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4 out of 5 stars 279 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 6, 2006
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Decemberunderground is the long awaited follow up to 2003's platinum breakthrough album Sing the Sorrow. With each new release since their 1991 debut, AFI has delivered the unexpected and have once again defied predictability by infusing new elements into their already uniquely powerful sound. Decemberunderground, produced by Jerry Finn (Green Day, blink-182), is the end result of some two years of hard work by a band determined to reclaim their position as modern rock's preeminent innovators and shows a depth, scope and passion all to uncommon in most contemporary efforts. As one of the most popular groups to emerge from traditional hardcore roots AFI have amassed a die-hard fan base, The Despair Faction, which is nothing short of cult-like and the anticipation they feel for this album reverberates for anyone who is eager to know where rock music is heading. A groundbreaking release, an incendiary live show, a fanatical following. Decemberunderground is here.


As AFI rode onto mainstream radio playlists with their gleaming major label debut, Sing the Sorrow, the rumble of disenchanted fans nearly drowned out that of their dark-hued music. But the heavily-tattooed San Francisco band aren't looking back on Decemberunderground, a slickly-produced, MTV-friendly disc brimming with sinister pop charms. The opening "Prelude 12/21" sets the upbeat tone with handclaps, strings, and a cheeky glam-rock stomp. AFI might still operate in that distinct area where punk, goth, and frightening stadium rock come together, only now they seem intent on crashing the retro '80s party attended by the likes of Franz Ferdinand and the Killers, with flashy tracks such as "Miss Muder" and the synth-heavy "Love Like Winter." "The Interview," meanwhile, is the closest Davey Havok has ever come to crooning a lighter-waving epic. Despite the odd lapse into the Cookie Monster metal territory of their early days ("Kill Caustic," "Affliction"), Decemberunderground is even more ambitious than its predecessor. First comes the backlash, then comes the platinum. --Aidin Vaziri
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 6, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Interscope
  • ASIN: B000FFJ85I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (279 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,972 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I'm beginning to wonder about all the people who say that they're "hardcore AFI fans" before trashing this album.

I've been a fan since 2002; I was introduced via Black Sails in the Sunset and Art of Drowning. I love Very Proud of Ya, Shut Your Mouth, and Answer That for the punky aspects, I love Black Sails for the raw energy it has, I love Art of Drowning for the exceptional lyrics, I love Sing the Sorrow for the beauty of the music, and I love Decemberunderground because someone finally got the 'modernizing the 80s' sound right.

I'm not just an AFI fan, I'm a music fan. If you box yourself into one category (punk, goth, whatever; most of you think labels are stupid anyway), you're going to miss out on a lot of stuff this band has to offer. If you're really that one-dimsenional, where you only like one certain type of music, then you're not going to like AFI. Period. They change as people as life progresses, so their music changes to reflect that. You like their old stuff better? That's great, but don't say you want another Black Sails, or another Very Proud of Ya, or whatever. Bands that can't evolve don't make it. If Davey and the rest of the guys were still singing about not being able to get mohawks or how people don't understand them, you'd hate it, and I'd hate it. That's like Blink 182 still bitching about high school on their last album when they should be going to their high school reunions and taking care of their kids.

Miss Murder is definitely catchy, and gets me pumped up like only Days of the Phoenix could do. Prelude 12/21 is beautiful, and really shows that Davey knows how to control his voice to get the sound he wants.
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Format: Audio CD
When it comes to AFI, I'm very touchy about my opinions. As someone who's been listening to this band for years now, I have to say that even I have had my skepticisms about their transitions through the years. I was one of the fans who initially dismissed "Sing The Sorrow" as the horrid "sellout" album, but with time it eventually grew on me and I realized the true beauty in its nature. And "Decemberunderground" is no different from that album in any respect. Is this the best record they've ever written? Absolutely not. Does that mean that it's not good? Absolutely not. Just how I learned to expand my tastes and take new ideas into account with "Sing The Sorrow", most fans will have to with "Decemberunderground". While it's not at all perfect, it's definitely a nice stepping stone in the ever-evolving AFI sound, and something that fans who want the band to continue to grow and mature should appreciate.

First of all I was not expecting another "Black Sails In The Sunset" (commonly agreed upon as their best record) or "Art Of Drowning" when I popped "Decemberunderground" into my cd player. If you do, you're just going to be turned off immediately. Instead I just decided to let AFI take me to where they wanted to. And while it's true that they've dabbled further into experimental forms of music (there's tons of 80's influence in here), the core of what makes AFI special is still in tact. It's not going to redeem them as the saviors of music or anything like that, but "Decemberunderground" definitely has some things going for it.

The lead single "Miss Murder" at first seemed just like a "Girl's Not Grey" pt 2, in that it had its melodic, catchy chorus, and easily identifiable music. As much as I didn't really care for it at first, it has really grown on me now.
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Format: Audio CD
It's the Lebron James problem. The guy can go out and have a 30 point, 10 rebound game and can get picked on for too many turnovers, or for lack of aggression. Greatness can be a burden, especially if you sustain said greatness for such a long period of time that your critics evaluate you with a whole separate set of criteria.

These poor AFI guys put out three flawless albums in a row, follow it up with a great album, and get nitpicked on for throwing in a few mediocre tracks (37mm and The Interview come to mind). All AFI has done is go from genre to genre effortlessly reinventing the craft of music. This time they take on nouveau-80's britpop and arena rock, and somehow make beauty out of them. Classics like "The Missing Frame," "Love Like Winter," and "Summer Shudder" stand up to "Bleed Black" and "This Celluloid Dream" in originality in composition, even if they aren't revolutionary like "Days of the Phoenix." (For those that pre-ordered the album and got the two bonus tracks) We are truly seeing a shocking change in AFI when they can take "The Smiths" Jack the Ripper and create a remake to stand with the original. DU deals more with an inner turmoil less than it does with a world-gone-wrong.

What's most interesting to me is that the stand-offish uber-gothy radicalism that so distinguished the band from their blander contemporaries has been softened to make room for a much more personal sound. Is it only me that is touched by the lyrics "Will the flood behind me put out the fire inside me?" The album doesn't scream so much as it cries.

If you are a true AFI fan, you know that there is no one AFI sound that DECEMBERUNDERGROUND can betray; AFI is a musical journey that requires us to stick with the band and rethink them with every new release.
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this isnt punk rock its just a goth band filled with girls who wish they...
Hahahah... oh please. The Sex Pistols? They were so popular when they were still around! Every little rich kid who wanted to be rebellious against mommy and daddy listened to them. Comparing the Sex Pistols to today's popular punk bands is pretty accurate then I guess. But in the opposite way... Read More
Jul 10, 2006 by Ivy |  See all 26 posts
The sex pistols are real punk rock, why do people think pop groups and...
Every generation has their thing with the new music coming out. Back in middle-school it was listening to Korn, Limp Bizkit and all that stuff. Sure it was touted as metal, which it truly wasnt. People like you were saying "Korn isnt metal, Black Sabbath is metal, Slayer is metal". Kids... Read More
Jul 9, 2006 by Sean Anders |  See all 13 posts
New album
or teenage boys wearing girls' pants.
Jun 19, 2006 by P. Hovey |  See all 5 posts
4 Different versions of the CD
No, there's no way to tell. But yeah, they said that there will be four different inserts with different art and a pic of one of the band members. Kind of seems like a ploy to get people to buy multiple copies.
Jun 5, 2006 by Robert W. Fowler |  See all 7 posts
Miss Murder
I haven't heard all of Miss Murder but I do agree. If the bit I heard of it is any indication, this album will be choice.
Apr 25, 2006 by BekaBug |  See all 9 posts
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