That rarest of all North American beaststhe cult band thats also a household namethe Tragically Hip have gotten over twenty five years of mileage from what at first appears to be a fairly pedestrian classic rock-derived approach. Closer inspection, though, reveals that the Hip almost always manage to put a fresh twist on meat-and-potatoes rock, and usually put a twist on the twist with each successive album. A venerated institution in its native Canada, the band doesnt quite command the same popularity in the U.S. as other proud Canadian exports like Rush or, say, Labatt Blue, but its perennial underdog status enhances its other attributes. And, for better or worse, through frontman Gord Downies densely cerebral lyrics, the Hip serve as a continuing reminder that, though we mostly speak the same language, the U.S. and Canada truly do exist in two different worlds. All ages.