Album Review
Conditions - Fluorescent Youth Album Cover

Conditions - Fluorescent Youth

Reviewed by
ConditionsFluorescent Youth
Record Label: Good Fight
Release Date: September 14, 2010
On Fluorescent Youth, Conditions sound like a baby’s first Saosin, rocking a brighter, thinner version of the popular scene rock sonic. Sometimes, their songwriting falls through, like in “…Made Ghosts,” where they rhyme “too late” with, well, “too late” in a chorus that desperately begs for more creative lyrics. There are also a couple of occasions where it seems like they’re just discovering guitar distortion for the first time – ie. the opening seconds of “Natural Competition” come across as excessively cheesy. It’s not necessarily something you’d want to be caught listening to if you’re not 13 or under.

Yet Conditions find a potent saving grace in a factor their niche of music is desperately craving: positivity. From beginning to end, Fluorescent Youth is designed to invigorate the generation with a new mentality, one that steers clear of the selfish “you failed me, I hate you” motifs of the emo movement. “When you fall, when you break, when you wish you didn’t feel, keep your head, don’t forget it’s the pain that keeps us real,” wails Brandon Roundtree in “Better Life.” How many bands of similar ilk can you find pushing a moral like that? Zero, I’m willing to bet.

“When It Won’t Save You,” likely the album’s crowning achievement, battles destructive consumerism mentalities: “Cars won’t save, cash won’t transcend the grave,” it says before declaring, “I call everyone I know the only things of value I could ever own.” “Make Them Remember” asks “how will you make them remember your name, when everyone here seems exactly the same?” somewhat ironically considering the generic chorus it’s sung over, but “Miss America” proves that it’s ultimately the message that matters, snarling at shallow conceptions of beauty and love with scathing conviction.

If Conditions can inspire a revolution of positivity in the upcoming wave of bands, their presence will be wholly worth it. Fluorescent Youth is filled to the brim with ideas penned by people who have their heads in the right place, and if it can get mainstream attention, the implications for such a hope would be huge. Thus, for the sake of a more optimistic tomorrow, I hope to God Conditions is here to stay – whether I appreciate their songwriting or not.

Recommended If You Likea positive Saosin, a positive Secret and Whisper, Ivoryline
Track listing1. The End of Progression
2. Better Life
3. Natural Competition
4. When It Won't Save You
5. Make Them Remember
6. Keeping Pace With Planes
7. ...Made Ghosts
8. Comfort Far Away
9. Miss America
10. The Color 21
11. Illuminati
This review is a user submitted review from Matthew Tsai. You can see all of Matthew Tsai's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 81
12:30 AM on 10/04/10
Burnette Drive
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simplejack's Avatar
maybe because I'm fan of generic-but-catchy choruses Better Life, Make Them Remember and Made Ghosts are my favorites. I agree with you on the lyrics, positive and straightforward. I think this is what Saosin should've sounded like.
12:51 AM on 10/04/10
Registered User
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cereal4life's Avatar
I do enjoy all of the RIYL bands so it's safe to say that I'd probably enjoy this, too. I actually laughed when you wrote that they used the same word twice to in a rhyme. What a faux pas. Is the production really that bad? 5.5 is pretty low.
01:48 AM on 10/04/10
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No Avatar Selected
"Better Life" is the only track from Conditions that I really enjoyed.
01:50 AM on 10/04/10
henry chinaski
Regular Member
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henry chinaski's Avatar
yeah what's wrong with the production? :) haven't heard such a catchy rock album in a long time.
03:40 AM on 10/04/10
Prince of Denmark
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Hamlet's Avatar
"Make Them Remember" and "Better Life" are my new anthems.

Special mention goes to the vocals. Combined with the lyrical message and vocal harmonies, they absolutely soar.

I would have appreciated a song or two of new material for a debut album though, especially for the closing of the album. With "The Color 21" being an interlude, you're only getting 9 full new tracks if you're already a fan. And while "Illuminati" is one of their best songs and deserves to be there, a brand new epic album closer would have been dynamite.

Also, nothing wrong with the production. It sounds like this kind of music should.
04:02 AM on 10/04/10
glory glory
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IamTheINDUSTRY's Avatar
Poor review for an outstanding album. I'm much older than 13. And this album is 10x better than anything saosin has released since TTN, or any of the other riyl bands. Review says almost nothing about the record. Whatever, give this one a chance if you enjoy rock n roll that's uplifting. One of the best of it's genre this year for sure.
04:56 AM on 10/04/10
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alilbravetoaste's Avatar
I enjoy this record a lot more when they're not being compared to Saosin.
04:57 AM on 10/04/10
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ThisIsNotDan's Avatar
kinda odd to bring up the negatives so early in the review, but good review nonetheless Matt this album came outta left field for me, I fucking love it
05:16 AM on 10/04/10
Accept the pain, always forgive.
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ZachCTC's Avatar
this album is fantastic. the production is kind of meh at some points, but when the songwriting is as good as it is and you can HEAR the passion through the music, who gives a shit about production?
05:18 AM on 10/04/10
Ryan Gardner
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Ryan Gardner's Avatar
Good review. I love this record.
05:20 AM on 10/04/10
Fine, I tried
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saveferris's Avatar
I would have liked to see the vocals get a higher grade. I do agree about the lyrics though. They've always been great.
05:29 AM on 10/04/10
The World Is Yours
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3eb23's Avatar
maybe because I'm fan of generic-but-catchy choruses Better Life, Make Them Remember and Made Ghosts are my favorites. I agree with you on the lyrics, positive and straightforward. I think this is what Saosin should've sounded like.

Make Them Remember, Better Life and When It Won't Save You are my favorites. big chorus+great lyrics=awesome
05:36 AM on 10/04/10
these pretzels are makin me thirst
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tottivillarossi's Avatar
I didn't really care for the review. You can clearly write well, but it just doesn't seem like you've put an awful amount of effort into it. And it's bit all over the place, saying this record is for 13 year olds?
06:09 AM on 10/04/10
Of A Machines
Regular Member
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No Avatar Selected
made ghosts and miss america are 2 of the greatest songs iv ever heard, this album deserves a much greater review, thats trash

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