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Curse Your Branches


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Audio CD, August 31, 2009
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Amazon's David Bazan Store

Music

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Biography

David Bazan was, for many years, the songwriter and driving force behind the acclaimed indie band Pedro the Lion, building a dedicated following and selling a couple hundred-thousand albums based in large part on his extraordinary melodic sense and erudite, theologically-themed songs. After a decade helming the project, he found himself embroiled in a major personal philosophical and spiritual ... Read more in Amazon's David Bazan Store

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Curse Your Branches + Strange Negotiations + Live At Electrical Audio
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 31, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Barsuk
  • ASIN: B002HHBC06
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,002 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Hard To Be
2. Bless This Mess
3. Please, Baby, Please
4. Curse Your Branches
5. Harmless Sparks
6. When We Fell
7. Lost My Shape
8. Bearing Witness
9. Heavy Breath
10. In Stitches

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Revered for his work fronting the influential group Pedro The Lion, Curse Your Branches is David Bazan's first full-length release under his own name. It's a flat-out masterwork by a modern American poet at the height of his powers (Paste Magazine called him a Dostoevsky for our all-at-once world and one of the 100 Best Living Songwriters alongside indie-rock stalwarts like Iron and Wine's Sam Beam, Mountain Goats' John Darnielle, and Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst, and
legends like Nick Cave, Merle Haggard, Sly Stone, Dolly Parton, Kris
Kristofferson, and John Prine and that's not even listing any of their Top 20).

Pedro the Lion got started playing to the Christian rock scene, but the narrative arc of Bazan's albums has increasingly traced his crisis of faith and his questioning of the Evangelical world in which he was raised; while retaining the vast majority of his original audience, the strength and subtlety of his work also has built a large secular audience and garnered him mainstream critical acclaim. Curse Your Branches is the deepest and most overtly autobiographical exploration of his theological struggles and resulting battle with alcohol to date, and a meditation on all things passed between the generations belief, doubt, love, addiction that showcases his incredible arrangements and melodic sense,
and, of course, the trademark dark humor, incisive lyrical economy, and light touch in dealing with heavy themes that has drawn comparisons to no lesser talents than Prine, Randy Newman, and Leonard Cohen.

Review

The best music of his career. --Filter

Bazan is as polarizing as he is fascinating; some have called him the Neil Young of the Christian indie rock underground. Above all that, however, is the music, and Curse Your Branches represents a stunning stride forward...

It s got a slow burn quality, sneaking up, sinking in its claws, then waiting for the third, fourth, maybe fifth listen. At that point, well, how does the saying go? Faith will be rewarded. --Stereophile

Deeply personal and jaded pitched roughly between the fireside balladry of mid-period R.E.M. and the languid melodic radiance of Red House Painters --Under The Radar

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 24 customer reviews
The music is well crafted yet raw and accessible.
nocode10
This is a beautiful, heartfelt album that explores David Bazan's inner struggles with God and life in general.
Erik Kulick
This album is simply one of the best I have heard this year.
Josh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Miguel on September 8, 2009
Format: Audio CD
The lyrics of this album are a fantastic display of inner struggle coupled with music that is beatifully and deceivingly simple yet wonderfully constructed and applied to each song. It has enough musical flair to individualize each song and lyrical honesty to make you sit back in your seat and be stunned. It may not be for everyone, but the glorious harmonies of "Please Baby Please" should draw in even the toughest of music critics (or non-Bazan fans).

If you're a Bazan fan, as i have been for over 10 years, i recommend this highly and consider it the best thing he's ever produced, by far.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Inntee on September 2, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I'd never heard of David Bazan until a few weeks ago. I pre-ordered this CD, and have been overwhelmed by his artistry and honesty. He tackles the very difficult issue of breaking up with God; it's sometimes angry, sometimes wistful, sometimes confused. It really works -- sonically, lyrically, psychologically.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrew H. Lee on July 23, 2011
Format: Audio CD
"...it's hard to be a decent human being," sings David Bazan at the beginning of his solo debut CURSE YOUR BRANCHES, and instantly the listener can relate. Universal truths like this one, related through poetically economic lyrics and melodic rock music, seem to reach out for personal connection all throughout this beautifully crafted album by one of our great suburban troubadours.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David P. Castellani on October 15, 2009
Format: Audio CD
It's so strange that an album so wrapped in melancholy , tangled and a mess, crumbling and nearly dying can somehow stumble upon wings and soar into an open sky.

I've been following Bazan since the debut of Pedro the Lion and its been a ride of turbulence and crashing planes, one that's insanely honest and takes a Picasso paint brush and carelessly and carefully paints brilliantly on a torn canvas found in a basement half burned. I almost feel like I grew up with David. He feels like a father figure to me or perhaps a brother. I've been with him the whole time b/c he spills out his life into his music. I've been with him through his Christianity, his questioning of faith, alcoholism, fantasies and affairs.

David has never aimed for what other artists have (Rock-stardom) and it's so uniquely rare to find someone with so much humility to take stage into recorded sessions and do it quietly with such subtle brilliance. Dave is a hermit type (that's constantly on tour and is a riot on stage-I strongly urge to see one of his shows) and somewhat of an intricate nerd on strings while fumbling into other delicate, sometimes amateur means. Yet his introvert personality is magnetized by his sometimes crude honesty. Lyrics that sometimes hit too close to home and all too universally wrecked.

His integrity is heartbreaking and his creativity luring. David has been in the game for awhile, experiments with dynamic instruments almost like Dylan and tells it like it is with Ryan Adams-esque flavor. It's a kick to the teeth, leaving you bleeding to ruptured melody; a scorpion's sting to the nervous system leaving every part of you paralyzed except your mouth that somehow bursts through the numbness to sing along. David's track are heavily melodic and cured in melancholy.
Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Adam P. Sands on September 5, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I have been a fan of David Bazan for years now and I am completely blown away by his new record. Bazan bears his soul in a way that had not been done in his previous release or through any Pedro the Lion record. His honesty in dealing with his wrestles with God, his alcohol problems, and his family situations create a beautiful picture of man struggling to find his way. The music is the perfect background for the real life stories shared on this record. Bazan's pop sensibilities are tied perfectly to his natural low key sound. This record is a must for any fan of indie music and I hope it represents a turn back to honest music.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By RobotsandRecorders on September 5, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Following Bazan since I was a teenager, I have never been moved so much by an album then by 'Curse Your Branches.' This album is so honest and true that it says the things I have been afraid to say or feel for years. The craft that has been put into the music and songs definitely does a great job or portraying Bazan's love and constant struggle for understanding and truth. I would highly recommend this album for any returning 'Pedro the Lion' fans, or a great bookmark to start any new fans of David Bazan.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Josh on September 10, 2009
Format: Audio CD
This album is simply one of the best I have heard this year. I have been a long time fan of David's' music and to be honest I wasn't even anticipating it. It is a beautiful and heartbreaking album. I wish I could sit down with him and talk about it. Even more than that I wish I could get David the kind of recognition that he deserves for being an amazing songwriter. Buy this album!!!!!!!
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By lee dk 08 on January 23, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I've been a David Bazan fan for years now and he continues to get better. This album has some new rockin feels combined with that old Bazan awesomeness. I can't put this album down it's so good. He continues to be honest about his struggles, thoughts, and beliefs while continuing to be original. Please baby, please baby, please would have to be my favorite. One of the best albums of the past few years. You have to listen to this album!
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