Average User Score: 8.7Nov 14, 2013I am a fan of almost everything that AF have done. There were a few lesser tunes that never really stuck with me but for the most part eachI am a fan of almost everything that AF have done. There were a few lesser tunes that never really stuck with me but for the most part each of their albums were solid from front to back so that one could just pop it in and let it spin without needing to skip any tracks.
Unfortunately this trend, I feel, had ended. Certainly there are some good tracks here, and when the single was released 6 weeks prior to the full CD my excitement level increased because I really liked it, listening to it many times. The first track has everything that I loved about AF, interesting sounds, dramatic moments, subtler sections. One thing that did worry me was the track's length, at 7+ minutes even after the first spin I found it at least 1-1/2 to 2 minutes too long as it just seems to repeat and meander, stumbling to the finish line.
This is the core problem with the full-length. Many songs simply overstay their welcome, well after finishing their thoughts/themes, and just seem to aimlessly linger. Also, I personally found that several of the tracks really didn't move one way or the other, not that they were bad, they were just there, kind of soulless. This album, for me, is just too over-indulgent, like they had all this new-found money and tools at their disposal and no-one there to rein them in a little, to show them that in most cases less is more. Unfortunately they have committed the biggest sin for me as a music lover, and that is indifference. I would rather love it or hate it, but when I find myself not really feeling anything about it, that's worse. All the ingredients are there: the voices, the sounds and the production (which I find muddy on many tracks, like over-produced, or mastered too high is it just me?) but for me there is a huge lack of cohesion, soul, and self-editing. I find myself skipping over many tracks, and really not going back to the CD often for a re-listen. Every band has mis-steps in there discography, and hopefully that is all this is, because I know what they are capable of, and this really misses the mark.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.5Mar 25, 2013So, this is DM circa 2009. Well, as a DM fan since 1990 and having listened to and re-listend to every CD dozens of times since then I thinkSo, this is DM circa 2009. Well, as a DM fan since 1990 and having listened to and re-listend to every CD dozens of times since then I think that I have finally hit a wall. Is it me with the problem? I read so many good reviews of this and I scratch my head. There are almost no hooks here, the song structure is so loose that there is, at times, almost no recognizable pattern to certain songs. I knew that I was in trouble during the first minute as this annoying computer tone drones in your head for no apparent reason then finally leads into In Chains, one of the few decent tracks on the CD. They really should have made the first minute skipable (reminds me of the annoying opening of Freelove). Wrong, the lead single, was picked for obvious reasons, it is the only track with any clout and aformentioned structure, and it completely misleads listeners as to what the rest of the album sound like, as is is completely out of place in the otherwise atmospheric, formless sludge that follows it. After strong albums Exciter and Playing the Angel, this is supremely disapointing. With 4 years between each CD we will unfortunately have to wait quite a while now, with the hopes of a return to form.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.8Mar 18, 2013Don't listen to any review that's too glowing or too harsh on this recording. It is a very good outing by a tortured soul, that at timesDon't listen to any review that's too glowing or too harsh on this recording. It is a very good outing by a tortured soul, that at times suffers from over production, and a few songs that wander a little aimlessly. All in all, though, it is a solid CD with several strong tracks that really grow upon repeated listens. This is the type of collection where one or two songs will initially stand out, then eventually they'll get replaced as your faves by others that you thought nothing much about at first. Such is the case with a song like "Love is Greed" or "On My Way". Certainly the album is slightly front-loaded, with many strong and varied tracks during the first half, where the back 4 or 5 start to sound slightly similar: not as much to uniquely define them. The most interest aspect of the CD is the bi-polar nature of the content: sad, dark and introspective lyrics are backed but mostly chipper and playful music and backing Motown-like backing vox. The track "Constant Conversations" is a must-listen, as an almost perfect slice of pop, and is probably the one that stood out the most during my first pass-through of all 12 songs. Essential tracks: "Take A Walk" The big single off the album, a little out of place given the subject matter, but well made. "I'll Be Alright" Starts with a swelling collision of beat and sound effects, then calms down, then swells again. Love it. "Constant Conversations" R & B in nature, the best track, and an instant hit to come "Carried Away" The chorus larger than life sing-a-long ready, probably the most radio-friendly tune. "Love Is Greed" Again, good pop structure with an infectious chorus.… Expand