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City By The Light Divided

4.2 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 2, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Island recording group Thursday is completing its second album for the label, A City By The Light Divided, delivering on the promise of their critically acclaimed top 10 major label debut of 2003, War All The Time. The new album was produced at Tarbox Studios in Fredonia, New York by Dave Fridmann (known for his work with Flaming Lips, Mogwai and Sleater-Kinney) and will be preceded by the release of its first single pick, 'Counting 5-4-3-2-1.'
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 2, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Island
  • ASIN: B000EZ903Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,183 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Have you ever had a band you liked, but sort of took for granted? Like when they aren't touring or putting out music, you kind of forget what it is you like about them? Well, that is the case with me and Thursday. Like most people, I was a fan with my first listen of "Full Collapse," and when 2003's "War All The Time" came out, I was all over it. However, since that time, the band has slipped under the radar a bit, and I sort of forgot about Thursday. Maybe it's the fact that there are about a hundred bands out right now that dumb down Thursday's sound to make it their own, and the fact that the scene they helped create is one ugly mess. Well, with "A City By The Light Divided," Thursday return stronger than ever and take one giant step forward.

There is a noticeable difference between this, their fourth effort, and the three other albums. Not as polished as "War All The Time," "A City By The Light Divided" takes a more lo-fi approach. Frontman Geoff Rickley sounds like he is straining to make himself heard over the crashing drums and dominant guitars, but still sounds as great as ever. In fact, I'd say this is lyrically his best outing. The sound is hard to understand, but just trust that it works. Take the songs "Running From The Rain" and "Sugar In The Sacrament," two songs that head into U2 territory, and can only be described as glorious. The night I bought this album, I fell asleep with this songs running over and over in my head. No doubt, these are the best examples of how the band has grown. However, standard Thursday fare is still present with the single "Counting 5-4-3-2-1," "Telegraph Avenue Kiss" and "The Other Side Of The Car Crash," which is roughly a sequel to their signature song, "Understanding In A Car Crash.
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Format: Audio CD
i've been a huge thursday fan since i got "full collapse" back in 2002 and i think that is one of the best albums i own. i then picked up their older work "waiting" and i thought it was fairly good even though it was very raw sounding and underproduced. then 2003 came and "war all the time" was released and that too was an awesome release but not quite as good as "full collapse".

now, a mere 3 years later (after going through personal hells, says geoff rickly) they released "a city by the light divided". when i first heard it, i was really shocked and amazed altogether. it sounded alot different from anything released from the band. It was more atmostpheric, darker, more epic sounding, and geoff's vocals sounded distant in the songs adding a weird vibe to them. i'm not sure why thursday went with the recording style they went with, because geoff's vocals sound kind of drowned out by the wailing/intricate guitars but yet i can't help loving it at the same time. this is clearly musical progression, no doubt, and you can hear a little from every thursday album on here, especially "waiting" and "full collapse".

not only is the whole cd a solid piece of art, geoff's lyrics are clever and intelligent as ever, as well as his singing range reaching new heights. i think geoff's distinct, unique voice really separates this band from what's out there. his voice is so emotional, angsty, dark, harsh, and honest altogether.

this album is a huge progression for the band and i'm surprised they did such a leap being signed on a major label. their progression kind of reminds me of the one thrice did with "vheissu". that was thrice's beautiful masterpiece, as is this is thursday's beautiful masterpiece. the album sounds very big and will become an epic in my cd collection.
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Format: Audio CD
In CBTLD, Thursday displays a cleaner, certainly more mature sound. The lyrics are, as always, intelligent and abstract, but seem to allow the listener a little more clarity into the writer's intentions.

The songs come across as being crisp and controlled. Gone are the out-of-control wailings of Full Collapse (this change can be interpreted as either positive or negative). The "screamo" aesthetic is replaced by a measured, yet just as powerful, musical roller coaster of tempo and vocal range.

The themes are, in many ways, a departure from the direction established by War All the Time. Rather than focusing on "larger" issues, such as homophobia, CBTLD is personal. The songs are about love, loss, and mortality ('Autumn Leaves Revisited' gave me the same chills as Death Cab's 'What Sarah Said').

Overall, CBTLD does not seem to favor Full Collapse or WATT. Rather, it seems to draw the positive elements from both albums. CBTLD takes the crisp, clean sound of WATT and blends it with the personal, accessible themes of Full Collapse. Interestingly, it references Full Collapse and 5 Stories directly more than once (just look at the song titles...'Other Side of the Crash,' 'At This Velocity,' 'Autumn Leaves Revisited'). In doing so, Thursday has successfully given a new, matured perspective on emotions that were first referenced when we all heard Full Collapse for the first time.

Overall, CBTLD provides the model for a band looking to evolve musically while still maintaining its thematic integrity and its obligations to the listeners.
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