Album Review
Armor for Sleep - Smile for Them Album Cover

Armor for Sleep - Smile for Them

Reviewed by
Armor For SleepSmile For Them
Release Date: October 30, 2007
Record Label: Sire
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Not going to lie, it was kind of strange listening to a new Armor For Sleep record and not hearing vocalist/guitarist Ben Jorgensen sing about sleeping, dreaming, or dying. Instead of writing another concept album, Jorgensen penned lyrics about a culture that’s dependant and obsessed with celebrity news and reality television, among other social commentaries, for the band’s major label debut, Smile For Them.

When the band first began the writing and recording process for Smile, they moved out to Los Angeles with a pre-arranged producer, courtesy of Sire. Unhappy with the results, the band packed up and restarted the process in their hometown and brought back Machine, who brilliantly produced their 2005 record, What To Do When You Are Dead. The end product is twelve tracks that seamlessly flow between post-hardcore and pop, resulting in what may be Armor For Sleep’s most rockin’ record to date.

The opening track, “Smile For The Camera,” wastes no time setting the vibe, as Jorgensen and fellow guitarist PJ DeCicco rip through the intro along side Nash Breen’s furious work on the kit. “Williamsburg,” the first single, is full of catchy guitar riffs as Jorgensen sings about how he despises hipsters and that “this city was blueprint for hell.” “Hold The Door” sounds like it could have been a track from Dead, with dark electronics pacing the verses while the chorus hits hard, thanks to the sharp strikes from Breen. The tempo picks up with “Run Right Back In,” an emphatic track with a huge chorus, making it one of the best tracks on Smile.

A bleak look at the apocalypse is portrayed on “End Of The World,” as Jorgensen and DiCicco’s guitars needle in and out. AFS turn it down a few notches on “Lullaby,” a beautifully put together track that is perfectly placed in the album, as it breaks up any monotony from occurring. Underneath the huge guitars on “Chemicals” is the subtly placed moog synth, which is a nice touch. “Stand In The Spotlight” closes the album with dreamy key notes and an infectious guitar melody. It doesn’t have the same power that “The End Of A Fraud” possessed, but it still ends Smile with some optimism, something previous AFS albums failed to do.

In what will prove to be Armor For Sleep’s transitional album, it’ll be very interesting to see how well this album translate over to the mainstream. While the album doesn’t have a surefire hit a la “Sugar, We’re Going Down,” it does have a number of solid tracks that could do well, such as “Williamsburg” and “Lullaby.” Fans, such as this reviewer, will be split on this, for while the music and production on this album is superb, many will miss the lyrics and concepts that graced the first two albums, as Smile For Them is very hit or miss lyrically. But, in the end, Armor For Sleep have released a very solid album, especially for a major label debut. And while, at times, the album seems be stuck in an identity crisis, the pristine production and intensity of each track keeps this album from falling through the cracks.

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. Smile For The Camera – 3:34
2. Williamsburg – 3:42
3. Somebody Else’s Arms – 4:22
4. Hold The Door – 5:34
5. Run Right Back In – 3:22
6. Snow Globe – 1:48
7. End Of The World – 4:10
8. Stars In Your Eyes – 4:02
9. Lullaby – 4:09
10. Chemicals – 4:22
11. My Saving Grace – 4:19
12. Stand In The Spotlight – 4:05
Produced by: Machine

Armor For Sleep are:
Ben Jorgensen – vocals/guitar
PJ DiCicco – guitar
Anthony Dilonno – bass
Nash Breen – drums

Official Website; Official Myspace

Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 65
12:23 PM on 11/02/07
World Champs
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drudo182's Avatar
Good review.

My favorite track is "Somebody's Else's Arms".

Chemicals and Run Right Back In are my other two favs. I think it's a pretty solid effort. Not as good as the first two, but yeah, a good direction. Next album should be hottt.
12:23 PM on 11/02/07
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TKTKrob's Avatar
Did anybody else feel like this album was completely "under-hyped". I'm an Armor fan and I had no idea this was coming out.
12:28 PM on 11/02/07
World Champs
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drudo182's Avatar
I knew it was coming back for a long time. It was supposed to come out October 9, then got bumped back. Been waiting awhile for it.

Pretty much worth the wait.
12:38 PM on 11/02/07
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xsinkshipsx's Avatar
solid is the word. for this review and this album. armor's new cd is very good...its got some classic AFS with a few curveballs like with "someone else's arms" but they are curves that ceratinly didn't miss the mark....good review
12:38 PM on 11/02/07
Scott Weber
Live Like a Legend
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Scott Weber's Avatar
Their worst album, but a few songs are really great. As a whole though, I find it pretty dull.
12:39 PM on 11/02/07
Registered User
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very under hyped.
12:54 PM on 11/02/07
I am no king.
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brentkid's Avatar
I think I'm the only person that doesn't find Williamsburg catchy at all.
12:58 PM on 11/02/07
bippity boppity
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Praetor's Avatar
Their worst album, but a few songs are really great. As a whole though, I find it pretty dull.
This is how I feel as well.
01:02 PM on 11/02/07
mr chainsaw
lets all go to the magician's b-day
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mr chainsaw's Avatar
Their worst album, but a few songs are really great. As a whole though, I find it pretty dull.

I feel like this band has written the same album 3 times in a row. The first time was great. The second was okay, but I got deja vu. And and I can't find this new one appealing at all.
01:04 PM on 11/02/07
I feel so L.M.N.O.P.
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josh8282's Avatar
This is how I feel as well.
Me too. I did like "My Saving Grace" though.
01:06 PM on 11/02/07
Down and almost out
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vandalroyale's Avatar
It hasn't hit me the way Dead did, but with each new listen I am enjoying it more and more
01:09 PM on 11/02/07
Scott Weber
Live Like a Legend
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Scott Weber's Avatar
I just feel like every AFS album is going to kind of sound the same because of Ben. Musically, this album is pretty different than their previous ones, but his voice and style is just so damn distinctive that it makes it all sound somewhat the same, no matter what else is going on. It's not a knock on Ben, it's just something I've noticed.
01:12 PM on 11/02/07
through being cool
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screamoutmyname's Avatar
Their worst album, but a few songs are really great. As a whole though, I find it pretty dull.

i agree... it just doesn't seem like armor for sleep...
01:39 PM on 11/02/07
our names are x and n
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airik625's Avatar
Good review. I have been meaning to check this out.

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