Road Apples review by The Tragically Hip

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Jan 1, 1991
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (4 votes)
The Tragically Hip: Road Apples

Sound — 8
After a breakout album in 1989, the band's 1991 offering succesfully echos the formula that was created in the first album. The Hip's unique style of straight-up rock and roll rings true in most of the songs on this album, though the tracks tend to wane towards the end of the album. 'Little Bones' kicks off the album in fine fashion; this track is arguably their best ever. 'Three Pistols' and 'Bring It All Back' carry the hard-nosed style through the latter part of the album, yet are suspiciously similar. The Luxury reveals shades of things to come for the band, as their sound begins to evolve, but they hadn't quite mastered the craft that would become their sound in coming albums. Sound quality is decent; nothing to complain about. Guitar work is good; it only really stands out on Little Bones. This album suffers from the sopohmore jinx; it's decent, but the 2nd album is often weaker than the first.

Lyrics — 8
Gord Downie is always consistantly brilliant with his lyrics, and Road Apples showcases his originality. His voice is still very raw, and his sheer energy carries most of the songs. Little Bones is confusing at best, and other songs are quite ecclectic. You either love it or you don't in many cases; while the lyrics of The Luxury and 'Last Of The Unplucked Gems' are standout.

Overall Impression — 8
This has always ranked high on my list of Hip albums, just because it has that classic feel to it. The '90s had just started, and the band had not yet begun to move in a new direction. This type of rock has been in many ways lost, and though the album itself is not even in the top 3 of the Hip's collection, (in my opinion), it has a synergy that makes it better than simply the sum of its part. Like any album, this has its weakness, and I often find myself skipping around tracks to find the radio hits. There is filler on this album, no question. But it still is far and away better than what a great deal of 'radio' bands have to offer. If you like the Hip, pick it up. If you're new to the band, start with Up To Here, or Fully Completely; they are simply better versions of the Road Apples sound.

0 comments sorted by best / new / date