Did you know that Canada has a Walk of Fame? It does. Located in Toronto, it includes but a slim 123 members added since its establishment in 1998. Among those with a star along the enshrined path are such expected names as Wayne Gretzky, Neil Young, and Jim Carrey. But in 2002, Kingston, Ontario’s Tragically Hip joined ranks of such esteemed inductees—though the distinction does little to represent how important the band has been north of the border over the past two decades. While failing to find the same level of success in the U.S., Gordon Downie and Co. rarely perform anything but arena shows in Canada (think a U2-sized affair without the drag of actually having to see U2), though the band’s humble demeanor and earthly sound might not suggest such rock-star status. The band’s 11th and most recent studio album, We Are the Same, was produced by Bob Rock (Metallica) and was released this past spring.
[This critics’ pick was originally published by City Pages.]