Silverstein - Arrivals and Departures
Release Date: July 3, 2007
Record Label: Victory
Oh Silverstein, you are such a guilty pleasure!
In their latest release since 2005’s Discovering the Waterfront, Silverstein stick pretty close to the same ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ idiom that has allowed millions of off-key Americans to pursue their wildest (and generally ridiculous) aspirations on American Idol year after nightmarish year. However, what if the product is flawed in the first place?
Again, let me stress that I adore Silverstein. We’ve all got those bands that we listen to with the windows rolled down and the volume cranked up as we cruise around town. But I’m generally a lyrics guy and, my apologies folks, but these lyrics are definitely ‘broke.’ Of course, I’ve never heard anyone make any claims as to vocalist Shane Told’s lyrical prowess (with good reason). But it can’t be ignored that with lyrics such as “Touch your lips to my soul/Eat this sorrow away,” these words could use some work.
However, Arrivals and Departures offers many of the same positive assets featured on Discovering the Waterfront. Told still has the uncanny ability to switch back and forth seamlessly between singing and screaming, as proven by the band’s dynamic live performances. They’ve also maintained the degree of track diversity that was essentially absent on their early releases. “Sound of the Sun” and “If You Could See Into My Soul” rock with the typical Silverstein ferocity that stole my heart several years ago while tracks such as “Worlds Apart” and “Vanity and Greed” have me singing my lungs out and thinking ‘hell yeah, I can relate to these guys.’ Musically, the thrashing guitars and pulsing drums are more than enough to get your head moving. “The Sand Will Turn to Glass” was a pleasant surprise, in terms of both music and melody, and is definitely one of the album’s standout tracks. And if you don’t mind waiting 37 minutes, you’ll be well rewarded by the final song “True Romance.” This is the kind of tune I had always hoped Silverstein was capable of writing, and this time around they didn’t disappoint. It’s temperamental, passionate, and really shakes up the band’s formula with quality storytelling and excellent changes of mood. Even the lyrics are better than usual as Told promises “I may not be perfect/ But I’ll always try.”
Arrivals and Departures is Silverstein being Silverstein -- powerful rock that isn’t quite hardcore, head-nodding rhythms, and lukewarm lyrics. Many props go to Mark Trombino’s efficient and not overly-stifling production – the same guy who engineered hits with Blink-182 and Jimmy Eat World has managed to present Silverstein as aggressive yet accessible to radio audiences. Hopefully his work will encourage people to pick up Arrivals and Departures for its simple, quasi-hardcore rock and they’ll be as pleased as I was with the album’s hidden gems.
I dont see how the lyrics were that dreadful...Do all lyrics have to be filled with metaphors? Cant they be straight forward and address the subject of the song outright? After all, many classic punk songs do. I see Silversteins lyrics to be very relatable and easy to listen to. I feel that it allows the listener to suspend their imagination and see the storyline or the video in their mind.