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The Tragically Hip

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Album Review

Picking up where 1998's Phantom Power release left off, charming Canadian fivesome the Tragically Hip continue with their signature infectious tunes on their eighth studio album Music @ Work. Sensible songsmith and frontman Gordon Downie is classic in hitting upon notable issues and figures, and cites verses from John Cage on the temperamental track "Tiger the Lion." "The Bastard" and "Freak Turbulence" are both intimidating in the fact that the band does not let go emotionally or physically when churning out smashing percussion drives and swirling guitar riffs. "Toronto #4" is a little wispy. Perhaps that's why the Tragically Hip can make it playing arenas. Only attitude can get you that far. Look at U2 and R.E.M.

Customer Reviews

As I wind down the tunes

Music@Work is a Hip album for both long time dedicated fans and newcomers alike. Its strongest qualities are the poetic lyrics and creative use of a multitude of instruments not normally used in rock albums. On a personal note, as a very dedicated Hip fan this is possibly my favourite album. Surprisingly, I often find others have not discovered this hidden gem and immediately suggest they listen to it. I recommend Music@Work with equal parts dancing shoes, air guitar and fine wine.

The review at the top is lame.

This is a totally different record than Phantom Power and I dare say it's one of their best pieces of work. The actual song Music at Work is , in my opinion the weakest on the album. There are dense layered rockers ( Tiger the Lion, The Bast#rd) here, hypnotic mid tempo gems (The Bear, Sharks) and some of the most beautiful, delicate songs they've ever recorded (As I Wind Down the Pines). It shocks me they don't play more of these songs live.
This album definitely was not their most well received work and I think it's because it was a victim of the times more than anything else.
In 2000 rap-rock (nu metal) and pop music had taken over...unfortunately, but these songs are built to last. They have a timeless quality. This album sounds as good today as it did a decade ago.
It's also one of THE best albums for driving through the rocky mountains.


Formed: 1983 in Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

While hugely popular in their native Canada, the Tragically Hip found the global charts continually resistant to their blues-influenced pop fare. Formed in 1983 in Kingston, Ontario, the band included comprised childhood friends Gordon Downie (vocals), Bobby Baker (guitar), Paul Langlois (guitar), Gord Sinclair (bass), and Johnny Fay (drums). The bandmembers took their name from a Michael Nesmith video entitled Elephant Parts, and focused on making a name for themselves on the local scene during...
Full bio

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