouted out in a sing-song melody, a tempo just right for swinging your bottle back and forth, and an easy to remember chorus. If it ever becomes a hit single, karaoke bars across the nation will go up in flames.

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    Canadian explorer. Chemist by training, biologist by nature. Long-time supporter and participant in National Novel Writing Month. Known as "Aquadeo" in most Internet circles. Also known as "that guy with the pants" to people who have seen me in certain pants.