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Sophomore Slump? -- Bone Palace Ballet Do you think ' Chiodos Bone Palace Ballet is a sophomore slump or comeback of the year? We've pitted two staff members against each other to debate its merits on whether it will live on as a worthy successor or fall into the dreaded sophomore slump category. Read the justification for each in the replies and feel free to post your own thoughts. #chiodos #bone palace ballet #sophomore slump
10:00 AM on 06/24/10
ProCraig Owens has always had a flair for the theatrics. His (former) band, the Michigan-based Chiodos, blew open the doors with their aggressive debut, All’s Well That Ends Well. A wonderful debut indeed, as Owens croon-turn-scream fit in perfectly with the huge breakdowns and melodic undertones. But Owens is never satisfied, as he always wants things to be bigger, grander, and louder. And that’s exactly what Bone Palace Ballet is. From the haunting whispers that begin “Is It Progression If A Cannibal Uses A Fork?” to the chilling growls that end “The Undertaker’s Thirst For Revenge Is Unquenchable (The Final Battle),” this sophomore effort is the natural progression from All’s Well, only this time the screams, riffs, and breakdowns hit harder.
The variety present in Bone Palace is what sets it apart from the debut. “Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money, Pigs Get Slaughtered” has Owens’ voice teasing listeners along until he absolute destroys it in the bridge. The band shows versatility transitioning from the grotesque waltz of “Lexington (Joey Pea-Pot With A Monkey Face)” to the urgent “Letter From Janelle.” Owens also displays his balladry skills with the reflective “Intensity In Ten Cities.” But Chiodos has always made the big bucks with their heavy sound, and they did not disappoint here. “Teeth The Size Of Piano Keys” hits even harder than “One Day Women Will Become Monsters,” while “If I Cut My Hair, Hawaii Will Sink” features a membrane-shattering breakdown.
Lastly Owens was the heart and soul of Chiodos and this record. His vocals are dynamic throughout. The back and forth between his tenor and his bellowing screams is fantastic, as the production on Bone Palace really lets his voice soar and own each song. All’s Well That Ends Well was a wonderful introduction to the skill set of Chiodos, but Bone Palace Ballet is the band’s exclamation point, as they pull out all the stops in showcasing all their talents. For a scene stuck in redundancy, Chiodos’ second album was a breath of fresh air. So not only did this album debut in the Billboard 200’s Top 5 with 35k sold in its first week, it will always stand as Chiodos’ finest musical effort. ConI remember my first listen of All's Well That Ends Well. I remember thinking that combining falsetto and grotesque aggression was going to be the next great thing. As I sit listening to that album a few years later, I sort of cringe at its appeal and naive nature, but there's a passion in the music that I remember having a great appeal to me.
With the band's follow-up, Bone Palace Ballet, I was disappointed by a few things. First off, to my timely recognition, Ballet acted like the final crack in the dam for what was to come. While the band wore less eyeliner than most nowadays, they certainly laid out the the new formula of keys, screams and sings for a RIYL section that constantly looks too damn familiar with monthly releases by "the next big thing that sounds like brand x."
With that off my chest, the album seems a bit more flat than its predecessor. As much as the music and mood tries to sweep me up with songs like "Bulls Make Money, Bears Make Money, Pigs Get Slaughtered" and "If I Cut My Hair, Hawaii Will Sink," nothing crescendos to the senses like "One Day Women Will All Become Monsters" or "The Words 'Best Friend' Become Redefined" had the ability to do upon the first landing on the ears.
It would be harsh to say that Chiodos "calmed it down" on their follow-up with songs like "We Swam From Albatross, The Day We Lost Kailey Cost" or "Smitten For the Mitten." Those tracks just come too little too late for an album that steps up production, but looses a tad bit of passion in the mix. Palace sounds like a band more worried about the master than the feel of the recording.
Bone Palace Ballet is certainly what the album's title projects itself to be: well produced theatrics with good lines just expressed a bit too cheap for this listener. It's like seeing a pretty good movie with a good storyline and awful acting. Chiodos tried a bit too hard on this one. It makes me wish that some bands would stay forever young.
10:06 AM on 06/24/10
personally think that bone palace ballet was an extreme progression from 'all's well ends well'.... musically, lyrically and vocally.
10:06 AM on 06/24/10
What A Bunch of Fools We Lovers Are
10:08 AM on 06/24/10
I'm torn, because in my opinion it wasn't until the re-release that this album really hit home for me. The re-release made it more cohesive and it definitely flowed a hell of a lot better...which rarely happens with a reissue. If you are just considering the original release..I say sophomore slump.
10:09 AM on 06/24/10
Bold Tag Palace Ballet.
P.S. This album sucks. I only liked this band when I heard All's Well and thought it was parody. I was so saddened to learn that was not the case.
10:10 AM on 06/24/10
i agree. the 2nd album lacked the spark that the first one had... then again i was 17 when i first heard tracks from alls well. i wouldn't like it now at 23.
10:13 AM on 06/24/10
But im probably biased because of the keyboards.
10:14 AM on 06/24/10
Not a slump to me, but honestly I'm not sure which Chiodos album I like better. I like most of what they've done though.
10:18 AM on 06/24/10
My friend introduced me to Chiodos when Bone Palace Ballet came out. I think the slump will be the next record because fans are still tore up over the new singer.
10:19 AM on 06/24/10
chiodos entire career is a slump
10:20 AM on 06/24/10
I Don't Care If You're Contagious
10:21 AM on 06/24/10
definitely not a slump. this was one of my favorite albums for a while. I've always been a pretty big owens fan, and the theatrics on this album are killer. def comeback.