THE TRAGICALLY HIP In Violet Light (Universal) Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
The Tragically Hip's going to Compass Point in the Bahamas to record In Violet Light -- inviolate light, geddit? -- with the fussy Hugh Padgham (Police, XTC) is a bit like eating a chocolate bar with a knife and fork. It might make them feel special, yet the apparent technological advantage leads to more potential embarrassment than real benefits. Sure, Padgham's attention to detail brings the less conventional song structures and Gord Downie's hoser poetics into sharp focus, but what good is sonic super-clarity to the Hip if the vast majority of their fans are more concerned with whether or not the album rocks? Well, it doesn't, but you can hear Johnny Fay's simplistic thumping real good.