Year 6, Day 3: Rise Against’s “Savior” with “Appeal to Reason”

Year 6, Day 3: Rise Against – Appeal to Reason

Track List

  1. Collapse (Post-Amerika)
  2. Long Forgotten Sons
  3. Re-Education (Through Labor)
  4. The Dirt Whispered
  5. Kotov Syndrome
  6. From Heads Unworthy
  7. The Strength to Go On
  8. Audience of One
  9. Entertainment
  10. Hero of War
  11. Savior
  12. Hairline Fracture
  13. Whereabouts Unknown

About the Album

Appeal to Reason is the fifth studio album from Chicago based punk outfit, Rise Against. The album was recorded from January to June of 2008 and released on October 7th 2008 through DGC Records and Interscope Records. The album produced three singles: Audience of One, Re-Education (Through Labor), and Savior. The album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200. The album is certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Thoughts on the Album

Day three is upon us and we are continuing the theme of guitar heavy rock here on the project. Rise Against, a punk band from Chicago, Illinois, holds a special place in my heart. Quite a few of their songs have got me through incredibly rough times. One such song is from today’s album, Appeal to Reason; it’s Savior. Rise Against is not a band that shies away from politics…. and 2008 was the year to release a politically charged punk album. (Of course, 2016 would eclipse 2008 in terms of releasing politically charged punk albums.) Appeal to Reason is a sincere and socially conscious album that is slick, melodic, and gritty.

Following up the successful The Sufferer & The Witnesswas by no means an easy task to do. But the Chicago based punk rockers rose to the occasion. Opening track Collapse (Post-Amerika) is a thrilling, fast paced rocker. It’s a song that hearkens back to the forefathers of modern punk, Bad ReligionCollapse highlights the band’s political chops with a verse of…

When our rivers run dry and our crops cease to grow

and a chorus of…

This is not a test, this is cardiac arrest

The bridge of Collapse is amazingly multidimensional where the guitars and bass really shine through. It sets up a blueprint for songs Kotov Syndrome and Entertainment to play around with.

One of Rise Against‘s strengths is their ability to create impressively strong vocal hooks with little to no background sound. This is featured heavily with the lead single, Re-Education (Through Labor)‘s opening line,

To the sound of a heartbeat pounding away…

Re-Education (Through Labor), is a scathing rebuke about the dog-eat-dog, 9-to-5 lifestyle that many of us have to do to survive. It’s something we do to survive and it’s a mutual feeling that’s felt not just in American society, but around the world. It’s distortion heavy guitars power the song. However, this is not the song you were probably looking for when coming here to read about this album.

It is obvious that Savior is the humongous big, colossal, and monumental hit. Clocking in at slightly over four minutes long (4:02), Savior is by far the best song on the album and arguably the band’s best. It’s an aggressive, fast paced, and in-you-race punk rocker that discusses broken relationships. A phenomenal track that despite being four minutes long, is just as rapid fire as most of it’s compatriots/competitors in the genre. It’s an infectiously catchy song that is easily one to mosh to go, or shout along to, or dance along to, or air band to. It comes oh-so-close to entering pop-punk territory, but it stays melodic enough to stay hardcore. Looking for a less activist/politically charged song? This is it.

If you are looking for something more mellow and turned down, once again, Appeal to Reason has you covered with Hero of WarHero of War, an unplugged track about an Iraq war veteran looking back on all of the hardships he faced in Iraq. Arguably one of the most divisive tracks on the record, Hero of War is clearly an anti-war song. The song tells the story of how a naive youngster who is inexperienced of the world, and not understanding what they are getting into when joining the armed services. Upon entering the service the “hero” eventually succumbs to group peer pressure while on assignment in Iraq. It’s a somber and poetic song and is as stunning as it is beautiful.

Conclusion

While most will lambaste and pan this album for trying to hard to be mainstream with more mid-tempo rockers, it is all relative to the band’s past. Appeal to Reason is far from being tame and still includes the same base punk aesthetic. Appeal to Reason is a more melodic and slick production that is more accessible to a wider audience. Tracks like Long Forgotten Sons, From Heads Unworthy, and Audience of One still have the same passion and urgency. There is definitely less variety than usual Rise Against albums, there isn’t a bad song on the album. It’s a criminally underrated album that often times gets overshadowed by it’s predecessor.

Also: Hero of War > Swing Life Away. Don’t @ Me.

Tracks to Listen to: Savior, Hero of War, Collapse (Post-Amerika), and Re-Education (Through Labor)

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Year 6, Day 2: Time to Join “The Black Parade” with My Chemical Romance

Year 6, Day 2: My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade

Track List

  1. The End.
  2. Dead!
  3. This Is How I Disappear
  4. The Sharpest Lives
  5. Welcome to The Black Parade
  6. I Don’t Love You
  7. House of Wolves
  8. Cancer
  9. Mama
  10. Sleep
  11. Teenagers
  12. Disenchanted
  13. Famous Last Words
  14. Blood

About the Album

The Black Parade is the third studio album from American rock band, My Chemical Romance. The album was recorded from April 2006 to August 2006 and released on October 23rd 2006 through Reprise Records. The album, is a rock opera that centers on a dying character with cancer known as “The Patient”. The songs tell the story of his death, his experiences in the afterlife, and his subsequent reflections on his life. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 in 2006. The album is certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Lead single, Welcome to the Black Parade, is/was the band’s only top 10 hit, peaking at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100Welcome to the Black Parade and Teenagers can be found on multiple Guitar HeroRock Bandand Rocksmith video games.

Thoughts on the Album

Day 2 of our sixth year comes out swinging for the fences. The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance  was arguably one of the biggest and important albums of the mid-2000’s. This album demands a lot from the listener and one can see how someone could dismiss it. The Black Parade is like a fine wine or art that one gets better and better given time and age. It’s a heavily intricate and detailed album that received regular play from me on my Sony PSYC Walkman CD Player throughout my junior and senior years of high school. It’s an album that embraces the glam rock theatrics of Queen while putting a modern punk rock/pop punk spin on it. It’s MCR‘s magnum opus.

Here’s the thing. If you talk to any gambler or investor, they will tell you that with greater risk comes the possibility of greater reward. Think about it, if there were no downside to risk, we’d all be richer. What The Black Parade does is takes big risks and the rewards are massive. One of the reasons that there is such massive payoffs from the risks MCR takes is because of the musical influences. You can hear every single influence the band has ranging from Pink Floyd to Queen. Hell, you can even hear the theatrics of David Bowie to the anthemic arena rock of Bon Jovi. While the songs are influenced by many artists as such, there isn’t one specific artist that’s ripped off.

Call it a “concept album”, The Black Parade is truly a rock opera. One that is in the same vein as The Who‘s Tommy or more recently Green Day‘s American Idiot or 21st Century Breakdown. You get a great look at just how theatrical the album will be with the opener, The End. which is a sub-two minute song. Frontman Gerard Way acts as a Master of Ceremonies of sorts in what is an effective great acoustic track. It’s a track that just builds momentum and explodes into the second track, Dead!Dead! is a raucous rocker that serves as a perfect partner and accompanying piece for The End. Dead! breaks new ground as it takes Queen‘s stadium/arena style glam rock and crushes it with a melodic punk style. The album wisely, takes the rock aspect and soars it to new levels with This Is How I DisappearThis Is How I Disappear is one of the heaviest songs on the album and ironically, one of the most catchiest songs on the entire album. Take the seventh track, House of Wolves, you can see MCR show off some of their improvements from the previous albums. They are able to successfully (and subtly) adjust from punk rock influences to more arena style hard rock. They keep up the intensity, while showing off greater variety, influences, and accessibilty. A trait that not many bands have.

Of course, the centerpiece of this behemoth of a rock opera is the fifth track and pseudo-titled lead single, Welcome to the Black Parade. It’s almost as if the first four songs of this album were building up to this moment. Welcome to the Black Parade begins with some subtle and effective piano and Way’s vocals before a marching band style drum line propels the song forward. The crunching power chords of the guitar kick around the one minute mark and heavy pounding of the marching drums power the song into an almost breakneck pace at around the two minute mark. It’s a track that patiently bides it’s time before letting the home run swing rip. And boy does it knock it out of the park. It’s got all the makings of a song that was heavily influenced by Queen (think We Will Rock You or We Are the Champions).

Then there’s Teenagers and Famous Last Words, two tracks that have heavy mainstream play-ability. Teenagers is one of the most fun and catchy songs to listen to, despite it’s anti-youth message. I wouldn’t say it’s “anti-youth”, as much as it highlights what the older generations dislike about the younger generations. The guitars, heavy on distortion, absolutely power the song. It’s a song that you could easily find yourself singing along to. Famous Last Words, the true ending to an absolutely thrilling and wonderful album (not including the hidden track Blood), shows off some keen pop-punk/pop-rock hooks while being more of a hard rock jam.

Conclusion

I was astonished back in high school when I first listened to this album. Most punk bands can’t put a complete album together, let alone half of one. What My Chemical Romance did with The Black Parade is simply amazing from start to finish. Many rock opera and concept albums fall flat, sometimes because of a lack of cohesiveness, sometimes from trying to do too much, or sometimes from trying to experiment too much. However The Black Parade is the complete package. It’s epic and spectacular.

And if we are being completely honest with each other, there’s a scene kid within us all, just waiting to be embraced. And maybe, just maybe, be should be brave and embrace our inner scene kid and be bold like My Chemical Romance was with The Black Parade.

Tracks to Listen to: Welcome to the Black Parade, Teenagers, Famous Last Words, I Don’t Love You, and The End./Dead!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Year 6, Day 1: Making a Wish at “11:11” with the Arkells’ “High Noon”

Year 6, Day 1: Arkells – High Noon

Track List

  1. Fake Money
  2. Come to Light
  3. Cynical Bastards
  4. 11:11
  5. Never Thought That This Would Happen
  6. Dirty Blonde
  7. What Are You Holding On To?
  8. Hey Kids!
  9. Leather Jacket
  10. Crawling Through the Window
  11. Systemic

About the Album

High Noonis the third studio album from Hamilton, Ontario based alternative rock band, Arkells. The album was recorded in Los Angeles during 2013 and released worldwide on August 5th 2014 through Dine Alone Records. The album debuted at number three on the Canadian charts. A year later, the album was certified Gold.

Thoughts on the Album

Why, hello there and welcome to the Sounds of Broad Street: The Broad Street Playlist! If this is your first time here, welcome! If you are returning visitor, welcome back! We have finally arrived at the sixth year of the Broad Street Playlist, and I figured I would open it with one of my favorite bands in the world entire flipping world. The Arkells are one of my favorite bands, ever, of all time. Their songs speak to me in ways that some of my other favorite artists can’t or don’t. Now then, if you haven’t had a chance to see the Arkells live, go see them live. They bring enough energy to power a large city like Philadelphia. Plus, it’s pretty freaking awesome to be a part of their “Nondenominational Choir of Philadelphia”. Much like previous releases, Michigan Left and Jackson Square, you can really hear the influences that other bands had on them.

High Noon builds off the sweaty, black and blue eyed soul, rock and roll that the band mastered in their previous two releases. Whereas Jackson Square and Michigan Left where more rock oriented, the Arkells take a 1980’s Hall and Oates approach and add in some (a metric crap-ton) of complex pop-rock orchestration. The album feels like a cross between an arena rocking Springsteen album and H2O era Hall and Oates. From the first listen of High Noon, I could tell that frontman Max Kerman worked on his storytelling and this is no more prevalent than on the track, Leather Jacket.

The album opens with Fake Money, the band’s first protest song according to Kerman. While not truly one of my favorite Arkells tunes, it comes out swinging, setting the tone for the rest of the album. It’s a track that takes punk influences such as The Clash and fuses those together with the 1970’s arena rock of Electric Light Orchestra. While, for me, Fake Money opens disjointed and sloppy, there is redemption within the track. The guitar work is exceptional and drives the song, breathing life into it and building an infectiousness that will be found throughout the album.

From Fake Money, it leads right into Come to Light, one of my all time favorite Arkells tunes. Come to Light sounds like it would fit perfectly on a Tom Petty or Don Henley or even (do I dare say it?) Billy Joel album. It’s like classic Americana or heartland rock that Bruce Springsteen mastered fused with late 2000’s/early 2010’s alternative rock. It’s a heavily piano driven song with a bass line that received a blessing from LCD Soundsystem. The bass and piano drive the verses before an explosively infectious chorus that just flies high and soars above all else. I felt like Come to Light had a full blown orchestra and choir backing it, the power from it would be too much for the album to contain. Having heard this song twice live, I have to say, kudos to the band for creating such a powerful song. Definitely a song to sing along to do or in my case, air guitar along to.

From frontman Max Kerman on Come to Light:

We wanted to channel some Americana. Those classic driving songs — Running Down A Dream, Boys of Summer, Money For Nothing, etc. are always fun to play live. … Come to Light is a reminder to myself to lean on your loved ones and always try to act with love and compassion, even in times of darkness

Now we arrive at one of the band’s biggest hits, 11:11. A song that is just another pretty great song to hear live. The song wreaks (in a good way) of M83, but that probably shouldn’t be a surprise, considering the album was produced by Tony Hoffer, who has worked with them. It’s a more laid back track that after the powerful and heavy Come to Light and high energy Cynical Bastards. But don’t mistake the laid back feel for swinging and missing. I would consider this a “non-traditional” love song. Usually most love songs are slower and generally lean towards heartbreak and sadness, whereas 11:11 keeps it upbeat and most importantly: introspective. It’s a song that’ll give you some positive vibes. Outside of Come to Light and Leather Jacket11:11 has the most infectious and catchiest choruses on the entire album. Another piano driven tune that takes some simple picked guitar lines, subtle synth lines, and of all things, some xylophone (weird, I know, right? But it works…) and allows time for the drum and bass kick in and build up to into a chorus that’ll have you belting it out at the top of your lungs.

Songs about love can go in any direction — sadness, heartbreak, etc. A love song, on the other hand can only be joyous and hopeful.

While being autobiographical, according to Kerman, it still touches on other aspects of love and relationships…

…My favourite part about seeing my friends fall in love: the pedestal they put their partner on. ‘I couldn’t hold a candle to you,’ ‘I was nervous just standing with you.’ I think that kind of swooning is a very nice thing

I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about Leather Jacket, a song that I could see being an arena rocker. It’s a blast to hear it being played live. It’s a non-traditional rock cut, but still a blistering one. A track chorus is just as infectious as the verses. The intensity and melody of Leather Jacket absolutely power the song and knock it out of the park. A home run track if I ever heard one. An anthem that utilizes every strength the band has. It has the ability to tell a story in less that five minutes… that’s almost Springsteen levels of storytelling. Usually it takes decades, but the Arkells crushed it. Once that pre-chorus hits, you can feel that it’s about to take you for a ride. It’s an excellent and high flying, soaring chorus that, quite frankly, I haven’t heard anything that can beat it. The piano and keys shine throughout, but especially during the chorus. You can really sense the emotion and power the song delivers.

Conclusion

High Noon is takes everything that the Arkells have molded and crafted and fused it pop-rock magic. It’s album that’s full of memorable and soaring choruses. Prime examples are: Come to Light11:11, Hey Kids!, and Leather Jacket. It continues a trend of consistently catchy Canadian styled rock. With influences of musical decades past, the album has the hooks to back it up. I have to say, this was the last Arkells album I listened to, as I checked out Morning Reporttheir fourth album before this. High Noon is an album that delivers a high energy and energetic album that most certainly leave you bobbing you head and air banding along to the songs. It’s rare that an album can successfully channel so many different styles and decades of music and be successful, but High Noon does just that. But of course, this is by no means a perfect album. Some songs are swing and misses, as well as some verses. But let’s put it this way: think of it as a “Sean Couturier” type album. Album that’s rough around the edges, but when given time to develop, delivers big hits and big goals.

Tracks to Listen toCome to Light11:11Dirty Blonde, Leather Jacket, Hey Kids!, Never Thought This Would Happen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous Arkells albums reviews: Jackson SquareMichigan LeftMorning Report

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Welcome to Year Six!

It’s that time of year again, welcome back to the Sounds of Broad Street: the Broad Street Playlist! Another 40 days of albums is upon us and boy, let me say, it’s going to be fun on a bun this year. It’s been pretty much one whole year (almost) since we last saw each other, and can I just say that you all look amazing. Like awesome and gorgeous. Seriously, you all shine as bright as the stars at night and the sun in the morning. That said, we here at The Broad Street Playlist™ take that “new year, new me” thing very seriously. It’s serious business. We’ve done some tinkering behind the scenes and made some minor renovations and repairs.

So meet the new (and improved), shinier, sparkier, glitzier, and overall cleaner looking, Broad Street Playlist. Now with 400% more chances to defeat Lu Bu!

A friendly reminder

It’s sixth year of the project and we are going just as strong as previous years with another 40 albums ready to go. We’ve repainted, switched themes, and gave ourselves a tune up in order to be ready for this year. Once again, as stated in previous years, if you wanted to get an idea of my taste in music, musical genres, and my music library, this is it. As always, I’ve been adding more and more to my library of new songs and artists and have wanted to share with you since we last saw each other.

It’s Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras, so let’s party hard and then get the Morning Report about what happened the night before. However, like most good things, you will just have to wait until tomorrow to find out what the first album of the year will be! Until then, why not check out last year’s 40 for 40, or the fourth year, or third, or second, or the very first year to find out what you have been missing or if you want a refresher.

What? You still want more? Well alright, we have some more for you! Here’s a quick refresher course if this is your first time visiting the project. Or if you want a breakdown of albums by artist, click here. Maybe a simple demographic breakdown of here each artist is from? Or if you are really brave, and I mean, really brave, you can check out the introductions from every year here, here, here, here, and of course, here.

Man, they grow up so fast. Hard to believe that this project is six years old now… it’s grown up so fast!

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Year 5, Day 40: The Empire Strikes (First)

Year 5, Day 40: Bad Religion – The Empire Strikes First

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Track List

  1. Overture
  2. Sinister Rouge
  3. Social Suicide
  4. Atheist Peace
  5. All There Is
  6. Los Angels is Burning
  7. Let Them Eat War
  8. God’s Love
  9. To Another Abyss
  10. The Quickening
  11. The Empire Strikes First
  12. Beyond Electric Dreams
  13. Boot Stamping on a Human Face Forever
  14. Live Again (The Fall of Man)

About the Album

The Empire Strikes First is the thirteenth studio album from punk band, Bad Religion. The Album was recorded from November 2003 to February 2004 and was released on June 8th 2004 through Epitaph Records. The album peaked at numbet forty on the Billboard 200 and single Los Angeles is Burning peaked at number forty on Top Modern Rock Tracks.

Thoughts on the album

So here we are, the final album of year five. We certainly had a blast and we are certainly going out with one. Bad Religion is one of my favorite bands. They create socially (and politically) progressive music, without getting into cliches or “selling out” or without losing their aggressiveness or their edge. Their mix of hardcore and melodic is a prefect match, especially with today’s album, The Empire Strikes First. If this album was made by any other, they would be accused of sloganneering. But Bad Religion, has been around so long and honed their skill at their craft and their insight, that this album is one of most literate statements ever.

It would seem that even the most political of songs on The Empire Strikes Firstwere written with longevity in mind. Case in point, the title track, The Empire Strikes First, is a sarcastic glance/look at “preemptive strike” policy…

We strike first

And we’re unrehearsed

Here we go again to stage the greatest show on heaven and earth

Come on, get your money’s worth

One of the excellent features of this album, and of Bad Religion in general is the songwriting duo of Graffin/Gurewitz. This duo has been known for creating melodic punk tracks that are huge and memorable. Lead single Los Angeles is Burning, features such a melodic and soaring chorus, that it’s the type of chorus that you’ll find yourself singing along to without even noticing you are.

All There Is, is one of more memorable and accomplished arrangements on the album. It has a pleasing (and wonderful) harmony and pauses that are perfect before the band explodes into the chorus. Sinister Rouge is a rager. The drums power the song, so much so that they try out double bass drumming and it works to perfection. Social Suicide may be my favorite track from his album. A very short song that shows off the aggressive riffs and Greg Graffin‘s voice excellently.

Conclusion

Well that is all folks. The Empire Strikes First is an amazing album. While it is nothing like albums, The Dissent of Man or Suffer, it is still an excellent album. While it stylistically didn’t return to Suffer era, it showed that the band was moving forward with their guns (and guitar riffs) ablaze. The Empire Strikes First is every bit as exciting, rocking, and relevant, even 13 years later.

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Year 5, Day 39: A “Sublime” album from Sublime

Year 5, Day 39: Sublime – Sublime

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Track List

  1. Garden Grove
  2. What I Got
  3. Wrong Way
  4. Same in the End
  5. April 29, 1992 (Miami)
  6. Santeria
  7. Seed
  8. Jailhouse
  9. Pawn Shop
  10. Paddle Out
  11. The Ballad of Johnny Butt
  12. Burritos
  13. Under My Voodoo
  14. Get Ready
  15. Caress Me Down
  16. What I Got (Reprise)
  17. Doin’ Time

About the Album

Sublime is the eponymous third and final album from American ska band, Sublime. The album was recorded from February to  May 1996 and released on July 30th 1996 through MCA Records. The album peaked at number thirteen on the Billboard 200. The album is certified 5x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Thoughts on the Album

So here we arrive at the final two albums, and what a good one we have today. A loading screen for the game Rock Band Blitz states that “The size of your music library is equivalent to your worth as a person” or something like that. If that was true, then I’d be a pretty important person. I dug deep into the vast recesses of my music library for today’s album. If you took California hardcore punk, fused it with west coast hip hop/rap, blended it with reggae , and then melted it all together with ska and skate punk, you’d get Sublime and their third and final album, Sublime.

It’s hard to believe, but not many bands go out on top, in legendary status. I can only think of a few: Paul Weller did so with The Jam‘s The GiftOperation Ivy and Energy, or even The Refused and The Shape of Punk to Come. That’s just to name a few from the punk genre. But Sublime does it with their eponymous third and final album. One of their most recognizable songs, What I Got comes from this album. An acoustic number filled with hip-hop and reggae beats, almost making it feel like a true summertime hit (which it was). When you think of the band SublimeWhat I Got comes to mind. It is a signature song.

Wrong Way, takes that ska punk and builds off of it. What gives it that ska feel is the horns that play during the bridge. The bass work is excellent and powers the rhythm section as well. Another one of the singles that received massive airplay on the radio was SanteriaSanteria, is a track where the guitar takes center stage. It’s almost like a ska punk ballad. Complimenting the guitar, is the bass and rhythm section. A beautiful tone with just as strong lyrics, it’s easy to see why this song got/gets overlooked.

While What I Got has been featured in video games such as Saints Row IV and Rock Band 4Seed was featured on the soundtrack of Tony Hawk’s Underground. The track is a fast paced 130 second long track that alternates between hardcore and aggressive California punk and more mellow/easier going reggae stylings. Garden Grove, the album opener, opens up with an orchestrated piece. The orchestrated piece have throw you off, or even throw you for a loop and confuse you as to what type of album you are listening to. But don’t be confused or lost, the orchestra gives way to the band’s signature alternative rock sound with an upbeat, uptempo song.

Conclusion

What makes this album work, is Sublime‘s ability as a band to mic, match, and fuse different styles and sounds together and creating rhythm off them. For me, the album was about five or six songs too long. The reprise of What I Got should have been the album’s closer. It’s the same exact version as the lead single one, except it’s fully unplugged. But I digress. Sublime is one of those albums that defined the 1990’s. It was a decade defining album that still no band has come even remotely close to replicating. While there are some mediocre tracks (hence the “five or six fewer tracks comment”), some sheer laziness on production, and no real variation in mood, it still offers the best of the band’s ability and style. It’s an album that has the band go out on a high note, despite being cut down in their prime.

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Year 5, Day 38: “Be Yourself” with Audioslave’s “Out of Exile”

Year 5, Day 38: Audioslave – Out of Exile

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Track List

  1. Your Time has Come
  2. Out of Exile
  3. Be Yourself
  4. Doesn’t Remind Me
  5. Drown Me Slowly
  6. Heaven’s Dead
  7. The Worm
  8. Man or Animal
  9. Yesterday to Tomorrow
  10. Dandelion
  11. #1 Zero
  12. The Curse

About the Album

Out of Exile is the second studio album from rock supergroup, Audioslave. The album was recorded from July 2004 through January 2005 and released on May 23rd 2005 through Epic Records and Interscope Records. The album peaked at number one on the Billboard 200, while single Be Yourself charted at number on the Modern Rock Tracks and the Mainsteam Rock Tracks charts. Single Doesn’t Remind Me was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Thoughts on the Album

We’ve arrived at the last three albums for this year. I thank you all for coming and reading about each an everyone so far, but we’re not done yet. Audioslave is a supergroup that is comprised of members from Rage Against the Machine and Soundgarden; and their first album reflected that. Today’s album, Out of Exile is an album where the band finds it’s groove and own sound. The product is a unified one that stands out and stands on its own, though the elements like guitarist Tom Morello busting out effects pedals and making outrageous and outlandish sounds effect from his guitar from almost every song. Chris Cornell still hits notes that not many vocalists have bragging rights of hitting.

Your Time Has Come is a heavy riff rocker that opens up the album. The track slightly resembles a track from their self-titled first album, Cochise. The drums really shine on this track and makes the listener want more. Similar to Your Time Has Come are Drown Me Slowly and Man or Animal in that these songs follow the same heavy and hard riffs rocking formula and style. The more one listens to the album the more one can hear how expressive and meshed each member is. The titular track, Out of Exile, features an excellent solo that is relatively effect free. The solo from Morello is both complex in instrumentation and in theory.

Lead single Be Yourself, is a relatively midtempo rocker featuring excellent guitar riffs and work. It was a song that grew on me. Another song that grew on me was Doesn’t Remind Me. The rhythm section perfectly accompanies and is incredibly infectious and catchy. The guitar solo on Doesn’t Remind Me is absolutely beautiful. The song builds up to it, and then it comes. It’s almost perfectly set to the tone of the song. The effects are not so heavy laden, that if you wanted to learn it, you could easily.

Conclusion

Out of Exile is an incredibly fine album. While nothing truly comes across as defining, it is a better effort when compared to their first album. While I can see how the album can be dismissed as nothing more than generic modern rock, it is incredibly enjoyable. The album perfectly blends the style and sound of the four musicians. The album as a whole flows easily and feels less forced than their first album. It excellent shows off the band’s skill and talent in a cohesive effort that is lean, hard, heavy, and strong.

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