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Elora Danan - In the Room Up There Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9
Musicianship 7
Lyrics 8.5
Production 7.5
Creativity 7.5
Lasting Value 9
Reviewer Tilt 8
Final Verdict: 81%
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Inside AP.net

Elora Danan - In the Room Up There

Reviewed by: bolgy99 (07/06/09)
Elora Danan - In the Room Up There
Record Label: Boomtown Records
Release Date: March 6, 2009

After signing to Boomtown Records, Elora Danan promised a new rising talent was to come out of Perth with their 2007 mini-album debut, We All Have Secrets. With the release of In the Room Up There, they don’t disappoint.

Just six seconds into the album, Elora Danan let you know they mean business. A wall of sound floods the speakers when the drums join the guitar and bass in the opener, “Man of Science.” Moments later, vocalist George Green begins the onslaught of ominous, somewhat cryptic lyrics, which become the heart of the album.

“Man of Science” flows seamlessly into “Door, Up, Elevator,” the first single released in advance of the album, though the more radio friendly track is, unfortunately, one of the less impressive tracks in an album full of creative, captivating pieces of heartfelt and intelligent songwriting.

The songs continue to fold into one another, linking themes and emotions throughout the well-constructed album. The complexities that are explored within the lyrics are abundant, sometimes overwhelmingly so, but this only makes the listener want to revisit the album several times more. Many of the emotions are described through use of the elements; the burning of anger in the opening tracks, followed by the flood of helplessness and depression, a defiance as the lyrics try to rise above everything, and an inevitable falling. Elora Danan depicts the common emotions which lead to reason, and the balance between religion and reality.

From “Door, Up, Elevator”, In the Room Up There rises to, in my opinion, the height of the album, though it certainly does not fall away from there. “Live Together, Die Alone” is a seven-minute epic, building on the ideas of “Door, Up, Elevator,” stating that although we know our predecessors made mistakes, we still follow in their footsteps rather than create our own, better future. The ambient guitars mix with the whining voice of Green, who is joined by Scott Mellor on this track, along with backing vocalist and guitarist Isaac Kara. The layered vocals and repetitive, building drums create a feeling of hopelessness and loneliness as the lyrics reach a point of realization. The song drops back to a single guitar, but builds once more, one final pleading, but as the song falls, the screaming suggests failure and resignation.

Green’s vocals are filled with passion throughout the entire album, as are Kara’s, but the album vocals would not be nearly as powerful without the relentless tracks behind them. Each instrument serves to add to the emotion of the album, and without anything standing out as particularly impressive in a technical regard, the composition shows the creativity of the musicians, and a maturity in the writing of the album. Rather than try to impress, the band finds a perfect balance of ambience and decisive drum beats and bass lines , setting them apart from many bands who attempt to make an emotive rock album without settling into simple, three-chord, verse-chorus songwriting.

Broader lyrical themes open up the band’s playing style, and they begin to show some diversity around the halfway mark of the album, keeping the listener entertained. Many songs hit dark, depressing feeling simply by dropping out instruments to leave but one guitar, only for the instruments to come crashing back in together in defiance. The brave venture into an acoustic track (“Ankle Deep”) in the middle of punk influenced rock songs is pulled off with reasonable success, with the abstract vocal styles of both Green and Kara somewhat resembling Anthony Green’s vocals in Circa Survive.

“Ten Bucks Says It’s Metaphor” comes in after the chants die out at the end of “We Could Be More Than This,” and there is a spiteful tinge to the vocals now. It is between these two tracks that it seems most obvious religion comes under scrutiny, yet the ideas of religion are not dismissed completely. It feels as if Green is trying to promote a balance between people’s faith and common sense, suggesting that sometimes we need to be more realistic when it comes to how much we believe and trust in religion. The issue is touched on with some class, an admirable observation without judgement.

After all the commotion, Kara changes tempo with the slow piano introduction to “Motion Without Meaning” with great success. The song displays just how well the band can perform in different styles, and would give hope to future diversity.

The album finishes similar to how its starts, with a beautiful guitar line which would make a few post-rock bands jealous. Intensity builds up through the song, and finishes with the same cryptic lines repeated in the opening track.

With many more listens, maybe I will figure out what it all means. But maybe that’s just the point: to make you listen again. Either way, this album will have you thinking about it, repeating its lyrics over in your head and deriving your own meaning from it. Its individuality gives it a life which will not die soon, and I believe that to be an integral part of a great album.

Recommended If You LikeCirca Survive
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 15
05:43 AM on 07/09/09
#2
piglet
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They've broken up now.
06:14 AM on 07/09/09
#3
bolgy99
Adam
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Yeah I know, just thought I'd write this in honor of what they might have become.
09:26 AM on 07/09/09
#4
piglet
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Shame certain people don't have the heart in it any more.
02:15 PM on 07/09/09
#5
Neogeo3do
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Excellent band...to me this album sounds like a cross between Circa Survive and Jason Gleason era FSF, cool to see a review for this on ap.
06:29 PM on 07/10/09
#6
punklet2101
only you exist
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Glad I got to see them a few times before they brokeup
12:49 AM on 07/11/09
#7
MATTATAK
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they suck and george green is a ******. he gave silversteins new album like a 2/10 in his crappy review column in a local mag. they a million times better than what this band were or could ever become.hacks
09:22 AM on 07/11/09
#8
bolgy99
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Mmm probably have to side with Green there, I don't like the new Silverstein either. I don't think that makes someone a homosexual, assuming thats what you called him.
09:51 AM on 07/11/09
#9
clubsnorlax
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MATTATAK if you put a real version of silversteins latest into a CD drive and onto i tunes you would realize that it falls apart there. To think that a band in this day and age ( who's record label is noted for having released albums onto i tunes) would create a album that cant even be played as one piece without having to create a play list(on i tunes) is ridiculous.
11:11 AM on 07/11/09
piglet
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they suck and george green is a ******. he gave silversteins new album like a 2/10 in his crappy review column in a local mag. they a million times better than what this band were or could ever become.hacks

Cheer up princess.
06:19 PM on 07/11/09
themercurylift
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I wonder if any of the lyrics have references to the Elora Danan books?
I can't find any online unfortunately, would be interested in that.
08:26 PM on 07/11/09
dirtysneakers
Om nom nom
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Tbh, i really dont think this album really is that great
it's a step down from their ep, which i loved.
Too bad it had to end like this.
08:27 PM on 07/11/09
dirtysneakers
Om nom nom
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they suck and george green is a ******. he gave silversteins new album like a 2/10 in his crappy review column in a local mag. they a million times better than what this band were or could ever become.hacks
Everyone's entitled to their own opinion. Just coz he doesn't like an album that you like doesn't make him a ****** (?). He's a nice guy.
09:05 PM on 01/08/10
dancedecdance
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this albums written about lost,the tv show,read the lyrics and watch the show.sinking always sinking is about charlie dying etc.their ep was written about movies.

and george is a really nice dude
12:56 AM on 01/10/10
bolgy99
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this albums written about lost,the tv show,read the lyrics and watch the show.sinking always sinking is about charlie dying etc.their ep was written about movies.

and george is a really nice dude
I've never watched Lost. Damn shame, I'm not about to put myself through watching it, either. But thanks for the info, I wish I knew that when writing the review.
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