Downward Is Heavenward

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Downward Is Heavenward
A photograph of leaves tinted blue with the word "HUM" written in gold and "DOWNWARD IS HEAVENWARD" below that in white. The cover has a large UPC code across it and a simulation of a sticker attached to it.
Studio album by Hum
Released January 27, 1998 (1998-01-27)
Recorded 1997, Pogo Studio, Champaign
Genre Post-hardcore, space rock, shoegazing, alternative metal
Length 52:04
Language English
Label RCA
Producer Mark Rubel, Hum
Hum chronology
You'd Prefer an Astronaut
Downward Is Heavenward
Singles from Downward Is Heavenward
  1. "Comin' Home"
    Released: 1998
  2. "Green to Me"
    Released: 1998
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
The A.V. Club A−[2]
Pitchfork Media 8.3/10[3] 4.5/5 stars[4]
Ultimate Guitar Archive 9/10[5]

Downward Is Heavenward is the fourth and thus far final studio album by the Champaign, Illinois post-hardcore band Hum. It was released on January 27, 1998 by RCA Records.


Despite selling fewer copies than its predecessor You'd Prefer an Astronaut, the album was critically acclaimed. Brent DiCrescenzo from Pitchfork Media praised the abrasive but graceful nature of the album, writing, "A listen to Downward Is Heavenward actually scrubs off a layer of skin, yet Hum still manage to infuse grace and control into their skyward swirl."[3] Ned Ragget from Allmusic wrote, "Having scored their fluke hit with 'Stars', Hum hunkered down and created a follow-up album that went nowhere, leading to the band's splintering. An unfortunate result all around, because, arguably, Downward Is Heavenward isn't merely the group's best album, but a lost classic of '90s rock, period."[1] In 1999, Pitchfork Media placed the album at #81 on their top 100 albums of the 1990s.[6]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Isle of the Cheetah" – 6:37
  2. "Comin' Home" – 2:45
  3. "If You Are to Bloom" – 5:10
  4. "Ms. Lazarus" – 3:37
  5. "Afternoon with the Axolotls" – 6:26
  6. "Green to Me" – 3:55
  7. "Dreamboat" – 6:06
  8. "The Inuit Promise" – 6:06
  9. "Apollo" – 5:46
  10. "The Scientists" – 5:26
Bonus single (Received by fans who pre-ordered the album)
  1. "Puppets" – 4:11
  2. "Aphids" – 6:08



  1. ^ a b Ragget, Ned. "Downward is Heavenward — Hum". Allmusic. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  2. ^ Thompson, Stephen (29 March 2002). "Hum: Downward Is Heavenward". Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b DiCrescenzo, Brent (01 February 01 1998). "Hum: Downward Is Heavenward". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 6 March 2007. Retrieved 4 October 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ Williams, Mark (28 April 2001). "Hum - Downward Is Heavenward". Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Downward Is Heavenward Review". 22 March 2010. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "Pitchfork's Top 100". Archived from the original on March 2000. Retrieved 4 October 2011.