Man Machine Poem

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Man Machine Poem
Man Machine Poem.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 17, 2016
RecordedBathouse Recording Studio, Kingston, Ontario
GenreRock
Length41:25
LabelUniversal Music Canada
ProducerKevin Drew, Dave Hamelin
The Tragically Hip chronology
Now for Plan A
(2012)
Man Machine Poem
(2016)
Singles from Man Machine Poem
  1. "In a World Possessed by the Human Mind"
  2. "What Blue"

Man Machine Poem is the thirteenth album by Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip, and the last album to be released before the death of lead singer Gord Downie, as well as their last to be composed of new material. It was released on June 17, 2016 on Universal Music Canada.[1] Produced by Kevin Drew and Dave Hamelin,[1] the album is named after a track which appeared on the band's previous album Now for Plan A.

The album's first single, "In a World Possessed by the Human Mind", was released in April.[1]

Prior to the album's release, the band announced that Gord Downie was diagnosed with brain cancer in December 2015[2] and that the band would tour Canada in summer 2016 to support the album.[2] The band and critics have cautioned, however, against interpreting the album in light of Downie's health, as it was written and recorded before his diagnosis.[3] Although some media coverage has referred to it as the band's final album, the band reportedly worked on some new studio material after its release, and also have more than one album's worth of previously unreleased material that could be issued in the future as rarities compilations.[4]

Background[edit]

The album had been slated for release in March 2016 under the title Dougie Stardust, as a play on David Bowie's classic album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars; it had even begun appearing on music retail sites as a pre-order under that title.[5] The band delayed the album's release after Downie suffered his second cancer-related seizure in February, and opted to retitle it in light of Bowie's death in January.[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Writing in Exclaim!, Stuart Henderson described the album as "a darkly illuminated, late-career curveball likely to please and confound in equal measure. Rarely since their mid-1990s heyday has the multi-platinum-selling band sounded so intent on crafting something different."[6] In the Edmonton Journal, Fish Griwkowsky described the album as "a deep-felt, summer highway album that briefly escapes the weight of the doom we all share — not alone, but together in the dark".[7]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Exclaim!8/10[6]

The album garnered a longlist nomination for the 2017 Polaris Music Prize,[8] and won the Juno Award for Rock Album of the Year at the Juno Awards of 2017.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip.

No.TitleLength
1."Man"5:17
2."In a World Possessed by the Human Mind"3:56
3."What Blue"2:46
4."In Sarnia"4:38
5."Here, in the Dark"4:03
6."Great Soul"3:44
7."Tired as Fuck"3:45
8."Hot Mic"3:55
9."Ocean Next"3:56
10."Machine"5:29
Total length:41:25

Charts[edit]

Chart (2016) Peak
position
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[9] 1
US Billboard 200[10] 178

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Tragically Hip drop first tune from 'Man Machine Poem'". The Buffalo News, April 9, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Courage, my word: Tragically Hip's Gord Downie reveals terminal brain cancer diagnosis". CBC Music. May 24, 2016. Archived from the original on March 1, 2016. Retrieved May 24, 2016.
  3. ^ "The Tragically Hip's 'Man Machine Poem' a final piece of dependable rock". Toronto Sun, June 12, 2016.
  4. ^ Cowie, Del (2016-10-14). "5 things we learned from Gord Downie's interview with Peter Mansbridge". CBC Music. Retrieved 2016-11-22.
  5. ^ a b Michael Barclay, The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip. ECW Press, 2018. ISBN 9781770414365. p. 321-324.
  6. ^ a b Henderson, Stuart (June 15, 2016). "The Tragically Hip - Man Machine Poem". Exclaim!. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
  7. ^ "Twilight Tragically Hip album Man Machine Poem innovative, beautiful". Edmonton Journal, June 13, 2016.
  8. ^ "Gord Downie, Tragically Hip both make cut as Polaris Prize long list revealed". Toronto Star, June 13, 2017.
  9. ^ "The Tragically Hip Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 28, 2016.
  10. ^ "The Tragically Hip Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 28, 2016.