Now for Plan A

Now for Plan A

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by The Tragically Hip
     
 

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The Tragically Hip come from a long line of bands that began as arena-rock-in-my-basement garage outfits, and actually soldiered on to make music worthy of achieving that aspiration. While it's true that 2004's In Between Evolution and the lackluster We Are the Same were misstepsSee more details below

Overview

The Tragically Hip come from a long line of bands that began as arena-rock-in-my-basement garage outfits, and actually soldiered on to make music worthy of achieving that aspiration. While it's true that 2004's In Between Evolution and the lackluster We Are the Same were missteps because they were squarely aimed at the ever elusive mainstream, Now for Plan A, the Hip's 13th long-player, produced by Gavin Brown, moves them back to their square, toward the immediacy of their earlier records. Its 11 tracks deliver a varied, mostly uptempo, solid sonic ride that combines big-budget rock & roll production with more basic elements of urgency, impulsiveness, and humor. The first notes of opener "At Transformation" come from Gord Sinclair's fuzzed-out bassline on stun; they're answered immediately by Paul Langlois' and Rob Baker's guitar squall and Johnny Fay's popping snare and bass drum. Gord Downie's part-warbled, -sung, -snarled lyrics lay out a simple truth: "I want to be kind not a bullet in the right place..." He knows it's only a dream, based on a limited perception of the "game" of life. With its churning, frenetic pace, the music confronts him with it, but he just beats his head against it, anyway. No surrender. "Streets Ahead" contrasts jangling and distorted guitars, and drives head on into an anthemic melody that's as urgent as punk rock and as catchy as a power pop song. It lifts off and keeps going. "We Want to Be It" initially sounds like a send-up of John Waite's "Missing You," but Downie and company turn it on its head to make it one of the most self-lacerating, broken love songs of the 2010s. Sara Harmer guests on the title track and "The Lookahead." The former commences with an infectious pop hook and gathers in intensity and drama until it nearly goes off the rails. The latter is a languid, drifting meditation on love and commitment that feels rather unfocused. The second half of the record contains its own share of hyperkinetic rockers in "The Modern Spirit" and "Take Forever." "About This Map" and "Done and Done" commence with 4/4 drum kit shuffles before they spread out into atmospheric exercises in rock balladry with varying degrees of success. Now for Plan A ably demonstrates that the Tragically Hip still have it whenever they want it. While there are moments of self-indulgence, they are far from deal breakers.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/02/2012
Label:
Concord Records
UPC:
0601143115127
catalogNumber:
0114311512
Rank:
189946

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tragically Hip   Primary Artist
Gordon Downie   Group Member
Johnny Fay   Group Member
Paul Langlois   Group Member
Sarah Harmer   Vocals
Gord Sinclair   Group Member
Rob Baker   Group Member

Technical Credits

Tragically Hip   Composer
Lenny DeRose   Engineer
Gordon Downie   Composer,Art Direction
Bob Ludwig   Mastering
Aaron Holmberg   Engineer
Gavin Brown   Producer
Jeff Craib   Contributor
Susan Michalek   Art Direction
Steve Kaul   Contributor
Rob Baker   Art Direction
Ryan Gilligan   Pro-Tools
Simon Paul   Art Direction
Nigel Hassler   Contributor
Dave Mohacsi   Engineer
Nyles Spencer   Engineer
Bruce Solar   Contributor
Patrick Sambrook   Management
Bernie Breen   Management
Filip Smialek   Engineer

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