It's always interesting to see a band's shift in fan base between albums. I feel too many people compare a new album to a band's previous works, which just can't be done. I look at each album as a new artist on first listen to try and avoid any bias, and this album has a lot of talent and sticks out for me.
The only reason people are bitching is because the lyrics aren't as approachable and sappy as their prior releases, but it's still a great album. It's darker than BSN and has better musicianship imo. Does it top their first two releases? No. But, Circa is still Circa and I commend them on never steering away from their unique sound.
Olg has some pretty outhere lyrics but I get what you're saying. Agreed with ya.
Not sure what all the hate on this thread is about. IMO this is Circa's best album by far. Then again, I've been listening to this nonstop since it leaked a week ago, and it's grown on me considerably.
EDIT: By the way, listen to this album while on a walk during dusk. It really makes a difference - this is a night album.
Listened to it ten times through, here are my thoughts (imo obviously):
The first six songs on this album are just as good as anything Circa's ever put out. The Lottery is for sure one of the best songs Circa's ever written. The chorus gives me goosebumps in a way that only the best Circa songs do. Phantasmagoria is totally awesome in a way I didn't expect - it's as if Circa was the backing band on Beautiful Things instead of Good Old War.
The second half of this album...I am still not so sure about. "Think Of Me When They Sound" does absolutely nothing for me. It has nothing for me to latch onto and has very little going on lyrically for me. A lot of the guitar-driven melodies Circa became known for on Juturna and On Letting Go are kind of mixed towards the back and put on clean reverb'd guitars instead of being the faster paced distorted tones I think a lot of Circa fans are used to (see: Semi-Constructive Criticism).
Bird Songs gets it going back in a good direction - there needed to be another faster song before the end of the album with two hugely slow songs like "Think Of Me When They Sound" and "Brother Song". But the chorus...I can't put my finger on it but it really falls flat for me around the end of the chorus. Which is disappointing to me because I think really sets it up for this awesome, booming chorus that never really comes.
Blood From A Stone is kind of in the same boat as Bird Songs, the heavy chorus I was waiting for comes at the end but it doesn't feel like there's enough meat in the song as a whole.
I'll Find A Way...it's the only "last song" on a Circa album that doesn't make me want to cry and just scream the lyrics at the top of my lungs (Compendium --> Dyed In The Wool were some of the best tracks on Blue Sky Noise), but I find myself liking it. A lot.
The album doesn't have quite as much of Anthony's trademark super metaphor heavy lyrics (see: Juturna/On Letting Go/Translating The Name/Tiger & The Duke) but there's more than enough to make up for a lot of the more one dimensional lyrics that were on BSN.
The album's worth $5 just for The Lottery, let alone the first six tracks. I'll probably buy the vinyl as well.
If anyone from Circa reads this (I know Colin checks the boards from time to time) - don't take any of this personally. You guys are my favorite band and the desk that I'm sitting at is surrounded by Circa and Anthony Green vinyl. Just writing my thoughts.
(Also if anyone decides to read this and wants to know my album bias so they can figure out if this relates to them or not: my favorites in order are On Letting Go > Juturna > Violent Waves >> Blue Sky Noise )
I think this is definitely a great album, probably their best release to date, (although Juturna's still my favorite.) It's pretty much a mix of their live coupled with the best elements from each record. But i think some folks aren't digging this because it's not as accessible as BSN.
Interesting, I found that to be the most emotionally hard-hitting track. Different strokes, I guess.
Yeah I think musically it gets a lot of things right (especially considering Circa rarely writes tracks like that) but for some reason the lyrics and vocal melodies do nothing for me - and for the record that happens very rarely for me with Anthony Green.
I have really mixed feelings about the album. I love the first three songs to death, and I really love Blood From a Stone. Otherwise, it doesn't do a lot for me. As a whole, I think the album is a step back from Blue Sky Noise; on that album, the band did an amazing job at giving every single song its own unique feeling, and on Violent Waves, a lot of the songs -- especially in the middle portion of the album -- tend to drone together. I also really, really miss the awesome solos they had on songs like Get Out and Imaginary Enemy. While there's still a lot of great musicianship here, I don't think there's anything quite as intricate as the best parts of the previous album.
Overall, I think it's an enjoyable album, but it's not my favorite work of theirs.