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Introduce Yerself

Introduce Yerself is the sixth solo album by Canadian singer and songwriter Gord Downie, released posthumously on October 27, 2017, ten days after his death.[1] A double album consisting of 23 songs which Downie has described as each being about specific people in his life,[2] it was the last solo album Downie completed,[3] although his brothers Patrick and Mike have since confirmed that additional unreleased material may still be released in the future.[4]

Introduce Yerself
Gord Downie – Introduce Yerself.png
Studio album by Gord Downie
ReleasedOctober 27, 2017
LabelArts & Crafts Productions
ProducerKevin Drew
Gord Downie chronology
Secret Path
(2016)
Introduce Yerself
(2017)

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Downie and producer Kevin Drew began work on the album in early 2016, after Downie received his diagnosis with glioblastoma but before it was publicized.[3] Due to Downie's health status, and the uncertainty around how much time he would have to complete the album, most songs were included as first takes; 17 songs were recorded over the 2016 sessions, but then the project was placed on hold as Downie and his band The Tragically Hip undertook the Man Machine Poem Tour, and the release and promotion of Secret Path.[3] In 2017, Drew and Downie reconvened to record 10 additional songs Downie had written during the intervening time.[3]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Rolling Stone     [5]
Pitchfork          [6]
Spill Magazine     [7]
Exclaim          [8]
Toronto Star     [9]
Toronto Sun     [10]

Brad Wheeler of The Globe and Mail wrote that the album is much more direct and personal than Downie's typically oblique songwriting with The Tragically Hip.[11] He ultimately concluded that "[b]ecause it was completed in Mr. Downie's final months, Introduce Yerself will be compared to the leave-taking LPs of David Bowie (Blackstar) and Leonard Cohen (You Want It Darker). But where Mr. Bowie flashed a cape and disappeared with a dramatic flourish and Mr. Cohen offered something of a prayer, Mr. Downie's kind-hearted sentimentality compares more closely with the folksy manner of Neil Young's Prairie Wind, recorded after the singer-songwriter's near-death experience in 2005."[11]

For Exclaim!, Calum Slingerland compared the album's instrumentation to Downie's previous album Secret Path, and concluded that "Introduce Yerself finds Downie fully, completely and unequivocally himself."[12] The publication ranked the album #10 on their list of the Top 20 Pop & Rock Albums of 2017.[13]

Ben Rayner of the Toronto Star wrote that the album "cannot be divorced from the tragic circumstances of its creation, nor is it really intended to be." He noted as well that "Although he’s by turns as cryptic and wryly humourous as ever, Downie has never opened himself up this much on record before, actually naming names on tunes like "Nancy," "Ricky Please" and "My First Girlfriend" but otherwise peopling the songs on Introduce Yerself with so much specific detail that the recipients of that love will recognize themselves in the music when they hear it."[14]

AwardsEdit

At the Juno Awards of 2018, the album won the Juno Award for Adult Alternative Album of the Year, Downie and Drew won Songwriter of the Year for "A Natural", "Introduce Yerself" and "The North",[15] and Downie won the Artist of the Year. In a tribute to Downie at the Juno Awards ceremony, Sarah Harmer, Dallas Green and Kevin Hearn performed a medley of the album's title track with the Tragically Hip song "Bobcaygeon".

Track listingEdit

All tracks written by Gord Downie

No.TitleLength
1."First Person"3:10
2."Wolf’s Home"3:14
3."Bedtime"3:38
4."Introduce Yerself"2:44
5."Coco Chanel No. 5"3:32
6."Ricky Please"2:34
7."Safe Is Dead"3:52
8."Spoon"2:39
9."A Natural"3:47
10."Faith Faith"3:01
11."My First Girlfriend"4:19
12."Yer Ashore"1:30
13."Love Over Money"2:41
14."You, Me and the B’s"2:46
15."Snowflake"4:09
16."A Better End"4:06
17."Nancy"2:25
18."Thinking About Us"2:08
19."The Road"3:04
20."You Are the Bird"2:48
21."The Lake"3:09
22."Far Away and Blurred"4:38
23."The North"3:48

ChartsEdit

Chart (2017) Peak
position
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[16] 1

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Gord Downie to release new solo album Introduce Yerself". CBC News, September 27, 2017.
  2. ^ "Gord Downie to release new solo album ’Introduce Yerself’". Toronto Sun, September 27, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d "Gord Downie, a Canadian Rock Legend, Sings Goodbye". The New York Times, October 18, 2017.
  4. ^ "Gord Downie's brothers say more projects are coming from the singer". Victoria Times-Colonist, March 24, 2018.
  5. ^ Hermes, Will. "Review: Gord Downie, Tragically Hip Singer, Bids Tender Farewell on Final LP". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  6. ^ Marsh, Calum (November 17, 2017). "Gord Downie Introduce Yerself". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  7. ^ Bossy, Gabrielle. "SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: GORD DOWNIE – INTRODUCE YERSELF". Spill Magazine. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  8. ^ Slingerland, Calum (October 23, 2017). "Gord Downie Introduce Yerself". Exclaim. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  9. ^ Rayner, Ben (October 27, 2017). "Gord Downie's final album Introduce Yerself will haunt you: review". Toronto Star. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  10. ^ Sterdan, Darryl (October 24, 2017). "Review: Gord Downie's Introduce Yerself a beautiful parting gift from a Canadian music icon". Toronto Sun. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Gord Downie’s final album Introduce Yerself is an altruistic farewell". The Globe and Mail, October 24, 2017.
  12. ^ "Gord Downie: Introduce Yerself". Exclaim!, October 23, 2017.
  13. ^ "Exclaim!'s Top 20 Pop & Rock Albums, 10 to 1". Exclaim!, November 29, 2017.
  14. ^ "Gord Downie's final album Introduce Yerself will haunt you: review". Toronto Star, October 27, 2017.
  15. ^ "Early Junos Go to Gord Downie, Grimes, Alvvays and More". Exclaim!, March 24, 2018.
  16. ^ "Downie, The Hip, Kelly Clarkson Hot On The Albums Chart This Week". FYIMusicNews. November 5, 2017. Retrieved November 6, 2017.