The Hip’s 1989 full-length debut is deeply rooted in Stonesy blues-rock tradition, but sees their own distinct identity coalesce around Gord Downie’s unique lyrical perspective. On the snarling rockers “Blow at High Dough” and “New Orleans Is Sinking,” he steers clear of the genre’s typical baby-done-me-wrong themes in favour of oblique but vivid urban-wasteland scenery. And on the harrowing acoustic elegy “38 Years Old,” he invokes a real-life prison break in his hometown of Kingston, Ontario, to paint a surprisingly empathetic portrait of a convict, providing an early glimpse of Downie’s calling as rock’s foremost expert in arcane Canadiana.
Blow At High Dough
I'll Believe In You (Or I'll Be Leaving You Tonight)