So first off, I want to say that Anberlin does not exactly consider themselves as a Christian band, as a band they are Christian and it occasionally shows in their lyrics, but Stephen has said that the band itself is not Christian. However many still consider them to be part of the CCM community and so, I will be reviewing their latest album here.
Well, I am a fairly newer Anberlin fan; having first learned about them through a free song from the album, Pray Tell. The beat and lyrics of the song got me instantly hooked and I found myself setting it on repeat and singing the verses in my head throughout the day. I decided to look into them some more, finding them on Youtube and eventually getting songs from the album through various places such as Amazon whenever I could get some free Amazon credits I found while browsing the web. Anberlin is just one of those bands that you are more than likely to get hooked to the second you start listening to them. Stephen has a voice all of his own, and the musical style of the band is beyond extraordinary. As I said, I am a fairly newer fan of the group, only having know about them since August or so, but I feel as though I am just as much a fan as anyone else out there.
The song lyrics on this album are obviously very well thought through. In my opinion, Anberlin’s lyrics have improved with every new album; most noticeably with New Surrender. This album is no different. The lyrics for this album are noticeably darker, especially seen in songs like Impossible and To the Wolves. We see songs of regret such as Depraved and Down, and then of course we see songs like Closer, You Belong Here, and Take Me (As You Found Me) which are songs about wanting to be closer to someone and accepted for who you are. Overall the lyrics are very good for this album, on a scale of one to five, I would give it four stars.
Stephen impresses us again with his vocal skills. He is one of those singers who does not have to rely on auto-tuning or digital enhancement. I am sure it is used, but with his abilities, I am sure that Anberlin could still be a top-seller without it. Anberlin live is nearly identical to songs straight off the album, and the acoustic versions of their songs are mind-blowing. For this album, we have impressive rock vocals on tracks like To the Wolves and We Owe This To Ourselves. Even more amazing are some of the slower songs such as Take Me (As You Found Me); This is one of my favorites songs off of the album just because of how amazingly Stephen is able to carry out the vocals. Pray Tell is just one of those amazing songs that is in a class all of its own. This is my favorite song off of the album, and I’m glad to have found it. Since then, Anberlin has become one of my favorite bands of all time. Since learning about them, I have been getting their songs every time I could find the opportunity to do so. In fact, I just ordered the Anberlin Anthology off of Amazon last night, and I am only a few songs away from completing my collection of the New Surrender Deluxe Edition. Really all I was disappointed about here was that there weren’t any songs that similar to Paperthin Hymn, Blame Me! Blame Me!, or The Unwinding Cable Car. These in my opinion, are some of their best songs, and I would have to loved to have heard another song similar to them.
An excellent and wide range of music really helped make the album what it is. The clap-stomp melodies of Pray Tell and Impossible are hard to get out of your head, and they are the kind of melodies that won’t annoy you to the brink of insanity after being stuck in your head all day. Then we have the songs like We Owe This to Ourselves and To the Wolves that come with some amazingly beautiful guitar riffs and power chords that will please any die-hard Rock fan and influence the inspired musician. Overall I am very impressed by this and it has quickly become one of my favorite albums of all time.
Overall Impression 4
Overall I would have to give this album a total of four stars out of five. It is a fantastic album, but it seems to lack some compared to New Surrender. I may still be a fairly recent fan of Anberlin, but considering how much I have listened to their songs on repeat and how much time I have spent searching for their songs and blabbering to my friends and family about them, I would say I am as diehard a fan as any other Anberlin fan out there. In future albums, I would really like to see some more songs like Paperthin Hymn, Blame Me! Blame Me! The Unwinding Cable Car, etc. These songs were simply excellent in my opinion, some of the best songs I have ever heard. I would like to continue hearing them put out songs like The Resistance, Pray Tell, and The Feel Good Drag as well. Both sets of songs I listed seem to have their own feel to them, and Anberlin does a fantastic job of performing them. This is the direction I would love to see the group move forward in.
Label: Universal Republic Records
Genre: Rock, Punk, Alternative