album reviews

The Tragically Hip
World Container
Universal (2007)

The Tragically Hip has always had fervent moments on record, but the Canadian quintet is at a full energetic peak on its 11th studio album, "World Container." That vigor comes courtesy of the album's producer, Bob Rock, whose previous work with Bon Jovi and Metallica certainly helped emphasize the rock in this group's sound.

Rock's influence is apparent on the lively choruses of "Yer Not the Ocean" and the booming guitar riffs of "The Lonely End of the Rink," a song inspired by frontman Gordon Downie's experiences playing goalie. (The song has recently been featured on the CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada.") Based on its title, "Last Night I Dreamed You Didn't Love Me" may sound like an ode to the Smiths, but Downie opts for a passionate roar rather than brooding in self-pity.

Downie does push that ardor too far at times; his throaty howl on "The Drop-Off" intensifies to a guttural, demonic rant in the final minute, while his yelp on "The Kids Don't Get It" is incongruous with the song's Police-esque instrumentation. But his overzealousness is tempered on several of the album's finest tracks, including the pop-rock anthem "Fly" and the catchy "In View."

-- Catherine P. Lewis

.: Originally published: The Washington Post: 27 April 2007, Page WE09
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