The Tragically Hip
Now for Plan A
“I was just happy you give a fuck,” Gordon Downie sings on “We Want to Be It.” Now for Plan A is his band, The Tragically Hip’s, twelfth LP, and the Canadian band certainly demonstrates that the group can rock as hard as ever.
While I find Now for Plan A satisfying musically as the lyrics themselves took me out from the experience of listening. On the title track, for instance, lines like “Yeah, I know, I know, I know” and “Nothing short of everything” are repeated so often that they seem to take up half the song. This pattern of repeated lyrics comes up throughout the record and really hurts any immediacy the words might have.
However, it does lend a punch that makes the songs catchy and easy to sing along with. “The Lookahead” is brilliantly urgent, though it does benefit from also throwing in a few punchy lyrics like “Her blood is still clear and sanguineous.” “Take Forever” is another stampeding, brooding rock song that gets the blood pumping.
Overall, I wanted to like Now for Plan A more than I actually did. The songs rock and were fun to listen to, but there was no emotional connection that made me feel like a particular mood would drive me back to any of the songs.