Oct 16, 2013Haunting, harrowing, and beautiful. It's a stunning concept album that you need to listen to straight through to really appreciate. I've heard varying perspectives on the story it tells, but to me it's about an emotionally abusive relationship in which the narrator tries to hold on to his relationship with a girl struggling to deal with her own possibly trauma-induced emotions. This is told through an allegory of a hospital worker in a cancer ward who falls in love with a patient whose imminent death is the catalyst for their tumultuous relationship. The two stories blend ethereally together, almost as if drifting in and out of consciously, while other heart-breaking metaphors bleed into the story. The content of the lyrics is intense and the gorgeous, electronic and folk-influenced music creates a dangerous atmosphere that will draw you fully into the words. The album has no "happy" or "light" songs. The first lyrics of the album (in the song "Kettering") are "I wish that I had known in that first minute we met, the unpayable debt that I'd owe you". If you've ever felt pain from a relationship in your life (whether romantic or not) you'll be able to relate to the feelings the narrator displays for us the panic and horror of trying to hold on to something you know won't last, the feeling that your entire being is tearing apart when it ends, and the fear that you may never be the same person again.
As a side note, it would definitely be helpful to follow along with the lyrics, because often, the narrator sometimes sings in undertones and the words often blend into the music to create that dream-like atmosphere. The downside is that you may miss a lot of the brilliantly poetic lyrics if you don't follow along.… Expand
brenkOct 25, 2009I keep listening to this on my ipod, over and over. Its haunting.
a.nony-mousAug 21, 2009It's quite a feat to make music that goes from subdued to grandiose without making it sound pretentious. this album is able to walk that line perfectly, drawing a surprisingly wide range of emotions out of the listener. if you like music of this genre, this is definitely one of the top albums of 2009.… Expand
GoliathRNov 16, 2009I can count on my fingers the number of records I can sit down and listen to all the way through repeatedly. Hospice is one of them. Easily my favorite album of 2009. 10 is deserved.… Expand
PhilP.Sep 12, 2009Absolutely stunning. So many layers of heartbreak, rendered beautifully and delicately.
Oct 3, 2012This is easily one of the most emotional albums I've ever listened too. The concept of a girl with cancer and an abused relationship is so tightly wound up inside these lyrics that you can't help but become consumed with her, listening to each song eagerly awaiting what happens next. This album spoke to me on a way more personal level, and if that was The Antlers goal, they succeeded. "Bear" is easily the stand-out track on this LP. All In All, the lyrics on Hospice are gorgeous, the vocals extremely emotional, and the production very subtle, yet so good. A-… Expand
Published: December 29, 2009We recap the best-reviewed albums of 2009 and collect dozens of music critic top ten lists to determine the best album of the year. While the results point to a clear winner, you can listen to songs from the top 50 albums to help you find your own favorites.
|Lucinda Williams [Reissue] - Lucinda Williams|
|American Radical Patriot [Box Set] - Woody Guthrie|
|The Satanist - Behemoth|
|Live at the Academy of Music 1971 - The Band|
|The Island Years [Box Set] - John Martyn|
|Places of Worship - Arve Henriksen|
|The Finer Things - The State Champs|
|In Utero [20th Anniversary Edition] - Nirvana|
|Spaces - Nils Frahm|
|St. Vincent - St. Vincent|
|No Depression [Legacy Edition] - Uncle Tupelo|
|High Land, Hard Rain [30th Anniversary Edition] - Aztec Camera|
|Moondance [Deluxe Edition] - Van Morrison|
|Bottle Rockets/The Brooklyn Side [Reissue] - The Bottle Rockets|
|12 Stories - Brandy Clark|
|There's a Dream I've Been Saving: 1966-1971 - Lee Hazlewood|
|Memorial - Russian Circles|
|Haiti Direct: Big Band, Mini Jazz & Twoubadou Sounds, 1960-1978 - Various Artists|
|The River & the Thread - Rosanne Cash|
|Benji - Sun Kil Moon|