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For the record I love Neon Bible. It's no Funeral and it is definitely a somewhat inconsistent effort but the strengths of it completely overpower thse few songs I've never gotten into. Their new album is a pretty significant step down from Neon Bible and obviously a ginormous step down from Funeral. I have only heard it once and some of these songs may come to life for me whereas some of them may dwindle on repeated listens. But for now, here are my initial reactions.

I had heard 4 songs before the leak happened. Of those, 3 of them are 3 of the best songs on here. "The Suburbs" is the opener and it might be the best song on here. Classic Arcade Fire without feeling redundant or unoriginal. "Ready to Start" is like a mediocre Coldplay song. "Modern Man" and "Rococo" seem to have very little to offer. "Rococo" in particular gets off to a nice start and then it just falls into a repetition that should not have happened. Then we get into the section of the album that actually feels like a chore to get through (I am being kind by saying this does not start with "Ready to Start" because it basically starts there). "Empty Room" is ok and I liked the parts of it that reminded me of ABBA. "City with No Children" is pretty bad; like a really bad Coldplay song. "Half Light I" and "Half Light Part II" are mediocre as well. "Month of May" is solid. "Wasted Hours" is the worst song here and possibly their worst song yet. Then we get to the good stuff. "Deep Blue" and "We Used to Wait" are both really fantastic. "Sprawl I" and "Sprawl II" are really good as well with the latter sounding exactly like a Blondie song. It gets a little old by the end but I still really liked it. "Surburban War" was really good. Ths short closer worked for me as well. Overall my first reaction is that its middle section makes this really hard to call good. A lot of the middle sounds like them phoning it in and not going to the places they could have gone. After the first song, it takes 7 songs to get to a track that is actually REALLY good. Like the level of quality I expect from them. The last third really does pick up significantly.

This second listen is better than the first so far. Maybe this is an indication of me growing to really love it. But I'm not sure. From them I expect a lot, the fans generally expect way too much from this band, me included. So my expectations are higher and thus am dissapointed. This is by no means a bad album; from what I can tell there is just too much mediocrity or mere good songs and not enough that rises up to the quality they set out for themselves. There is absolutely nothing on it that pushes them forward as a band. At all. And they are slacking in what they have become good at. Maybe not slacking but slipping in the quality of what they produce. Opinions change a ton based on multiple listens to this is not a solidified opinion by any means; just an initial reaction.

Hope to listen at least 5 times before the concert on Sunday.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
sometimesalways
Jul. 28th, 2010 12:05 am (UTC)
and you're anonymous flame in a personal journal. oh so original, that. get a life or at the very least, a username.
cinemageek
Jul. 28th, 2010 01:03 am (UTC)
omg that guy/girl was hilarious. seriously? you are commenting anonymously? you have nothing better to do? plus; never said it was a review! they are my 'initial reactions'!!!! i am allowed to be as wishy-washy as I damn well please. would they rather I make grand statements about the album based off of a first listen? I think that is more offensive than simply saying that my opinions are subject to change. yes I went about saying it in a redundant way but I didn't even read this over before posting. sue me! ugh. my journal needs to be friends only.
sometimesalways
Jul. 28th, 2010 12:02 am (UTC)
listening to the album right now. OMG I'm having a tough time just getting THROUGH Wasted Hours! Nevertheless, beyond pumped for Sunday!!! um, is it bad though that i'm actually more excited for bad movie fest? ;D
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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