Songs of the Unforgiven

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Songs of the Unforgiven
Studio album by Crash Test Dummies
Released October 12, 2004
Recorded Sacred Heart Studios, Duluth, Minnesota
Genre Folk rock
Length 40:28
Label Deep Fried Records
Producer Scott Harding
Crash Test Dummies chronology
Puss 'n' Boots
Songs of the Unforgiven
The Cape Breton Lobster Bash Series
Singles from Songs of the Unforgiven
  1. "The Unforgiven Ones (Promotional Only)"
    Released: October 2004
  2. "And So Will Always Be (Promotional Only)"
    Released: October 2004

Songs of the Unforgiven is the seventh album recorded by the Crash Test Dummies, released in 2004.


Almost immediately after recording "Puss 'n' Boots", Brad Roberts, Ellen Reid and Dan Roberts proceeded to prepare recording the follow-up, with Roberts acknowledging he went "through this phase where I was extremely prolific and I wrote like three records worth of material in a space of months."

The band pursued a decisively raw, acoustic, stripped-down sound for "Songs of the Unforgiven", and turned to the Internet in search of a recording studio that featured a pipe organ. By Googling "recording studios" plus “pipe organ”, the first result revealed Sacred Heart Studios in Duluth, Minnesota: a church originally constructed in 1894 that was later abandoned and eventually restored and turned into a venue for concerts. Having discovered Sacred Heart Recording Studio included a 1493-pipe, Felgemaker pipe-organ, the band drove to Duluth and recorded the album the following January.

The album is decidedly apocalyptic thematically, featuring lyrics replete with Biblical references and imagery. Other unconventional instruments appear on the record, including the harp and kettle drums.

Suzzy Roche (of female vocal group "The Roches" fame) provides backing vocals on the album's three sonnets.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Prelude"   Chris Brown & Brad Roberts 0:19
2. "Sonnet 1 (And When the Sun Goes Down)"   Brad Roberts 2:32
3. "And So Will Always Be"   Brad Roberts 3:17
4. "The Unforgiven Ones"   Brad Roberts 2:54
5. "Interlude 1"   Chris Brown & Brad Roberts 0:23
6. "Come Down to the Sinkhole"   Brad Roberts 2:35
7. "Is the Spell Really Broken?"   Brad Roberts 3:53
8. "Everlasting Peace"   Brad Roberts 2:39
9. "Sonnet 2 (And Back in Ages Past)"   Brad Roberts 2:41
10. "The Beginning of the End"   Brad Roberts 3:00
11. "Interlude 2"   Chris Brown & Brad Roberts 0:37
12. "You've Had Your Run"   Brad Roberts 3:22
13. "There Is No Final Winner"   Brad Roberts 2:13
14. "You've Done It Once Again"   Brad Roberts 3:46
15. "Sonnet 3 (The Cold Is Here)"   Brad Roberts 2:04
16. "The Wicked and the Evil"   Brad Roberts 3:03
17. "Postlude"   Chris Brown & Brad Roberts 1:17



Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Winnipeg Sun 4/5 stars[2]

The album resulted in the band receiving their best reviews since God Shuffled His Feet. Allmusic writer Rob Theakston gave the album 4 out of 5 stars and states that "with the Dummies stripped of all the electronic experimentation and quirky, Shel Silverstein-esque lyrics that hindered their past few releases, the haunting, sparse acoustic instrumentation makes a welcome return to the forefront of the songwriting process. This only reinforces and complements Roberts' existentially bereft baritone folk tales to their fullest potential. The sonnets used for lyrics are some of the Crash Test Dummies' darkest and most brooding in their entire catalog, talking tales of murder, sinister deeds, punishment, sin, and death. Songs of the Unforgiven is the record die-hard fans have been patiently waiting for, and it's outstanding.".[1] In addition, Darryl Sterdan of the Winnipeg Sun, who also gave the album 4 out of 5 stars, states that the "over swirling pump organs, slowly strummed guitars and molasses-slow grooves, the baritone Roberts sombrely intones psalms of death, darkness and delivery, coming off like a cross between Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Tom Waits and Elmer Gantry. And the brooding neo-classical folk hymns of Songs of the Unforgiven come off as his most sincere, spiritual thoughts to date.".[2]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Theakston, Rob. "Crash Test Dummies: Songs of the Unforgiven > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 29 April 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Sterdan, Darryl. "Crash Test Dummies: Songs of the Unforgiven > Review". Winnipeg Sun. Retrieved 29 April 2010.