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.
| Maybe "Anchor." I don't know.|
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."
|And I couldn't see "Miles Apart" (or most of the songs on this record, for that matter) on any of their earlier albums.|
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.
|The guitar work is completely different throughout most of the record. |
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.
|War Paint especially was built around these thick walls of guitar sound that didn't really fluctuate that much.|
How are these songs not thick walls of guitar sound? There's just about as much fluctuation as past albums ...
| I think the musical arrangements are a lot more nuanced and meticulous this time around, and I think "Miles Apart" is sort of the epitome of that. |
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.
|The guitar parts are way more rhythmic and effects-laden, and I think the songs sound bigger and more arena-oriented as a result. |
I would think this could also be described as "a thick wall of sound" -- just like their previous work.
|It's obviously cut from a similar cloth as far as songwriting is concerned, but I think the new guys definitely make an impression on the band's sound that wasn't there in the past.|
I dunno, not hearing that at all. Songs run together, the instrumentals themselves (minus the drums) are hard to pull out.
|And AJ really isn't writing melodies the same way either. |
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.
|Reach for the Sun was more meandering in its songwriting style. The verses really seemed like stream-of-consciousness writing, meant more to deliver the emotive lyrics than to really stand alone as melodies. And on War Paint, he toned down on that a bit and really focused on bridges instead. I think all my favorite moments of that album are the bridge sections. That's where he put his most emotional lyrics. This time around, the songs have been tightened and honed in a way that I think they lean on the choruses more than anything else. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing will depend on the listener, but I definitely think the writing was streamlined in a more straightforward pop-rock/arena-rock direction.|
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.