10 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

At 47, Bob Mould isn’t growing mellow. The former Husker Du / Sugar leader still maintains his sonic edge with plenty of loud, aggressive guitar and a continued interest in the electronic manipulations of the recording studio. Mould likes heavenly reverbs and the occasional keyboard bed to expand his universe, but he never loses his ear for the song. With the help of Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty and cellist Amy Domingues, Mould balances between the natural punk momentum of his musical history and the emotional maturity that befits a man who has worked through personal pain to come to an inner peace. Songs still struggle with identity and life’s unexpected turns, but where Mould once mired in despair, he now finds escape hatches in the exquisitely contoured melodies of “The Silence Between Us,” “Who Needs to Dream?” and the six-minute album closer “Walls in Time.” Mould’s voice has never sounded better, offering bittersweet twists — a sandpaper scratch for “Stupid Now,” a smooth croon for “Shelter Me.” All musicians should age this well.

EDITORS’ NOTES

At 47, Bob Mould isn’t growing mellow. The former Husker Du / Sugar leader still maintains his sonic edge with plenty of loud, aggressive guitar and a continued interest in the electronic manipulations of the recording studio. Mould likes heavenly reverbs and the occasional keyboard bed to expand his universe, but he never loses his ear for the song. With the help of Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty and cellist Amy Domingues, Mould balances between the natural punk momentum of his musical history and the emotional maturity that befits a man who has worked through personal pain to come to an inner peace. Songs still struggle with identity and life’s unexpected turns, but where Mould once mired in despair, he now finds escape hatches in the exquisitely contoured melodies of “The Silence Between Us,” “Who Needs to Dream?” and the six-minute album closer “Walls in Time.” Mould’s voice has never sounded better, offering bittersweet twists — a sandpaper scratch for “Stupid Now,” a smooth croon for “Shelter Me.” All musicians should age this well.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.1 out of 5
79 Ratings

79 Ratings

respectable ,

Why is everyone saying that he's using a drum machine?

Brendan Canty (of Fugazi fame) plays drums on every song on this album. Are you people really that stupid?

Anyways, although a couple of the melodies get lost in the wash of the shiny, hip production, this album is very strong overall.

See-Note ,

Evolving album by album

All I can say is that on "District Line", Bob seems to be thoroughly at peace in his own skin, making music that embodies all apsects of who he is. This album marries the various aspects of his career - from Husker Du, to early solo "Workbook", through his electronica album Modulate to his return to the electric guitar sound that defines him.

"District Line" is really the quintessential Mould recording. It has his fantastic layered guitar with interspersed electronic "accents". Lyrically, it's as strong and accessible as anything he has ever done - speaking of love and lust and longing and loss, emotions we all know. His production is as tight as ever, and the album flow is just outstanding. My highlights: "The Silence Between Us", "Very Temporary" and "Walls In Time". "Shelter Me" doesn't seem to fit at first listen, but hey, it may be just me...

There isn't an accolade that can be showered upon this rock giant that hasn't been done time after time. Bob Mould is an icon, who has NEVER compromised the integrity of his musical creations. Over the last few years, Bob has done various albums that weren't prototypical Mould recordings - he definitely earmed the right to put out any album he likes, and I give him credit for doing that (just as U2 released "Pop" and got vilified for it - it's a really good album that they had every reason to release, even though they probably knew it would go over like a lead balloon). "District Line" will please hard-core Mould fans and it will attract many new ones. He does this by writing poignant guitar based rock that he has infused with his love of electronica.

This album is absolutely great (even after one listen). I so enjoy listening to Bob be happy with the musician and man he is. :)

Indieyuppie718 ,

Another Great One

Bob does it again. He's a great songwriter with a constantly evolving sound.

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