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Amber Pacific - Virtues Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7.5
Musicianship 7.5
Lyrics 5.5
Production 8
Creativity 6.5
Lasting Value 6.5
Reviewer Tilt 6
Final Verdict: 68%
Member Ratings
Vocals 5.19
Musicianship 6.25
Lyrics 4.72
Production 6.44
Creativity 4.47
Lasting Value 4.17
Reviewer Tilt 5.83
Average: 53%
Inside AP.net

Amber Pacific - Virtues

Reviewed by: Thomas Nassiff (04/13/10)
Amber Pacific - Virtues
Release Date: April 13, 2010
Record Label: Victory Records


The color beige. Your school cafeteria's eggs. American History Before 1877. Burger King's chicken fries. These things aren't bad, they're just bland. They're boring. They aren't anything to get overly excited for. But if all the other colors are taken, you're up at 8 AM, you're a Journalism major, or you live two minutes away from a 24-hour Burger King, you'll find yourself experiencing all of those things. Let's add one more to the list: Amber Pacific's latest effort, Virtues. You're not going to frantically scroll down to it every time you open iTunes, but if it comes up on shuffle, it's not bad enough to warrant the extra effort of leaving the internet to go click next.

In typical pop-rock fashion, Virtues leads off with an upbeat track that gets you jumping in your living room on your first listen. "An Anthem for the Young At Heart" is the first eligible warm-weather pop rock song of 2010, sure to be included on no less than 157 summer mixes that bros make for their girlfriends. The promise of the first song leads to disappointment with the rest of the record. While I wasn't expecting a Shakespearian output from Amber Pacific's new frontman, Jesse Cottam, the first line on "The Girl Who Destroys" brought around one of the most heartfelt facepalms in my career. "She'll make it rain / On what's supposed to be a sunny day / I'm gonna pay / For all my stupidest mistakes." Stupidest? Really? It's debatable whether I would have enjoyed that in seventh grade. We experience an ill-advised attempt at an epic-sounding, reverb-infused jam with "Shine". It's reminiscent of "Take Me from This Place" on Amber Pacific's previous output, Truth in Sincerity, but not executed as well. While it isn't a bad song, it's not a good song. It's toast with no grape jelly.....why do I just want bread? "What Matters Most" may confuse older fans of the band, as it is constructed identically to "Summer (In B)". Once again, the band can't even copy themselves correctly.

This entire review isn't just going to keep bashing individual songs. There is one consistent thing about the record: the lyrics. Have a younger sister who just learned about similes and metaphors? The references to burning bridges and backhandedly clever allusions drawn throughout Virtues will delight her. You may think that I'm bitter, but in comparing this album to its peers in 2010 and even to the band's previous releases, Virtues drowns. What happened to the (good) hook-laden melodies we heard on Truth In Sincerity? Where are the sharp, blistering guitar harmonics that made songs like "Temporary" pogo-worthy? Virtues is less aggressive, less catchy, and less honest than its predecessor. Cottom's voice isn't bad - the guy has a great set of pipes - but he'd sound better in a poppier outfit. The musicianship on the well-produced Virtues, while leaving plenty to be desired, isn't the album's downfall. Amber Pacific's sound never changes as each track train wrecks into the ones around it.

Virtues is the definition of a band playing it safe. Lineup changes can be tough, but from what I've gathered, the band are happy with their revamped roster. They just have to transfer it back into the studio. Songs like "The Best Mistake" and "Burdens of the Past" come across as nothing less than filler, as it took focus to get through the entire album multiple times. The piano-led closing track, "Forever", caps off an output that is only half as good as it could have been. While Virtues might entertain fans of the poppier side of pop-punk for a couple weeks, it's not the first summer soundtrack that we're waiting for and that we know Amber Pacific can write.

Recommended If You Likepop rock, Mayday Parade, We the Kings, looking both ways before you cross the street
Download These First"Anthem for the Young At Heart", "Three Words"
Bare Essentials1. An Anthem for the Young At Heart
2. The Girl Who Destroys
3. Three Words
4. Shine
5. What Matters Most
6. Conviction
7. The Good Life
8. The Best Mistake
9. We Can't Fix This
10. Burdens of the Past
11. Something to Be Said
12. Forever
Produced By: Martin Feveyear, Run Time: 42 minutes, 40 seconds
myspace.com/amberpacific
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Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 102.
11:37 PM on 04/13/10
#2
birtcho
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Didnt take you too long to get this one up haha. Looking forward to checking this out
11:38 PM on 04/13/10
#3
Chris Fallon
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First paragraph is right on the money.

Amber Pacific has always been one of those bands that make me go, "Oh." Nothing special, somewhat halfway decent, never spectacular. I listened to this just to see if I'd like it and even with a new singer, it hits me the exact same way as their previous records.

Kind of nice, but forgettable. Great job, T-bone.
11:38 PM on 04/13/10
#4
chcougar1
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I found myself liking this album more than I thought I would. Looks like I give it about a 76% based on the album rater. I'd say that is pretty fair. I actually really liked Shine and Forever, but I'm a sucker for cheesy pop music.

Good effort AP:)
11:40 PM on 04/13/10
#5
vivatoto56
Nice Try, The Devil
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Very well written review. I'd probably agree with you, but I couldn't finish it.
11:41 PM on 04/13/10
#6
aradiantsunrise
i'm not as dumb as i am
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Good review man. This band is always hit or miss. Definitely a miss this time around.
11:45 PM on 04/13/10
#7
aradiantsunrise
i'm not as dumb as i am
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First paragraph is right on the money.

Amber Pacific has always been one of those bands that make me go, "Oh." Nothing special, somewhat halfway decent, never spectacular. I listened to this just to see if I'd like it and even with a new singer, it hits me the exact same way as their previous records.

Kind of nice, but forgettable. Great job, T-bone.
The new singer's voice is very...weird. I just can't really take him seriously for some reason.
11:51 PM on 04/13/10
#8
Chris Fallon
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The new singer's voice is very...weird. I just can't really take him seriously for some reason.
Yeah, same here. Partly his vocals, which seem forced, and his lyrics really do suck. The band should feel a little embarrassed to be singing this kind of stuff. They're practically my age!
11:54 PM on 04/13/10
#9
billyboatkid
The Protagonist of Loneliness
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I found myself liking this album more than I thought I would. Looks like I give it about a 76% based on the album rater. I'd say that is pretty fair. I actually really liked Shine and Forever, but I'm a sucker for cheesy pop music.

Good effort AP:)
Shine is probably the only song I like on the album..
12:07 AM on 04/14/10
aradiantsunrise
i'm not as dumb as i am
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Yeah, same here. Partly his vocals, which seem forced, and his lyrics really do suck. The band should feel a little embarrassed to be singing this kind of stuff. They're practically my age!
I kind of wish they would have just split up after Young left. Oh well. Rufio does it way better anyway. I have high hopes for their new record.
12:10 AM on 04/14/10
Gin
What'd those animals say to ya?
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Yes, the lyrics are very weak :/
"While Virtues might entertain fans of the poppier side of pop-punk for a couple weeks..."
That' s absolutely me. I really enjoy some of the tracks, but I often switch to My Dinosaur Life and Enemy Of The World after the first 4-5 tracks.
12:13 AM on 04/14/10
Rustash
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Well...I'm disappointed. Possibility and the Promise and Truth in Sincerity were really solid albums to me, i don't think there was a single on either record that i didn't like. It's a shame, i thought these guys had some real potential...
12:29 AM on 04/14/10
HometownHero
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Do not want
12:35 AM on 04/14/10
Chris Fallon
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I kind of wish they would have just split up after Young left. Oh well. Rufio does it way better anyway. I have high hopes for their new record.
Same here. Love me some Rufio. The EP sounded great!
12:49 AM on 04/14/10
Thomas Nassiff
resuscitation of the year
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First paragraph is right on the money.

Amber Pacific has always been one of those bands that make me go, "Oh." Nothing special, somewhat halfway decent, never spectacular. I listened to this just to see if I'd like it and even with a new singer, it hits me the exact same way as their previous records.

Kind of nice, but forgettable. Great job, T-bone.
I really liked the last album but this is way worse. Oddly enough, no one's ever called me T-bone. Back in the myspace days when everyone had clever alliterations it was Too Tall Thomas, I'm 6'9" haha.
The new singer's voice is very...weird. I just can't really take him seriously for some reason.
Same here. I couldn't really put a finger on it when I was playing around with the words. I just settled on taking it out on the lyrics.
Yeah, same here. Partly his vocals, which seem forced, and his lyrics really do suck. The band should feel a little embarrassed to be singing this kind of stuff. They're practically my age!
That's what I was thinking the whole time....like this is their third album and they're digressing.
Well...I'm disappointed. Possibility and the Promise and Truth in Sincerity were really solid albums to me, i don't think there was a single on either record that i didn't like. It's a shame, i thought these guys had some real potential...
First two albums were money. I guess Matt's voice was that important to them.
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