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Receiving End of Sirens, The - The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8
Musicianship 8.5
Lyrics 8.75
Production 8.5
Creativity 9.25
Lasting Value 8.25
Reviewer Tilt 8
Final Verdict: 85%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.84
Musicianship 9.14
Lyrics 9.1
Production 8.83
Creativity 8.9
Lasting Value 8.76
Reviewer Tilt 9.18
Average: 90%
Inside AP.net

Receiving End of Sirens, The - The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi

Reviewed by: Steve Henderson (08/06/07)
The Receiving End of Sirens - The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi
Release Date: August 7, 2007
Record Label: Triple Crown Records


It is no small order to tackle a concept album based on Johannes Kepler's theory of Earth's tonal orbit, centering around the themes of misery and famine. And surely, this is not a process that becomes any easier when your band loses one of it's prime creative forces in Casey Crescenzo, who has since gone on to do great things with his Dear Hunter project. So really, it is quite understandable that listeners are rather apprehensive as they first approach The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi, the second studio album from The Receiving End of Sirens. With all factors considered, it sounded like the boys might have bitten off more than they could chew - especially when they were playing with a roster that Crescenzo disciples would (recklessly) consider "crippled." Nevertheless, the band hit the studio with Matt Squire to take a swing at the expectations laid out before them, and have met them in stride.

It is absolutely essential to highlight that if you come into The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi expecting Between the Heart and the Synapse Part II, you are going to be sorely disappointed by the differences between the works. This is not to say that fans of the first will not like the second, at all. But rather, if "Planning a Prison Break" was a barometer for the BTHATS, "Swallow People Whole" is an equally appropriate water mark for TESMFM. The new record's commencement shows off what we should expect from this revamped TREOS - a more subdued approach that is calmer and more melodic, yet still tactfully affecting. All of the energy is channeled strategically, in a way that lends both the song and the album to a pair of massive crescendos that are really quite operatic and epic.

From there, The Earth is quite consistent, yet there are still variances between the songs that deserve to be analyzed. For those looking the bridge the gap from Between, then they shall look no further than "Smoke and Mirrors," "Saturnus," or "Stay Small." These tracks all offer up the blazing guitar riffs, passionate hooks, and overall driving pulse of the TREOS we have all come to know and love. Besides these, there is still quite a bit to be enjoyed, but on a different set of levels. Whether it be progressive guitar chunks ("Oubliette (Disappear)"), narrative lyrics ("The Salesman, The Husband, The Lover"), surprisingly skilled beats/sequencing and gorgeous harmonies ("A Realization of the Ear"), The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi is a very full, a very rich, and a very complex record. And everything comes to a head on the album's final chapter, "Pale Blue Dot" which is quite simply a perfect closer. It is the type of slice that makes you swell up with pride and emotion, and makes you want to play the record over again just so you can get to that point once again. Stunning, for sure.

When I first came to hear how TREOS would sound in Round 2, I was incredibly nervous, and naturally so. The tracks released on their own were solid enough, but they were without the standalone punch that is inherently expected from a post-hardcore band such as this. But when you hear these songs within the context of the album and its corresponding story, it all sort of clicks. With a little background, you are able to understand the band's vision and see it realized. The Receiving End of Sirens have given us a very ambitious album indeed. And for someone that has been sorely disappointed with what Matt Squire has churned out lately, I was quite pleasantly surprised to hear what he has done here. The production is clean, but not overdone, and layered without being overly cluttered or fake. The mixing could be better, as the percussion and bass can get lost in the sea of guitars and vocals, but it could certainly be worse. All in all, the sound of the record does its reach justice, and in total, The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi excels brilliantly to deliver on the promises made by the potential of its sculptors. For those with an open mind, this record comes highly recommended.


Recommended if you like: Codeseven, Circa Survive, Emery, Antenna-era Cave In, new Thrice, You In Series, Funeral for a Friend
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 184
10:42 PM on 08/06/07
#2
Blake Solomon
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great review steve. I think I haven't given this a fair chance yet. Time to do that now.
10:56 PM on 08/06/07
#3
12:46AM
is a brain in a vat
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i'm still undecided about this album as well. it's hard when you like their previous release so much. it's natural to want a part two, but progression is needed too.
01:37 AM on 08/07/07
#4
Julia Conny
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I haven't heard the album yet, but I was just discussing with a friend how we'd like to hear it. From what you've so aptly described, it sounds like, as a whole, it's a winner.
03:24 AM on 08/07/07
#6
Steve Henderson
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You make this sound like it would be a good listen, but having seen them live I know they blow whole heaps of recycled generic shit. Just another crappy guitar band playing fake post hardcore for little kids who haven't heard of Glassjaw.
Huh? They sound nothing at all like Glassjaw.
05:05 AM on 08/07/07
#8
Praetor
as we melt, let's make no noise.
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Ballin' review. I need to give this album another chance.
05:11 AM on 08/07/07
#9
Steve Henderson
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I never said they did. My reference was for the post hardcore genre as a whole.
I still do not see your point. If you say they are recycled bullshit, then certainly you can name a slew of bands they imitate instead of speaking in generalizations?
05:16 AM on 08/07/07
yoyoninjagirl
Nobody's Nothing
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nice review. This album is better than I expected it to be.
05:59 AM on 08/07/07
PigDestroyer
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Quote:
And surely, this is not a process that becomes any easier when your band loses one of it's prime creative forces in Casey Crescenzo, who has since gone on to do great things with his Dear Hunter project. So really, it is quite understandable that listeners are rather apprehensive as they first approach The Earth Sings Mi Fa Mi,

hmm...not sure if I'd generalize that everyone is going to be apprehensive about this album just because casey left. I sure wasn't. I liked both dear hunter albums and have seen them live, but in my opinion it isn't even half as good as TREOS. Plus, wasn't there another lineup change besides that? (I thought I remember hearing about one, but who knows)

Overall though, really good review. This is def not an album you can just throw on and get right away, its going to take some repeated listens, and I think you described that perfectly. Agree with your score as well. Just out of curiousity, how much do you see your opinion changing on the album after some more time with it?
06:04 AM on 08/07/07
Chancetobe
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I have tried so hard to like this album, but so far the only track that has caught my interest has been "Smoke and Mirrors". The rest of the album seems to blend into one large, not bad, but boring track.
06:08 AM on 08/07/07
Steve Henderson
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hmm...not sure if I'd generalize that everyone is going to be apprehensive about this album just because casey left. I sure wasn't. I liked both dear hunter albums and have seen them live, but in my opinion it isn't even half as good as TREOS. Plus, wasn't there another lineup change besides that? (I thought I remember hearing about one, but who knows)

Overall though, really good review. This is def not an album you can just throw on and get right away, its going to take some repeated listens, and I think you described that perfectly. Agree with your score as well. Just out of curiousity, how much do you see your opinion changing on the album after some more time with it?
I think that anytime a band undergoes a lineup change people are going to be apprehensive about seeing how they rebound. Even if people do not like Casey/TDH, there is no denying how creative he is, so I think it is fair to be worried that TREOS might have lost something when he left.

As for how my perception of the album will change over time, I think it will be different than BTHATS - I started to appreciate the soft, more ambient tunes on that as time went on, but I still play it here and there - a lot for the lyrics and arrangements. I think this will be the same, but perhaps with a little more staying power.
06:36 AM on 08/07/07
DeGausseR187
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you can tell that this album was HIGHLY influenced by Circa Survive.
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