This album is really, really good. The most well written and consistent album they have made. DBM2 was a mess, writing was all over the place and the cleans were really boring. DBM was great when it came out, but the vocals came off very lazy. Death Star was great, but was sloppy and had hit or miss songs. Happiness was a little too-samey, and had the best cleans but the uncleans were not good.
Long story short, in my opinion, this album takes the greatest elements from every record and ties them all together nicely. Tilian's voice may not be for everyone, but it works really well here.
Album is solid, but not nearly as great as DBM or Death Star. I've said this in other threads but Tillian's vocals just don't do it for me. They are annoyingly high, overproduced, and lacking Jonny/Kurt's emotion.
That said, the song-writing is fantastic as always and Jon Mess kills it.
I'm just going to copy & paste the review I just left on their last.fm page:
(Oh, first and foremost, I am a HUGE DGD fan).
I listened to it once late last night. Although I haven't given Acceptance Speech the thorough listen that it deserves, I need to say that this is the first Dance Gavin Dance album I've ever heard that didn't immediately strike me as their best work. I've always thought of every DGD record as better than their previous ones, and this one didn't give me that impression upon first listen. Jon sounds better than ever, but there's something about Tilian's vocals that didn't carry much of the melodies very well. But yeah, enough complaints. Great album nonetheless. Still vintage DGD. Still unpredictable. Still the best band on Rise. Still probably going to be in my top five releases of the year.
Some of the songs are kind of meh but overall pretty good. My favorites are definitely The Robot with Human Hair Pt. 4, Acceptance Speech, Strawberry Swisher Pt. 3, The Death of the Robot with Human Hair, and Turn Off the Lights I'm Watching Back to the Future Part II
Gave it a listen last night and wasn't too impressed. I've loved every release from these guys so I found it odd I couldn't get into it. Maybe it was Tillian's voice that I haven't warmed up to yet or I'm just not into this anymore. But I'll give it a few more listens and hope to grow to love it.
My main complaint with this album is the production. DGD has been known to have stellar production where every aspect of the music can be clearly heard. Maybe its the leak I downloaded (but i doubt it), this album does not follow that trend. So many times Tillian vocals are WAY overpowering the music; and so many guitar parts are buried in the mix. My favorite thing about DGD has always been the guitar, but there are so many times in this album I can't hear what they are doing. Listen to the beginning of "Carve". What the hell is going on there? I have no idea, its just a wall of noise. You may say that just a chaotic part. But all their album have had chaotic parts with lots going on but you can still discern the individual parts of the music. Compare the beginning of "Carve" to the beginning of "Swan Soup".
All this being said, I still really dig the album. Tillians voice was jarring at first but has started to grow on me. But DBM2 had WAYYYY better riffs than this does. P.S. I know I'm in the minority but I think DBM2 is their most solid effort without a doubt.
On first listen, I'm very impressed. Don't know if its my favorite DGD album or not yet, haven't listened enough. Still going on first impressions. The hook on Carve is just wonderful. Death of the Robot With Human Hair was... strange, but in a good way.