For Fans Of
It’s said that a band’s 3rd album is their “make or break” shot at industry stardom. Bands either soar to unexpected new heights or they crash and burn. Fortunately for Anberlin they’ve written the most accomplished record of their career thus far.
The word mature gets thrown around with reckless abandon by a lot of CD reviewers, but it’s the most appropriate way of describing “Cities”. The album has a consistency that was absent on previous Anberlin records – every song plays a part in how the album unfolds as a whole.
“Cities” kicks off with a brief intro sample and kicks straight into Godspeed (which is also the album’s first single). While the song is reminiscent of some of Anberlin’s more upbeat tracks there is something a little different. The lead guitar work is more prominent and Stephen’s vocals are even better than they were on “Never Take Friendship Personal” (if you can believe that). Godpseed is also incredibly bass heavy, providing Anberlin with a huge bottom end that they haven’t had previously.
Next track Adelaide is more of a mid paced number but what it does show is drummer Nathan Young’s new found prowess behind the kit. The drum tracks on Anerblin’s other records has never been bad, it was just very straight forward – which is understandable considering Nathan was only 16 when the band firs started playing shows. It’s amazing what a few years on the road can do because Nathan’s drum tracks are both hard hitting and creative.
The next couple of tracks are classic Anberlin but it’s track 6 (and my favourite) “There’s No Mathematics To Love And Loss” that really caught my attention. The inclusion of 80’s inspired synth/keys makes this song catchier than an STD in Thailand – I wouldn’t be surprised if it shows up as a single in the near future.
The last half of the album is a mixture of straight up rock, synth infused rock, as well as a couple of ballads. Often the inclusion of softer material on an album can cause a record to lose momentum but Anberlin’s more reflective tunes add to the overall feel of Cities.
The CD also includes 3 bonus tracks which aren’t as great as the rest of the material on Cities, but definitely serve their purpose.
This is a near flawless modern pop-rock album which should be on
everyone’s must by list this year. I look forward to seeing the band
again when they tour later this year.
04. A Whisper And A Clamor
05. The Unwinding Cable Car
06. Hello Alone
10. Dismantle Repair