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Thursday - Common Existence Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 6
Musicianship 7
Lyrics 7
Production 5
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 7
Reviewer Tilt 9
Final Verdict: 69%
Member Ratings
Vocals 8.18
Musicianship 8.48
Lyrics 8.32
Production 7.79
Creativity 8.39
Lasting Value 8.07
Reviewer Tilt 8.16
Average: 82%
Inside AP.net

Thursday - Common Existence

Reviewed by: weworemasks (02/16/09)
Thursday - Common Existence
Record Label: Epitaph Records
Release Date: February 17, 2009


Taking into consideration that Thursday alienated many of their fans with their disappointing 2006 album, A City by the Light Divided, it’s an understatement to say that there’s a lot riding on Common Existence, which is the New Brunswick group’s fifth full-length release.

A City by the Light Divided took the band’s previously aggressive and energetic sound and transformed it into an experimental and scatter-brained mess. However, they’ve taken a different approach to their music lately. With the new songs they released on the 2007 release Kill the House Lights, along with their songs on their 2008 split with Envy, they’ve made a conscious effort to bridge the gap between their old, more aggressive sound and their more experimental, new sound.

Common Existence kicks off with “Resuscitation of a Dead Man,” which as a first single and album opener falls flat in many places. Singer Geoff Rickley has always had a more raw and unconventional vocal method, but there doesn’t seem to be a clear vision on many of the songs. Songs like “Beyond the Visible Spectrum” and “Circuits of Fever” are other examples of inconsistent tracks.

Another slip-up concerning Thursday is their choice in production duties. Dave Fridmann, who has handled duties for the Flaming Lips and Mogwai, has helmed their last two major releases. Fridmann is by no means a bad producer, but his ability to create a more space-rock feel doesn’t seem to mesh with Thursday’s sound all too well. That being said, Fridmann has done a fairly decent and a much better job of capturing the band’s element this time around.

The album does have its fair share of plunder, though. “Last Call” borrows style tips from 2002’s "Jet Black New Year," with an energetic and climactic bridge. “As He Climbed the Dark Mountain” and the politically-charged “Friends in Armed Forces “are sure shot signs that Thursday’s songwriting ability has not gone astray. “Time’s Arrow” is another gem, and Thursday’s best U2 impression, complete with the electronic flourishes and delay pedals. “Unintended Long Term Effects” and the soon to be fan-favorite “Subway Funeral” are some of Thursday’s best work since War All the Time.

In retrospect, it would’ve been in Thursday’s best interest to have released Common Existence in between the releases of 2003’s War All the Time and A City by the Light Divided. They would have arguably held on to many of the fans that were polarized, and it would’ve been an overall smoother progression. That’s hindsight, though. Common Existence falls flat several times, but is an overall cohesive and much more consistent effort and will surely gain old fans and garner new fans alike. In the same sense, there is a definite probability that fans who completely have disregarded the band before won’t be changing their minds anytime soon.

www.myspace.com/thursday

RIYL: thursday, a city by the light divided with balls, dave fridmann's production
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 19
06:43 PM on 02/18/09
#2
Frinet
run
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I think its great so far, better than you give it credit for, and I have a feeling that I'll love it once it grows on me... but then again, I loved CBTLD so what do I know?
08:44 PM on 02/18/09
#3
WalmartPhotoGuy
Respectively, Sire.
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How do you not mention "You Were the Cancer?!"

I think this album is a grower. And it really, truly helps if you listen to this on headphones, very loudly.
09:12 PM on 02/18/09
#4
GeeBee
Tertium Non Datur
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Am I the only one who thinks that "...Spectrum" and "Circuits of Fever" are the best tracks on the album? I think they simply put the tracks in the wrong order. Listen to the album on shuffle...it does wonders. I'm not a huge fan of "Last Call" or "Friends in the Armed Forces", but several reviewers find those to be the standout tracks. Am I alone here?
09:29 PM on 02/18/09
#5
Velvetground
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I think that A City By The Light Divided is actually Thursday's best album, if you don't include the split, haha. I don't get why people are so quick to criticize that album other than they finally progressed away from the Full Collapse/War All The Time sound.
10:33 PM on 02/18/09
#6
roachguy1
@Boomersboro Did u say dick cream?
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Seriously, you were the cancer is one of the best songs Thursday has ever written, it doesnt get much better than that, and I've been a HUGE thuirsday fan since the eyeball days
10:53 PM on 02/18/09
#7
kylestarr
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good review. "you were the cancer" is an amazing song. i think this record's biggest problem is that it is too constant. to me, thursday was a band of dynamics. very seldom do you hear those dynamics on this record. it's not a bad album by any means but it's not their best either. to be honest, i was bummed when i heard dave was producing again. you are absolutely correct in saying that the band & producer style don't mesh very well but they both did a much better job creating a much more solid and confined record.
11:19 PM on 02/18/09
#8
kylestarr
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How do you not mention "You Were the Cancer?!"

I think this album is a grower. And it really, truly helps if you listen to this on headphones, very loudly.
agreed. trying it with headphones right now... big difference
09:10 AM on 02/19/09
#9
LongDistanceDrunk
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I think that A City By The Light Divided is actually Thursday's best album, if you don't include the split, haha. I don't get why people are so quick to criticize that album other than they finally progressed away from the Full Collapse/War All The Time sound.
I know. ACBLDT is my favorite as well as the best Thursday album imo. I think the reason people hate on it is the same reason so many bands are hated. They progressed and changed their sound. Many fans wanted Full Collapse 2 but they didn''t get that so that disowned ACBLD.
09:12 AM on 02/19/09
LongDistanceDrunk
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How do you not mention "You Were the Cancer?!"

I think this album is a grower. And it really, truly helps if you listen to this on headphones, very loudly.
I know. By far the best song on the album. Just another reason I disliked the review
05:45 AM on 02/21/09
Piss
Oh Noes!
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score is too low
02:41 PM on 02/21/09
weworemasks
save the drama for wilmer valderama
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How do you not mention "You Were the Cancer?!"

I think this album is a grower. And it really, truly helps if you listen to this on headphones, very loudly.

it's a good song, don't get me wrong. it's a good closer, too. i just think there's better songs on the album.

I know. By far the best song on the album. Just another reason I disliked the review

any other reasons you disliked a review other than me omitting a song that i think is overshadowed by other greater songs? you are a dipshit.


yeah, fuck that guy.
08:44 AM on 02/25/09
dhelmick
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i enjoy this cd just because it is in most cases renlentless. with the exception of a few songs and moments this album is pure energy in my opinion. but as kylestarr said it is not like thursday to be so constant. im not saying it is bad its just a different direction. im more into thursdays old stuff but i still love their new material so dont kill me since im saying i like old stuff. id like to think im a fan of most hard-core post hard-core(whatever you want to say it is) so i dont mind the constant "noise" but it does take away from the album at times, in my opinion at least. you dont really have time to think about what the song is about because it just moves so quick. plus i dont really like the way Geoff's vocals are recorded. it may be from the production but it just sounds echoish and reverbish. i can hardly understand what he is singing on their new stuff. ok im done
12:51 AM on 03/02/09
andherewego
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i enjoy this cd just because it is in most cases renlentless. with the exception of a few songs and moments this album is pure energy in my opinion. but as kylestarr said it is not like thursday to be so constant. im not saying it is bad its just a different direction. im more into thursdays old stuff but i still love their new material so dont kill me since im saying i like old stuff. id like to think im a fan of most hard-core post hard-core(whatever you want to say it is) so i dont mind the constant "noise" but it does take away from the album at times, in my opinion at least. you dont really have time to think about what the song is about because it just moves so quick. plus i dont really like the way Geoff's vocals are recorded. it may be from the production but it just sounds echoish and reverbish. i can hardly understand what he is singing on their new stuff. ok im done
Completely agree with what you're saying about how Geoff's vocals were recorded. At some points it's almost inaudible. Overall i think CI is a good turn for Thursday. I enjoyed ACBTLD but didn't really like where the band was going with it. It didn't have the lasting power that Full Collapse or War All The Time had for me, and i think this new record has more of that.
06:33 PM on 03/30/09
Rubbersoul87
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Don't care. Masterpiece.
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