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Aqueduct - Or Give Me Death Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 8.5
Lyrics 9.25
Production 8.5
Creativity 7.75
Lasting Value 7.5
Reviewer Tilt 8.75
Final Verdict: 84%
Member Ratings
Vocals 7.75
Musicianship 8.25
Lyrics 7.75
Production 8.5
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 9.25
Reviewer Tilt 4.63
Average: 76%

Aqueduct - Or Give Me Death

Reviewed by: Blake Solomon (03/01/07)
Released- February 20, 2007
Label- Barsuk Records


David Terry, the creator and mastermind behind Aqueduct, was born and raised in Oklahoma. Sure, I could make clichéd jokes about Indian Casinos and dust storms (the state’s greatest export), but that would be too easy. A musical scene known for country music, Terry decided to go a different route with his brand of synth and piano pop. Doing what any good musician does from Oklahoma, he moved.

Now in a more “accepting” climate (Seattle), Terry hooked up with indie juggernauts Barsuk and has been releasing quality albums with or without the help of his friends ever since. Or Give Me Death features more electric guitar than previous releases and has some of the most honest lyrics you will hear this year. Terry has a knack for connecting with audiences that other artists (or album reviewers) will never attain.

The album opens with one of the strongest tracks, “Lying In The Bed I’ve Made”. The verses are simple drum and piano sections with Terry’s scratchy tenor dominating. The chorus is so catchy I can’t listen without making noise (my Economics class hates me now). Gang vocals backup Terry for pure pop delight. Terry does most of the samples and electronics, and they really shine on songs like rock oriented “Living A Lie”, the nostalgic “Broken Records” and the slow, infectious piano ballad (of sorts) “Keep It Together".

The second part of Or Give Me Death is much slower and moodier (save for “Split The Difference”). “Zero The Controls” opens with annoying beeping buttons and a hip-hop drumbeat. The song is a bit more experimental than others on the album and has slow, deep vocals. Bands always seem to do this with great albums. If a formula isn't broke, stop trying to fix it. We don’t ask our plumber to repair the stove, why ask Aqueduct to make anything other than orchestral pop? However, ironically titled closer “With Friends Like These” ends the release on a high note. The electronics wave in and out as if someone had a seizure at the controls, yet they work well. Lyrics like “You are a bad, bad liar. Don’t you think the truth would serve you better? Did you think I wouldn’t see right through you?” show just how in-your-face Terry can be.

Even with some minor slip-ups, Or Give Me Death is still a great album. Smart pop laced with beats, fantastic lyrics and occasional strings or trumpets will always make me happier than your parents on the day you moved out. Is Aqueduct the next Barsuk band to blow up? 100 dollars on black says yes.



Recommend If You Like: Guillemots, The Beach Boys, tabloids, songbirds, The Pixies
 
Displaying posts 1 - 8 of 8
07:59 PM on 03/03/07
#2
elvis2x
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Hardcore Days And Softcore Nights is a good song.
08:53 AM on 03/04/07
#3
english_pat
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A great well written review. I like Aqueduct and this new record is solid.
But i disagree with your speculation on them blowing up... if a song on a prime time teen drama didnt break them i doubt this sophomore effort will.
01:44 PM on 03/04/07
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kbauer
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I was going to review this if no one did by the end of this weekend. Not a bad review though, good job.

This CD is different from Aqueducts past work, its a lot more contemporary, less dance, less synth, a little less passion and angst so if youre an Aqueduct fan you might not like it at first like me but after I gave it a couple chances, it grows on me every time I listen to it and now Im addicted to it, like I was with I Sold Gold.

Aqueduct is one of those really good bands that will sniff comercial success but never reach it in my opinion, espcially with his large hairy appearence lol, but I think you would see him on VH1 before the radio or Mtv or another episode of Grays Anatomy which I dont watch but my gf does and appearently that show revels in indie music.
08:08 PM on 03/05/07
#5
Blake Solomon
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A great well written review. I like Aqueduct and this new record is solid.
But i disagree with your speculation on them blowing up... if a song on a prime time teen drama didnt break them i doubt this sophomore effort will.


i think they were on Greys Anatomy? Anyways, if anything that keeps Aqueduct from blowing up its Terry's burly appearance.
08:11 PM on 03/05/07
#6
Blake Solomon
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I was going to review this if no one did by the end of this weekend. Not a bad review though, good job.

This CD is different from Aqueducts past work, its a lot more contemporary, less dance, less synth, a little less passion and angst so if youre an Aqueduct fan you might not like it at first like me but after I gave it a couple chances, it grows on me every time I listen to it and now Im addicted to it, like I was with I Sold Gold.

Aqueduct is one of those really good bands that will sniff comercial success but never reach it in my opinion, espcially with his large hairy appearence lol, but I think you would see him on VH1 before the radio or Mtv or another episode of Grays Anatomy which I dont watch but my gf does and appearently that show revels in indie music.

ha, you beat me with all of my comments. I should have read ahead. Kudos on the kind words, dude.
10:17 PM on 03/05/07
#7
kbauer
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ha, you beat me with all of my comments. I should have read ahead. Kudos on the kind words, dude.

No problem, Im a fan of anyone who is a fan of Aqueduct.
06:46 AM on 03/06/07
#8
english_pat
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i think they were on Greys Anatomy? Anyways, if anything that keeps Aqueduct from blowing up its Terry's burly appearance.

I was referring to the OC.
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