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Circa Survive - Blue Sky Noise Album Cover

Circa Survive - Blue Sky Noise

Reviewed by
9.0
Circa Survive - Blue Sky Noise
Record Label: Atlantic
Release Date: April 20, 2010
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
When did you begin to lose interest in the bands you once loved? Was it their sophomore slump, where you lost a passion once felt by their debut's first few spins? Maybe it was the third album, where the band progressed just a little too much for your liking. Then there's always the jump to a major label that cuts ties between die hard fans and their favorite artists. For many of us, we move on to more "creative" projects, graduating with a nose up from the artists we were once "too naive to see past."

Cancel all the old reasons of how we lost touch with those we once loved. No, now we live in a state of nobrow. You and 50 other people didn't see a band open for nobody. In actuality, you and a million others discovered their gripping sounds across a space of on and off switches. Before you call Circa Survive a sell out or a misstep in the wrong direction for their third album, and major label debut, take a good hard listen to Blue Sky Noise.

We haven't heard from the band since 2007's On Letting Go, a bright summer opposite to 2005's winter of Juturna. So, what season does Blue Sky Noise bring us in? Well, a sonic one that combines all the band's timbre, but cuts down to a single blast of every color the band has illuminated to date. Much like the album's first single "Get Out," Circa Survive has figured out how to write traditional rock songs that encompass their signature sound. It's what some fans may shun and what the masses need in a great rock band.

"I Felt Free" grows gradually, almost an early album ballad, and one song that comes closest to a Top 40 single with piano and beautiful harmony from Anthony Green's voice. As the track moves into "Imaginary Enemy," Nick Beard's bass is nasty, countering the slick guitars tones of Colin Frangicetto and Brendon Ekstrom. This is the sound of a band grabbing the flag at the top of the mountain. The quick rhythm of acoustic guitar and Steve Clifford's drumming never pays off in a capsizing frequency of "Fever Dreams," but finds itself to a crescendo breaking point without necessarily boiling over the build - and that's where the band has learned to step back on this release. "Glass Arrows" backs a heated opening sequence of songs that starts with the quick sonic guitar slides and finger tapping of "Strange Terrain."

Then there's the frequencies and sound bytes that lie between the rolling fog of "Spirit of the Stairwell" and the toe-tapping "The Longest Mile," as well as many of the album's tracks. It's little stamps that hold the album together without pushing a newer audience "too far out there." Then there's the instrumental "Compendium" melding into the closing "Dyed in the Wool," a track with gang vocals and growing balladry that ends the album in manipulated noise.

Manipulate is just what Circa Survive will do to their die hard fans and new ones to come. To say that Blue Sky Noise isn't a challenge to get through the first time for what older fans will come to expect, I would be lying. It doesn't help that this installment is also their "major label" debut, so there's that stereotypical backlash. Growth is a hard thing to deal with for some though. Take a few listens to the band's new direction before any quick assessments are made. In time, some of the things that I disliked about the album grew into an understanding of where the band intended to head. There's no putting a nose up to the fact that Clear Channel might have a band worthy of their bullshit airwaves. There's certainly enough passion in Blue Sky Noise to show the masses where rock and roll and great songwriting can meet in a traditional compromise that everyone can enjoy.

Track Listing1. Strange Terrain
2. Get Out*
3. Glass Arrows
4. I Felt Free*
5. Imaginary Enemy
6. Through the Desert Alone
7. Frozen Creek
8. Fever Dreams*
9. Spirit of the Stairwell
10. The Longest Mile
11. Compendium*
12. Dyed in the Wool*

*key tracks


Recommended If You LikeDeftones' White Pony; Mute Math's Mute Math; Poison the Well's Versions
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 255
03:24 AM on 04/20/10
#2
koochieguy
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excellent review...it's going to be the best album of the year :)
03:30 AM on 04/20/10
#3
Thomas Nassiff
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I liked your review, Adam. You did a good job of hitting the important tracks without dragging on. I love "Glass Arrows" but I think "Dyed in the Wool" might be my favorite song on this album. Going to be on my end of the year list for sure, definitely sits in the top ten right now.
03:36 AM on 04/20/10
#4
aradiantsunrise
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Great review. This is definitely a top contender for AOTY thus far.
03:46 AM on 04/20/10
#5
curator
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QuoteSo, what season does Blue Sky Noise bring us in? Well, a sonic one that combines all the band's timbre, but cuts down to a single blast of every color the band has illuminated to date.



This, and the awesome cover art, makes me hungry to check this album out. Great review.
03:49 AM on 04/20/10
#6
Akissforher
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never been a huge circa fan. but i will definately give this a go
04:11 AM on 04/20/10
#7
Jaimehere
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great review, great grammar! xD
04:15 AM on 04/20/10
#8
thekazeblade
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Love this album. I was nervous when I first heard get out, I felt it was getting away from the sound Circa has developed. However, hearing it in context with the rest of the album, I realized that the band has taken their music to an entirely new level. I love Glass Arrows, Frozen Creek and The Longest Mile; for me these tracks are the epitome of Circa Survive.
04:22 AM on 04/20/10
#9
Romancebled
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This is an excellent review. Such a strong and beautiful album. It's easily my favorite release from Circa Survive. Definitely going on my top 10 of the year list.
04:30 AM on 04/20/10
Chris Fallon
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Fact: This is the first Circa Survive album I really enjoy. "Glass Arrows" is just, like, wow. Fantastic job on this Adam.
04:34 AM on 04/20/10
Adam Pfleider
wait. what were we talking about?
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Fact: This is the first Circa Survive album I really enjoy. "Glass Arrows" is just, like, wow. Fantastic job on this Adam.
thanks! I was really worried people wouldn't get my angle on this one. I love this album more with each listen. I came at this as a long time fan, and again, I'd be lying if I wasn't offset at first, but I am now in love with this record, finding something new each time.
04:37 AM on 04/20/10
Thomas Nassiff
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thanks! I was really worried people wouldn't get my angle on this one. I love this album more with each listen. I came at this as a long time fan, and again, I'd be lying if I wasn't offset at first, but I am now in love with this record, finding something new each time.
That's definitely the angle the review shows. The way you start and finish the review, it's kind of like you showed your own progression of liking the record as you listened to it more and more.
04:38 AM on 04/20/10
Adam Pfleider
wait. what were we talking about?
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That's definitely the angle the review shows. The way you start and finish the review, it's kind of like you showed your own progression of liking the record as you listened to it more and more.
exactly...that's why I listed Versions as my RIYL...I went through the EXACT same motions...
05:23 AM on 04/20/10
the seventeenth
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Great review, talked about everything I wanted to hear.
I will be picking this up as soon as possible.
05:23 AM on 04/20/10
symbiote28
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Fact: This is the first Circa Survive album I really enjoy. "Glass Arrows" is just, like, wow. Fantastic job on this Adam.
this is the first album i enjoyed too. all the previous releases, i only got into a handful of songs but there's something different about this one.

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