I think the most off-putting thing about the Hip is the farcical patriotic nonsense that's attached to their music, as if you're more Canadian if you identify with their casual references to Bobby Orr while driving to the cottage or something. Screw that. On their 11th release, the Hip distinguish themselves by their songwriting more than anything else, and they do so with a graceful ability to blend rockers like The Lonely End Of The Rink with arena ballads like Yer Not The Ocean, the title track, and Pretend - possibly the closest the band will ever get to classic soul. While the Hip may have a spotty track record and several so-so albums, World Container is one of their most accomplished and engaging to date.
The Hip rock the Phoenix Sunday (October 22) through October 26.