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City Never Sleeps, The - Madison Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 9
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 9
Production 8.5
Creativity 9
Lasting Value 8.5
Reviewer Tilt 9
Final Verdict: 89%
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City Never Sleeps, The - Madison

Reviewed by: Steve Alcala (08/12/12)
The City Never Sleeps - Madison
Record Label: Self Released
Release Date: November 9, 2011


Passion is a simple, yet rare element in all music that brings out the best, most memorable moments. You hear it in the way guitarists play, the intensity of each drum hit, the delivery of the every vocal line. Either it’s there, or it’s not. It’s a life force that breathes energy and leaves lasting impression. The City Never Sleeps, appropriately hailing from Albany, embody the lively, passionate energy of the city they’re referring to with their latest effort Madison. They aren’t just a rock band, they aren’t just a poppy act, and they aren’t a jazz group. Hell, I’m not so sure how to define them but believe me when I say they are different, in one of the best ways possible.

“Return To Sender” opens with a vibrant, rolling guitar lick that bounces around your ears. Coupled by the impressively smooth vocals by singer John Glenn, a cheery, addictive ring sounds through your mind, creating a warm, fun imagery, like a montage of New York City in the daylight. They by no means are bound to a full pop rock sound, which is indicated as the jazz infused “Crumble at the Faults” plays out. The serene vocals are highlighted by the softly popping guitar tones provided by guitarists Glenn, Erik Flora, and Kyle Hatch. The song flows magnificently, swinging from each melodic string of notes to the next, blending and culminating when the chorus plays and sticks around. “Over All Over” switches the albums gears, with a darker atmosphere while “Mr. Hide” mellows out with a brighter tune that rides hard on a pulsing bass line, warming the mood again similar to the opening tracks but with a more drawn out vocal direction that works fantastically as a whole.

The following three songs are without a doubt the album’s strongest works, pushing varied but engaging melodies. “Happen Again” reinstates the jazz aspect with a better effect, as additional instrumentation, such as a hearty saxophone, underline the rhythm of the song while contributing to an original and moving melody. This is not mentioning the finger picked guitar that subtly resides behind Glenn’s powerfully emotional voice, even at lower octaves. You’re in for another loop when “All The Effort” begins. Curt Mulick establishes a nice beat that you’d normally hear as an electronic loop under any other circumstances. Glenn’s voice contrasts highly against guest vocalists (Mirk and Weerd Science) as the song transforms into a melodious, rich hip hop track that begs to be listened to again. “The Fall” rolls in with flashy bass tones compliments of bassist Dave Parker. Once again, the song doesn’t act like a dry run through of a song they played earlier in the album, but serves as a pleasant variant, reminding us that The City Never Sleeps are not one trick ponies. Not even close. “Mistakes” draws us out with an acoustic track that hardly is as a narrow as you could imagine acoustic music to be. The bands collective sense of melody is truly impeccable, as the album finally ends.

New York is really known for its busy, bustling, and lively presence, and in that sense The City Never Sleeps is a clear and honest reflection of the name they bear. Though the album is quite short (perhaps one of its only faults) there is plenty that goes on in it. There is not a bit of overshadowing by other members, and there is no portion of this band that’s carried by another, which is certainly an exceptional feat that The City Never Sleep has accomplished. Every member possesses genuine talent and, equipped with remarkable sense of direction and execution, that undeniable fact is adequately reflected. I’m calling it now, The City Never Sleep is going to do big things. With their future bright, here’s to hoping that what they accomplish is as colossal and amazing as the city they hail from.


Sounds LikeI really can't think of sonically similar acts, just do yourself a favor and listen, ok?


The City Never Sleep's WebsitesOfficial YouTube; Offical Facebook
 
Displaying posts 1 - 12 of 12
02:30 PM on 08/14/12
#2
Steve Alcala
"Counting Fish"
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To the band or the fans who have been long expecting a review, I just wanted to apologize for the wait. There has been so much that has gone on as I finished my school year and just tragic things that have happened at a personal level, including the loss of family, and family friends. I accept full responsibility of that, but I hope you enjoy the review. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me :)
10:39 AM on 08/18/12
#3
Archael
listens to good music
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Good band.
11:28 PM on 08/18/12
#4
InExile
AOTY: Broad Shoulders by Dikembe
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Randomly came across the review, digging the first track, this could be some good stuff here.
11:35 PM on 08/18/12
#5
InExile
AOTY: Broad Shoulders by Dikembe
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CD ordered.
08:54 AM on 08/19/12
#6
Steve Alcala
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Good! Glad you're enjoying it!
10:14 AM on 08/19/12
#7
snowboarderkid
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Checked out a few tracks but i just can't get into it even though i want to. I need to come back to this in a week or so. Also they have a bandcamp: http://thecityneversleeps.bandcamp.com/
10:40 AM on 08/19/12
#8
Steve Alcala
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Checked out a few tracks but i just can't get into it even though i want to. I need to come back to this in a week or so. Also they have a bandcamp: http://thecityneversleeps.bandcamp.com/

At first I couldn't cause I wasn't in the mood for bright music but the moment I was, this was perfect for me. I love albums that remain linear but are diverse and this just hit the spot wonderfuly
03:02 PM on 08/19/12
#9
snowboarderkid
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At first I couldn't cause I wasn't in the mood for bright music but the moment I was, this was perfect for me. I love albums that remain linear but are diverse and this just hit the spot wonderfuly
Can you recommend me some other similar artists, not usually into bands like this but i may want to give some others a try
03:11 PM on 08/19/12
Steve Alcala
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Can you recommend me some other similar artists, not usually into bands like this but i may want to give some others a try

I would say try Halos. Look at my older reviews and you'll see that band. They also are indie rock type performers but with diversity. They aren't as bright or bubbly as this and the singer sounds deeper as well.
03:02 PM on 08/20/12
snowboarderkid
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I would say try Halos. Look at my older reviews and you'll see that band. They also are indie rock type performers but with diversity. They aren't as bright or bubbly as this and the singer sounds deeper as well.
Thanks for the recommendation, i will have to check them out!
03:03 PM on 08/20/12
Steve Alcala
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Thanks for the recommendation, i will have to check them out!
No problem. I hope you enjoy!
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