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xsinkshipsx 11/12/08 04:10 PM

Anberlin - New Surrender
 
Anberlin - New Surrender
Record Label: Universal Republic
Release Date: September 30, 2008


I am here to speak for everyone who loved Cities, the album in which, I believe, Anberlin found their sound. The driving arena-emo that had choruses that touched the clouds and guitars that felt like they were breaking down brick walls. The first two Anberlin albums (Blueprints for the Black Market and Never Take Friendship Personal), were back and forth musical battles between pop/punk hits, like “A Day Late” that sounded like they belonged on top 40 radio, and driving, passionate guitar rock that ultimately became their signature sound. But with Cities, finally the dust settled and what emerged was one of my favorite albums of the genre. Then I found out that shortly after the release of that album, Anberlin had taken the step from indie powerhouse, Tooth and Nail, to the big leagues of Universal Republic. This, in my opinion, played a significant role in the making of their new album, New Surrender, the album that is their most ambitious effort to date.

The album (almost) begins right where it left off on Cities with “The Resistance.” The gang vocals in the chorus allow it to reach about as far as Never Take Friendship Personal. The album continues on with a couple of mediocre Anberlin tracks that would easily find a place on that same record.

The album then takes a turn for the worse with “Retrace”. This song easily sounds like it could be on a soft rock/adult contemporary radio station in 10 years. It is one of the softest, most radio-friendly tracks Anberlin has ever written. The bridge almost brings it back to normal Anberlin status, but this seems like a battle the major label won. Next comes the first single (and re-recorded version of) “Feel Good Drag.” The biggest difference between this and the original is the production. The guitars take over this take to make it sound larger than life. But it does not over-shadow what follows with “Disappear.” This song sounds like you just got in a time machine and to took you back to Cities, and as a result it is my favorite song on the record. But once you have come back to reality, you realize why you are in love with the past.

The second half of the record starts out solid. The song “Burn Out Brighter (Northern Lights)” is a good old fashioned Anberlin pop song. On this record, ‘Anberlin pop’ can be hit or miss. This one song, though, is a bull’s eye. But after that track, the album lacks what we all love from Anberlin, driving, alternative rock. Instead it is replaced by feel good, top 40 pop/rock (“Younglife”, “Haight Street”) or sluggish, boring anthems (“Soft Skeletons”). The last song, “Miserabile Visu (Ex Malo Bonum)," tries to be an epic closer, but like most of New Surrender, it falls flat on its face.

I was expecting so much more out of this record. I am not going to call Anberlin “sellouts”, because I feel like they still know how to write incredible songs (“The Resistance”, “Disappear”). Unfortunately, despite 'The Resistance' Anberlin might have put up, it seems like the Universal Republic won this war.

Recommended if You LikeAnberlin's Never Take Friendship Personal; Cartel's Cartel; Acceptance's Black Lines to Battlefields

myspace.com/anberlin

topher465 11/23/08 02:04 PM

Biggest disappointment of 2008

PunkDrums182 11/23/08 02:14 PM

Huge let down. I personally think Never Take Friendship Personal is their best album.

aealeman 11/23/08 02:33 PM

This wasn't a very well written review, but I do agree this album was disappointing.

megan0507 11/23/08 02:34 PM

At first I didn't like the album at all because it just did not seem like Anberlin but now dare I say it...its my favorite Anberlin album

tommy's ghost 11/23/08 02:45 PM

egh, it was pretty decent. nothing special.

evan324 11/23/08 02:49 PM

new surrender is a spectacular album.. they've matured their sound a lot from blueprints for the blackmarket. i've been an anberlin fan since blueprints came out in 2003 and I have yet to be let down by any of their music, new surrender has some stand out songs like all other cd's but the whole cd as a whole is a great piece of work.

Ryzenfall 11/23/08 02:50 PM

Seeing them play this album live made it a lot better for me. I still love this band, but it's nothing like Cities.

derian2219 11/23/08 02:52 PM

soft skeletons being one of the worst songs. Give me a break.

GuitarR0cker1 11/23/08 03:08 PM

I enjoy New Surrender but it is nothing spectacular. It is just a nice pop rock album but compared to Cities or NFTP it is pretty bad.

batmannj 11/23/08 03:12 PM

the thing is you have to take some time and listen to this record a few times through. you cannot expect cities part 2 because that is not what anberlin does. every album takes some time to get into and they are all different. was cities their defining record? for sure, but that doesnt mean that all their material has to sound just like it.

and see them live. they do not dissappoint.

Bi11 Lumburgh 11/23/08 03:14 PM

I don't care what anyone says, Misearbile Visu is a fucking sweet song, as are most other songs on this album

batmannj 11/23/08 03:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bi11 Lumburgh (Post 27671482)
I don't care what anyone says, Misearbile Visu is a fucking sweet song, as are most other songs on this album


this.

evan324 11/23/08 03:22 PM

does anyone even listen to blueprints cause everyone compares cities and NTFP.. gotta give blueprints some love, cause that cd is by far the best in my opinion.. maybe cause i have so many memories tied to the songs in it.

derian2219 11/23/08 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by evan324 (Post 27672002)
does anyone even listen to blueprints cause everyone compares cities and NTFP.. gotta give blueprints some love, cause that cd is by far the best in my opinion.. maybe cause i have so many memories tied to the songs in it.


YES. Naive Orleans is probably one of my favorite songs till this very date.