Album Review
Armor for Sleep - Dream to Make Believe Album Cover

Armor for Sleep - Dream to Make Believe

Reviewed by
Armor for Sleep - Dream to Make Believe
Record Label: Equal Vision Records
Release Date: June 3, 2003
The name of a particular artist or band may not always give you an immediate insight to their style or themes, however with New Jersey four-piece, Armor For Sleep, they do just that with this highly impressive offering.

'Sleep' is a word that will occur and resurface throughout this 11-track album, which is a concept based journey about the protagonist's dream like state, somber thoughts and space like fantasies, ultimately suggesting you can keep things how you want them as long as you stay asleep.

The sound portrayed throughout the record is mostly typical of the post-hardcore genre, featuring layered, driven guitar melodies with loud/quiet song dynamics and intricate passages. Perhaps the only thing the band stays away from is the aggressive screamed vocal style which would lead them into more heavy territory.

Lyrically, the album is emotional, reflective and thought-provoking, covering topics such as loss, rejection, lowliness, and suicide. Don't let the 'depressing' tag put you off though. The sheer honesty on these songs make them feel real to the listener and let's face it, we all have to go through these things and any good music gives you something you can relate to and confide in (good or bad).

The opener, "Armor For Sleep," is really just a self-titled musical intro. Lasting a mere 00:47 seconds, it briefly shows some of the intricate guitar work that awaits later on.

The title track, "Dream To Make Believe," deals with the fear of being forgotten as a person. Pummeling guitars, a great chorus and Ben Jorgensen's pleading vocals of "Let me sleep some more" make this an intriguing digest.

Tunes like "Being Your Walls" and "Frost And Front Steps" indulge more into the feeling of being rejected and having to learn to accept it. Both songs show the talent the band has of putting together a good musical structure, with distorted guitar work and diverse middle sections.

"My Town" has more of an upbeat, happy feel to it, cleverly hiding the actual darker theme of finally having enough of something and ultimately running until the point of passing out. The vibrant guitars really make the the chorus stand out.

"The Wanderer's Guild" is really well crafted. Whispered voices in the breakdown bring an epic feel to proceedings, while "Phantoms Now" explores the topic of ghosts.

Slower, more delicate offerings can be found in the final part of the album with the excellent "Raindrops" and penultimate track, "Kind of Perfect." The latter is very moody and remains at a slow pace throughout.

Closing song, "Slip Like Space," is perhaps the most obvious state of depression for the narrator ("Say your goodbyes now, I'll be in the worm hole soon"). The track is well executed; melodic guitars lead the verses while the chorus has a more atmospheric feel to compliment the thought of emptiness in the lyrics.

This will be considered as "emo" by some. Those of you who aren't fans of that particular genre aren't going to find much to like here. But it's important to note that this is emotional rock with depth, along with some interesting lyrics. It strays away from the mainstream audience without actually sounding 'anti-mainstream' as the oft-poignant melodies will suggest.

I find it hard to imagine anyone coming away from this album without a few new questions for themselves, and inviting introspection is one of the highest goals a record can aspire to.

Simply breezing through particular tracks deprives the listener of a full experience, Dream To Make Believe only really works when enjoyed as a whole. Concept albums that work are rare in my experience, but this one succeeds marvelously.

Track Listing01. Armor for Sleep
02. Dream to Make Believe
03. All Warm
04. Being Your Walls
05. My Town
06. The Wanderer's Guild
07. Frost and Front Steps
08. Phantoms Now
09. Raindrops
10. Kind of Perfect
11. Slip Like Space

Recommended if You LikeSenses Fail; Taking Back Sunday

This review is a user submitted review from Cal Lewis. You can see all of Cal Lewis's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 27
09:37 AM on 12/26/08
Next Show: Jack's Mannequin NYC 2/3
User Info.
ACA's Avatar
Well-written review. This is a good CD, it's unfortunate the band isn't very good live.

10:03 AM on 12/26/08
Un'Aria Ancora
The best happiness money can buy.
User Info.
Un'Aria Ancora's Avatar
man, i used to love this cd. I don't think I've listened to it for 4 or 5 years... now I'm going to have to.
10:18 AM on 12/26/08
Everything Evil
User Info.
Gumbyjag's Avatar
Dream-Pop at it's finest. Although What to do When You are Dead is better.
10:22 AM on 12/26/08
Registered Loser
User Info.
wroteurname's Avatar
Good Call with the 9 last value, I still bust this out a vew times a year.
10:23 AM on 12/26/08
Registered Loser
User Info.
wroteurname's Avatar
Well-written review. This is a good CD, it's unfortunate the band isn't very good live.

It's unfortunate that when I saw them they played 4 songs of their newest and 0 off of DTMB.

10:39 AM on 12/26/08
You can't kill heroes
User Info.
hoshbrown41's Avatar
i wasnt as impressed with smile for them as their others...
10:39 AM on 12/26/08
User Info.
leifstar's Avatar
Well-written review. This is a good CD, it's unfortunate the band isn't very good live.

Really? I think they are pretty good live, I really enjoy their shows.

Maybe I am biased because I really love their music.
10:41 AM on 12/26/08
Registered User
User Info.
onepartloss's Avatar
Their best album, by far.
10:49 AM on 12/26/08
Co and Ca
What are you doing here?
User Info.
Co and Ca's Avatar
the only song i like by them is dream to make believe. that song brings me back. hello, 2003!
11:12 AM on 12/26/08
Fuck what you know!
User Info.
laxcrs's Avatar
yeh, love this cd. phantoms now is my favorite track on it.
11:14 AM on 12/26/08
Registered User
User Info.
arson's Avatar
Personally, I love all of AFS's records equally and I think they're perfectly fine live. I've never been dissappointed.
11:21 AM on 12/26/08
Take Ecstasy With Me
User Info.
FeynmanWannabe's Avatar
Only album by the band I liked.
11:28 AM on 12/26/08
The World Is Yours
User Info.
3eb23's Avatar
this is the only afs album that has had staying power with me. i cringe listening to smile for them. i can't even play one song anymore. wtdwyd was good back when it came out and i thought it was a step forward at the time, but years later it does not hold up like it did. dream to make believe definitely has my favorite material from them.
12:06 PM on 12/26/08
Regular Member
User Info.
lassise's Avatar
my town is really good too. i do really like the idea of their concept albums but DTMB was always a great first CD. the reviews a little late though don't you think ;)

Search News
Release Dates
Best New Music
Submit News
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
Encore Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
Encore Podcast on iTunes
Encore on Overcast
AP.net on Tumblr
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate