Whether or not David Bazan still considers himself a Christian rock artist could be disputable. With that being said the classification of his music does not matter at all. I mention it as Curse Your Branches is definitely written and performed from a spiritual albeit Christian angle. Yet even on the first listen, lyrically and melodically Curse Your Branches stands out as a good album.
Based on the Bazan’s attitude alone, non-Christian listeners should find the record appealing and enjoyable to say the least. Throughout the album’s 10 tracks, Bazan is an open book. He writes “I clung to miracles I have not seen. From ancient signatures I cannot read. Though I’ve repented I’m still tempted I admit, but it’s not what bearing witness is.” The album is indeed written from a Christian angle, only the angle is of one who is struggling with alcoholism and a broken heart. Curse Your Branches is a testament of Bazan’s struggle with himself as well as his faith. He manages to do so with an incredible amount of honesty and sincerity that the lyrics, when blended with Bazan’s catchy hooks and melancholy tone, make this album a pleasure to hear.
I cannot say that I will be listening to Curse Your Branches two months from now. The album does not lack originality one bit. The problem for me is the feeling of misery and despair in Bazan’s current state of mind that begins to wear throughout the duration of the album. Still, with all criticism aside, Bazan manages to release an impressive album. If his past musical endeavors do not already warrant it, one should tip their hat to a job well done.