I only read one review of this album before I heard it, and let me just say that it was dripping with praise. Not like ‘this is great, I totally relate to that song about him breaking up with his girlfriend,’ more like: ‘I am going to get this CD permanently imbedded in my skin.’ I thought they were full of crap. While their statement might be a bit premature and far-reaching, it was (to an extent) true. This album is amazing, and (in time) will be an equal with albums like How It Feels To Be Something On by Sunny Day Real Estate. This album is a champion for the over-loaded and heavily burdened emo genre. In fact it’s so good that it probably shouldn’t even be called emo.
Most of the songs are tragic in nature and focus around hospitals, death or compassion; making the album difficult to listen to at times, but still stunning because of Aaron Marsh’s remarkable vocals. Marsh isn’t the only one that stands out; every member stands out, but not because of extravagant solos. Every piece complements each other and makes something greater than the sum of its parts.
The hospital theme also runs into the album art, which just completes the package. The jacket is a mixture of pictures from Tampa’s General Hospital and line drawings printed on vellum paper. The packaging is very impressive, and something that you might expect to see from a much larger label.
This album is probably one of the top 5 albums that I have heard this year. You need to buy Beneath Medicine Tree.