By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
With each successive release, Cursive seems to further cement itself as an increasingly important band while quietly moving away from the emo label it had been saddled with early on in its career—a label that's often as meaningless as it is damaging.
On Mama, I'm Swollen, the band's sixth album, Tim Kasher and company explore family and the inherent guilt that comes from simply growing up in one. It's not as inspired as it thinks it is, but that hardly means it's a bad album. Cursive's releases are so aesthetically disparate from one to the next it's often difficult to make heads or tails of much of the act's work right out of the gate. The songs often must be listened to as a collection, with the album consumed in its entirety several times for any sort of cohesion to begin to take place.
In this era of iPods, that's a bit to Cursive's detriment. But kudos to the band for not bending to the irritating trend of "a la carte" listening habits and creating works that are more big-picture rather than two singles and a bunch of filler.
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