mama i’m swollen, curisve’s first album in a couple of years, suffers from the same problem that its predecessor (happy hollow) had. it’s just not that original or memorable. in the early 2000’s they released a string of fantastic albums, domestica, burst and bloom and the ugly organ. each album was different, building off each other, they defined a cursive sound (loud, angular, post punk). they weren’t afraid to experiment and expand their sound. this album seems to revert back to a sound they had in the pre-domestica days. i fear that cursive is in a rut, and doesn’t know where to go.
part of me wants to blame the good life, tim kasher’s more indie rock side project. i never got into any of the good life’s albums, despite kasher’s brilliant songwriting. i found them not at all interesting, too strait forward.for a while he bounced between the two groups, he gave up the good life shortly after cursive released happy hollow, but the damage was done.
mama i’m swollen is not a bad album, on shuffle it fits nicely in the the cursive catalogue. kasher’s songwriting is still excellent, the personal is still his strong point. he even touches on how he is at a good point in life and has nothing to write about. the musicianship is solid even with the muddy production and levels that seem wrong to me. still, several of the songs, “i couldn’t love you anymore”, “let me up” and “we’re going to hell”, give me hope that they can get it together and still produce another great album.