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Mansions - New Best Friends Album Cover

Mansions - New Best Friends

Reviewed by
8.7
Mansions - New Best Friends
Record Label: Doghouse Records
Release Date: March 3, 2009
The debut full length from Mansions, New Best Friends, produced by the legendary Mike Sapone, begins with an eerie slur of words and ambiance that almost seems to be channeling the classic opener "Tautou" by Brand New. With whisper vocals and a haunting buzz, the album segues into "Talk Talk Talk," and Christopher Browder weaves his words over a pounding drum beat, leading to the crashing, feisty chorus. Browder constructs a perfectly crafted balance of catchy hooks and clever lines, all the while maintaining an addictive, yet dark, borderline angry attitude. This mood permeates from here on throughout the rest of the album.

The undeniably rhythmic song "Por Favor Is Spanish" is a tale of infidelity involving a girl who makes terrible decisions and a charming Australian boy who is more than glad to assist. The track teases with a slow guitar picking introduction while seemingly innocent beats clatter in the background, suddenly exploding into a crunching cacophony of drums and guitar. Alternating between head bopping verses and a heavy chorus, all the while spewing scathing lyrics, this track is one of the numerous gems on the album.

"Fuck you and your goddamn scene," Browder croons on "The Worst Part," a harsh critique of the music scene, or what's left of it. Evolving from an almost radio friendly pop sound, the track descends into an angry bridge, "I don't wanna be you/I don't wanna be you/anymore, anymore" being yelled across screaming guitars.

New Best Friends is a solid, honest album which at times feels like it borrows heavily from many other well known artists in the genre, but all the while holding its own. A finely crafted record with songs of regret, anger, and lost love, Mansions has created a powerful collection with plenty of variety. There are songs that sound as if they could be heard on the radio, and then there are tracks that will probably serve as the soundtrack to a devastating breakup.

There are hints of so many different artists on this release. If you threw Brand New and Manchester Orchestra into a blender, added a scoop of Say Anything, a pinch of Bright Eyes, a shot of The Spill Canvas, and then had Lydia flip the switch, this very well could be the end result.

This is an emotional album that has an almost "coming of age" feeling to it, sure to conjure up memories and tug on the heart strings. Each song is absolutely identifiable, yet avoids any risk of sounding trite or repetitive. No glitz, no glamor, no gloss; just song after song bursting at the seams with passion and sincerity, from an artist doing what he loves dearly.

And that is what music is all about.

Recommended If You Likeany of the bands mentioned in the second to last paragraph; an angry version of Rookie of the Year's The Goodnight Moon

myspace.com/mansions
This review is a user submitted review from anamericangod. You can see all of anamericangod's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 28
03:38 PM on 03/30/09
#2
hockeyguitar99
Prison Strength
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Great review.
04:27 PM on 03/30/09
#3
HammersNStrings
Why can't you just be happy?
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"No glitz, no glamor, no gloss; just song after song bursting at the seams with passion and sincerity, from an artist doing what he loves dearly."

And that's how it's done!
04:34 PM on 03/30/09
#4
Adrian Villagomez
The Sword the Anvil the Stone
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After reading how much you and Blake enjoy this release, I'll pick it up.
04:55 PM on 03/30/09
#5
CTMarshall
You guys are walking in slo-mo?
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great review for a great album. good job, man.
04:57 PM on 03/30/09
#6
MattRM
She didn't turn out to be that cool
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Nice review. One of my favorite albums so far this year, "Curacao Blue" is so good.
05:17 PM on 03/30/09
#7
The Summer Ends
COYS
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Definitely a great album. Glad I was persuaded to pick this up by a friend.
05:21 PM on 03/30/09
#8
sparkle7
Registered User
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Quote:
There are hints of so many different artists on this release. If you threw Brand New and Manchester Orchestra into a blender, added a scoop of Say Anything, a pinch of Bright Eyes, a shot of The Spill Canvas, and then had Lydia flip the switch, this very well could be the end result.

Sounds delicious. I'll have to check this out.
09:22 PM on 03/30/09
#9
TheBaroness
...
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Good review. I like this album a lot.
09:20 AM on 03/31/09
-ben
Finally here.
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hahaha @ the second to last paragraph, ap.net just creamed it's collective pants. this album should be bigger than it is. great review of a great record.
09:22 AM on 03/31/09
j-mil
I'm at my worst when I'm at my best
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Great review for a great album.
09:42 AM on 03/31/09
JeffreyHammonds
and his friend, Jesus!
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a while back, he had 14 or so songs up on purevolume for download. so glad i picked them up because i've been hooked ever since. excellent album and review.
07:12 AM on 04/01/09
Un'Aria Ancora
The best happiness money can buy.
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Oh hey, another BN imitation.
07:30 PM on 04/05/09
TheDemosRock
What's a fuckass?
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Listening now.
09:07 AM on 04/08/09
atticusfinch
Faith In More Than Steel
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Very good review. Thank you for the blog post about Mansions. I'm really enjoying this.

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