Indie darlings of years goneby Cursive have released a new album.
This news should be met with collective yawns, and not just because they’re little better than a nostalgia act for twenty something emo kids. There is a far more sinister reason that the new album, I Gemini, should be met with apathy.
It’s not because it’s a generally lukewarm experience from a band that is languishing 8 years past its prime.
No. Far worse.
It’s a concept album.
I loathe the phrase; it stinks of everything that good rock music shouldn’t be. Concept albums are typically bloated, pretentious, lacking coherence, and, ultimately, gratuitous. Even the best concept albums (Husker Du’s Zen Arcade, Pink Floyd’s The Wall) would exist quite comfortably without their “stories.” When I think of The Wall, I don’t think of the story of the album’s protagonist, Pink, which is a loose narrative at best; I think about individual tracks that sound just fine without being wedged into a track-by-track musical procedure.
My point? The best music, by my estimate, is organic. It shouldn’t be forced to exist within the stifling frame of a narrative: it should exist and thrive independently.