is where Kingston, Ontario's Tragically Hip
finally come to the apex of their talent. Lead singer Gord Downie
sounds crisp and full of life, and the songs he verbally dramatizes are rich in lyrical sharpness and instrumental color. With more than half of this album's songs being released to Canadian radio, it established the Hip
as a mainstream contender and rescued them from their bar band persona. Songs like "Courage" and "At the Hundredth Meridian" glimmer with Downie
's poetic finesse while basking in the dimmed glow of background guitar. "Fifty-Mission Cap" is centered around their interest of hockey nostalgia, and "Locked in the Trunk of a Car" simmers with an R.E.M.
-type brusqueness that hovers in mystery. The astuteness of "Wheat Kings" comes off as one of their best slow songs, once again elevated from Gord Downie
's peculiar unequivocalness. Letting Downie
glide into each song with his complex philosophical idioms was a step in the right direction, a feat that was almost mastered on 1991's Road Apples
, but fell just inches short. The Tragically Hip
prove on Fully Completely
that their level of maturity and musical craftsmanship have finally come to fruition.