That's my least favorite song on the album ... definitely don't see that doing anything in the mainstream. I don't think it's supposed to.
Yeah, I was definitely using "mainstream" liberally. Nothing on here is making it to radio. But I love "We Will Wait in the Fog."
|Maybe. But none of the choruses are really all that strong when we start talking about mainstream potential. So, everything gets a little muddy here -- seeing as I don't think any of the songs were even written to be mainstream appeal anyway. I mean, there's no "Island" on here or specific "oh yeah, that's the one that could win them a billion fans."|
I think "Catholic Girls" was the right choice of first single, definitely. And I disagree about the choruses: I think they're almost unanimously strong, as strong as the material the band has had up to this point other than their best songs. Sure, there's no pop single, but that's not really what I look for from them.
|I could without even thinking about it. If I put the entire band's discography on shuffle, and didn't already know where songs lined up, I would be able to tell only by AJ's voice where in the timeline each song should go.|
I mean, to a certain extent that's true, but you could say that about a lot of pop-rock/pop-punk bands who stay in the same wheelhouse. I can tell very definitely by the instrumentation and the songwriting style that about eight of these songs could not have been on War Paint
, and I couldn't see any of them on Reach for the Sun
. Don't really see how you could confuse "Knives" with something like "Surfaced." They're completely different songs with completely different moods.
|Not really ... cut out 90 second guitar clips from each song, and you think they're all that different? I'd have to hear a instrumental version of the album to really be able to tell -- cause any time AJ is singing he dominates the song (that's a compliment). The drums are more of a differentiating factor here compared to "War Paint," however, they're not on RTS's level.|
How are these songs not thick walls of guitar sound? There's just about as much fluctuation as past albums ...
I really don't think the arrangements are that similar. You're confusing what I mean by "wall of guitar sound" with "guitar based." The album is obviously still very reliant on guitars, but I think on a lot of the songs, Kennedy is adding things that Cody and the other guy were not doing on previous albums. There is definitely more rhythmic fluctuation, definitely more effects used on the guitar sound, and I think the result is instrumentation that is more subtle and dynamic and atmospheric than before. I think a lot of the songs on previous albums were built around repeated quarter note strums on two or three chords, and I think Kennedy has cut back on that a lot.
|Meticulous is not the word I would use for any of these arrangements. I mean, we're talking pretty standard arrangements here. Nothing on the level of what The Graduate were doing within this genre.|
Well no, but I think Kennedy adds some of that influence and ambition. I'll be eager to hear a higher quality version so I can focus more on his parts. You're right that AJ dominates the songs.
|I'd agree with that -- the melodies are far weaker on this album, and a lot of them fall into a very similar pattern (which leads to the songs all sort of blending together). A different producer could have helped here to try and get them out of the comfort zone in writing ... cause all of this really comes as the same-old-same-old from the band. Sure, it's good stuff ... but we've got 2 albums and 2 EPs of that ... and it's more of the same. I woulda liked to see if they had anything besides the same one trick. Don't get me wrong, it's a good trick, but I don't think anyone can listen to the album and think it's not more of the same.|
Minus like 2 songs I can't think of a single chorus that sticks out, or that I would have stuck in my head. As I mentioned in my first post, a lot of the "speak the lyrics" stuff is done in the chorus, but there's not even all that of a definite differentiation between verses/chorus/bridge in these songs ... a lot of it bleeds together. However, I'd disagree with your characterization of the last two albums as well -- I think the verses in "War Paint" were stronger than the bridges.
I don't really know what you mean by the "speak the lyrics" thing. I think this band has always been more focused on the words than the music, using the melodies as a means of carrying the lyrics, but I don't think that sticks out in a weird or offensive way on this album any more than it did in the past. And I think the choruses are every bit as obvious as they were on the last record, though they're definitely not as good. For all my disagreements with you about this album, I do think this is their weakest record.
As for War Paint, I think you'd be in the minority on the bridges/choruses matter. I remember the thread for that album from two years back, and it seemed like everyone was pulling out a different bridge as their favorite part of the record. "You're the song I wrote that I will always love" from "Siren," "I need back inside your veins" from "No One's Gonna Need You More," "I'm tired of always being second best" from "Miscommunication," "The war to end all wars" on "Waves," etc. I think there was a definite pattern on that album where AJ was really into the bridges, and this album, because it's missing that, suffers tremendously. I still think it's a great record and it will still probably make my top ten, but it's somewhat disappointing.