Curse Your Branches is one of the more heartbreaking albums that I’ve heard. David Bazan is known for critiquing the Church in his band Pedro the Lion but for the most part they were just critiques, and always done through character pieces. On Curse Your Branches, Bazan is not only attacking the Church, but the Christian faith in general. Bazan once considered himself a Christian, so it is heartbreaking for me to hear a man who is so bitter towards Christianity.

The first track on the album is titled Hard to Be. Bazan is here attacking the idea of original sin coming from the Garden of Eden and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This is honestly probably my favorite track on the album. It’s incredibly catchy and fun to listen to, I just don’t agree with its message.

In fact, that last sentence sums up my view of the entire album. Other stand out songs include When We Fell (A heartbreaking look at our fallen nature, with a personal note to his mother), Bless This Mess (Bazan praying that those who walk away from Christianity will be blessed), and Please Baby, Please.

This is not a place for me to go against the things that Bazan is saying, but I will say that I disagree with a lot of what he says. So theologically, this is an incredibly unsound album. However, musically, this is an excellent album. All of the songs are well constructed, the lyrics are personal, introspective, honest, and well written. The music is talented and excellent. I really enjoy listening to the album. In fact, there’s not a single song that I have to skip over when listening.

I love this album. It’s hard for me to listen to, it criticizes and attacks a lot of what I believe, and it’s heartbreaking, but something keeps drawing me back. I keep coming back to ask, “Why?” I come back again and again to probe Bazan’s brain to see what it was about Christianity that pushed him away. I pray that Bazan’s bitterness will pass.

Overall Rating: 9/10