The Tragically Hip
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