Collaboration post! Sarca from Caught Me Gaming and Kevin from Buried On Mars take on The Tragically Hip, Canada’s National band! Each week, we will travel through the history of releases by The Tragically Hip, going through EVERYTHING they’ve ever released in audio and video form – studio album, live show, video releases. So don’t forget to check out Kevin’s blog too!
Need to catch up? Previously:
- The Tragically Hip – My “Un-plucked” History
- Review: The Tragically Hip EP (1987)
- Review: Up to Here (1989)
- Review: Road Apples (1991)
Fully Completely, the Tragically Hip’s third studio album, was the first album I was “woke” to the Hip. I was very aware of Courage (For Hugh MacLennan), the first song on the album that began scorching the charts in 1993. Its catchy lyrics of “Courage, my word. It didn’t come, it doesn’t matter,” ear-wormed easily. You could hear people hum along randomly on the street, in restaurants…and it certainly didn’t stop: six singles were released from this album alone, so ear-worms abound!
If the entire Fully Completely album in and of itself is an ear-worm, then it’s one that I never get tired listening to. This is the full Hip package, folks – great rock tracks and some thought-provoking lyrics that touch on Canadian life, news, politics and sports. Gord Downie was obviously well-read. My mom always said that if I learned school subjects as well as I learn song lyrics, I’d be set. I struggled in History as a subject in school (memorizing dates was boring), but I am positive I could sit still and learn in Mr. Downie’s class!
It’s not just the lyrics. The tunes, man, those tunes are nothing but pure rock.
Courage (for Hugh MacLennan) starts us off with that familiar rock sound that only the Hip can muster. Gord Downie’s voice: strong and familiar. Looking For a Place to Happen, and its follow-up, At the Hundredth Meridian keep up the rock pace until the album’s fourth song, my personal favourite, Pigeon Camera; a great road trip song, gentle with its own ear-worm lyrics.
Lionized, a song with a sharper edge roars into gear, beginning with the provocative lyrics, “Cold wind blowing over your private parts”. Track 6 happens to be the actual first single from Fully Completely, a Hip fan favourite, titled Locked in the Trunk of a Car.
We’ll Go Too, a more upbeat tune that I interpret to be about life and death, rounds out at track 7, then the title track, Fully Completely, amps up the vibe of the album. The Bill Barilko-themed Fifty Mission Cap is next, a proud anthem that doesn’t rhyme much but tells an important tale of the Former Maple Leafs hockey player who “disappeared…on a fishing trip…”; another personal favourite. I mean, I’m not a hockey fan at all, but I learned something from this song!
Wheat Kings slows things down respectfully, again pulling from the Canadian headlines of the day, telling the tale of David Milgaard, wrongfully convicted of murder, and later exonerated. Things then jack up with the Wherewithal, only to be slowed down by the final song, Elderado.
I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the album design: that cover is gorgeous. They say the band wanted something that represented decadence. Yes, there are naked bewbs. But, is it in poor taste? I say no, but, let’s not debate it. Let’s talk about the artistry of it! Artist Lieve Prins created this work of art using a Canon copier! Is the medium the message? I really love the colour scheme and how intricate the image is.
Fully Completely is another 5/5 album for me, in case you were wondering…
Fully Completely (1992)
The Tragically Hip
Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out Kevin’s blog for his take!