15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Great parent album to Gentlemen,
This review is from: Congregation (Audio CD)
Congregation is the definite bridge between the proto-hard rock from Up In It and the seminal Gentlemen, a mixture of driving distortion and soulful swagger.
Their musical chops increased greatly since their last album, the Whigs lay down track after track of intoxicating songwriting. Not every track is great, but even the lesser songs are stunning in one way or another.
Here are some examples. "I'm Her Slave" is just classic Whigs: catchy, abrasive, and well-written. "Turn on the Water" follows this, and can't match up to the intensity of the previous track, but still has an amazing bridge section and something is just captivating about guitarist Rick McCollum's use of the wah pedal on the verses.
"Conjure Me" employs the standard Greg Dulli self-loathing/me-vs.-her lyrics, all the while Steve Earle lays down a frantic drum track and McCollum's provides some rapid slide guitar. "Kiss the Floor" has one of the coolest guitar riffs the Whigs have ever used, and the title track and the cover of "The Temple" from Jesus Christ Superstar are both highly entertaining.
Still, there are a few awkward moments. The chorus on "Dedicate It" comes without warning, which isn't bad, but sounds out of place. The same goes for the chorus of "Kiss the Floor," which throws off the previously mentioned guitar line. Finally, the hidden track, "Milez is Dead," is a good song per se, but would fair a little bit better if it were cut in length.
Overall, this is a near-perfect album, a great stylistic balance between Gentlemen and Up In It. While Gentlemen may be a great place to start for the newcomer, Congregation is a good back-up plan. Two thumbs up.