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on December 15, 2005
12/23 NOTE: Anberlin's NEW album, "Cities" hits stores on February 20th, 2007. You can get a sneak peek on the Tooth & Nail Podcast, or you can download two songs off their EP on iTunes come Dec 26th. It sounds awesome. Enjoy!

Anberlin's "Blueprints for the Black Market" gave listeners a surprise left hook that left them awed at the amazing potential that this newcomer band had. Everyone knew they would make waves, but it's not until the release of their sophomore album, "Never Take Friendship Personal," that Anberlin became an unstoppable force in the music industry.

Musically and lyrically, "Never Take Friendship Personal" follows along the lines of their previous release, but it's subtle differences that make this record unique... not only from their previous release, but from any other band that tries to compare. A little emo, a little rock & roll -- but all Anberlin.

The vocals are exceptionally done (as only Stephen Christian can do so) bringing forth the power and emotion needed to complement the music. The music is simply Anberlin: original, catchy, lasting. With each progression and every new chord, Anberlin ensures it's longevity. They mean business, and it shows.

All of the songs are great, so if you liked the previous release, you're sure to love this one. There's even a slower song (something not found in "Blueprints for the Black Market") that just yells originality.

As for the lyrics, although most of them are about relationships, they are beautifully written. Most of the time they remind me of poetry. Though the lyrics aren't directly Christian, the band's testimony speaks for itself. So, to those that wonder whether or not Anberlin is a Christian band: they are. They just don't have to sing about it to prove it. Actions speak louder than words.
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on December 23, 2005
Wow, blown away by this album in every way possible. This is one of those albums where I listen to the entire thing without skipping one song and wishing it wouldn't end. I liked Blueprints For The Black market but it was one of those albums where I liked it but not enough to really listen to it all the time. With this one, no question the best of 2005. Honestly if you liked Blueprints then buy this right now. If you like this type of music in general than just buy this right now.

Oh, and some idiot on here posted saying that "Emo sucks" and I just wanted to give my opinion on that. "Emo" means "Emotional", so doesn't that mean that all music qualifies as Emo? Without emotion, there would be no music, correct? Music is an emotionally driven art. I hate when people use that term.
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on September 28, 2006
This is a great, fun disc. I am not a Christian, but I tend to like a number of bands on Tooth & Nail (mewithoutYou, Mae, Further Seems Forever, Danielson) and when the record label began pushing this record last year, I gave it a listen. I am glad I did because over a year has passed and I still listen to this disc. For an emo/whatever genre band, my time limit is usually a month or two, so . . . .

I think what sets Anberlin apart is the distinctive vocal styling and tight musicianship. The music isn't the most complex in the world, but it has enough to keep you coming back. These are very straighforward rock songs with some extra little bits added in here are there that add to the songs as a whole instead of being for postertity's sake. Meaning, the band puts emphasis on writing good songs, not guitar wailing. That and it sounds good.

However, the biggest downside to this record as compared to their first is the lack of guitar solos. I don't believe you need to have solos on every song, but the first album showed that Anberlin can in fact solo and this album has next to none. There are lead licks, just no solos. That being said, as with other Aaron Sprinkle mixes, the lead guitar is pushed pretty far into the back to give the music a much more full sound with every instrument getting a fair play. So, if there are solos, would we even hear them? I'm only half joking here. Either way, this is a very minor complaint and really just an observation.

Standout tracks for me are "Paperthing Hymn", "A Day Late", "Dance, Dance" and "The Feel Good Drag." The latter song being my favorite overall not because it is the most catchy or the best song, but because I love the energy. There isn't a bad song on this record and the slower song "(The Symphony of) Blase" fits in the mix of the disc. For those of us who want a great sounding, well written rock record without too many frills, then this is a great buy for Christian's and non-Christians. Let's ignore labels and just listen to music for what it is meant to be for. You and me.
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on February 12, 2005
I bought this cd not really knowing who the band was...and turned out becoming a fan. AWESOME sophmore album. Most songs are written like letters (lots of "you" and "I"), with the main topics focusing on the pros and cons of love.

1. "Never Take Friendship Personal". This is a good intro song...probably not the best in the cd, but still good. (4/5)

2. "Paperthin Hymn". Great lyrics, good tempo, awesome chorus. (5/5)

3. "Stationary Stationery". Another great song. Again, awesome chorus, good beat, good lyrics. (5/5)

4. "(the symphony of) blase". The slowest on the song, and probably the saddest. Slower tempo than the other songs, but strong lyrics. (4/5)

5. "A Day Late". Not as hard as other songs, but by no means slow. Another song about love lost (or in this case, love missed). (4/5)

6. "the Runaways". Good music, good vocals. Focuses on those girls who break your heart (runaway girls). (4/5)

7. "Time & Confusion". Another slightly slower song, but one with brighter lyrics (focuses on having someone who really cares for you...). (4/5)

8. "the Feel Good Drag". Starts out fast, eases into slow...but by far the hardest song on the album. Shows some of the realities of meaningless hookups, and acknowledges that sinful lust is not only a guy thing. Great music (some screaming at the end), awesome guitar riffs and lyrics. (5/5)

9. "Audrey, Start the Revolution! (amateur youth)". Another one of the more positive songs, focusing on the possibilities of good friendship. (5/5)

10. "A Heavy Hearted Work of Staggering Genius". No lyrics, just a minute twelve second music track. Not bad, but kinda interrups some great singing. (4/5)

11. "dance, dance, Crista Paffgen". Great lyrics about getting fixed on one girl. A bit slow in the verses, the music has a hint of euro-techno, but still an awesome song. Great way to round out the cd. (5/5)
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on February 7, 2005
The sophomore release of any band can make or break that bands' reputation. After nearly two years of touring with the success that their first album brought them, Anberlin stepped into the studio, as a four-piece, to record their second album: "Never Take Friendship Personal." In an industry where bands come and go, Anberlin's second effort proved that they are here to stay for a while.The album is so energy-packed that I could go through and highlight aspects of each song. However, to save you the time of reading what would be a two page rant, I will attempt to encompass the whole album in a few paragraphs.

Never Take Friendship Personal (NTFP), is a very big step up in Anberlin's progression as a group. From the first song, the lyrical progression and musical progression is very evident. The songs tend to have more variety in the guitars, drums, and vocals than their previous album. This record really does have so much music packed into it that it takes a few times through the CD to really absorb all of sounds, for lack of a better word. Also, Anberlin pulls in a little help on this album from Ryan Clark, lead singer of Demon Hunter, Seth Roberts, lead singer of Watashi Wa, Phil Sneed, lead singer of Story of The Year, and Mike Weiss, guitarist for Me Without You.

The progression from song to song on this album is outstanding as well. Produced by Aaron Sprinkle (MxPx, Pedro the Lion, Demon Hunter), the quality of sound really does the songs justice. Songs such as Never Take Friendship Personal and The Feel Good Drag will remind previous Anberlin fans of "Readyfuels" or "Glass to the Arson" off of Anberlin's first album, Blueprints for the Black Market (BPFTBM). Songs like "Audrey, Start the Revolution" and "A Day Late" contain very catchy choruses that will leave the listener singing the tune for hours later. My favorite track on the album, "The Symphony of Blasé" will remind Anberlin fans of "Naïve Orleans" from BPFTBM. My only criticism of this album is that for the song "Stationary Stationery", it seems that Anberlin tends to dip into the "pop/punk" mode. When used to their previous style, this song just doesn't seem to fit the same style or sound as the others. But, it is still a good song at that and a very high, low note for the album.

This CD is worth EVERY penny that a store or website would make you pay for it. This CD is a true step-up from BPFTBM and is a pure joy to listen to over, and over, and over...etc. In a time of mediocrity in bands, Anberlin really stands out from the crowd with this effort. With this album, they will gain the recognition that they deserve. I give the album two thumbs up. If I had two more thumbs, they'd get them too.
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on May 8, 2005
anberlin is back and better than ever. this is a great sophmore release. amazingly beautiful vocals, and different styles make each song individually great. their singer has one of the best voices ive ever heard. if you like the non-whiny emo like armor for sleep or new hopesfall, get this. you wont let it out of your cd player
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on March 27, 2005
anberlin is a band mainley consisting on their music style. what I maen by that is that anberlin had a way of blending their guitars withe their drums that rolles well together. I meanlike one minute all you have is a guitar stumming thats it, then all of a sudden not even with introduction drums and guitars form a blend of music needed to make people happy. i think anberlin mainley matured in the aspect of lyrics. there last cds lyrics realy didnt make all to much sense. But i think anberlin did a swell job at talking about relationbhips in this one. Another thing to point out is song titles. Anberlin uses a very unicue way of makeing the titles of their songs, Instead of the usual way of naming a song arter the lyrics in that song, anberlin sort of names it after the overall meaning of that song. Or as one reviewer pointed out they could be a title to a letter.there lyrics are on a base similiar to the ataris because its like their writing a letter or something its realy cool.If you buy this cd and you should I think you might wonder wats the point of the statue with the chunk of it missing, well i think it sybolises a freindship gond bad. you know you have to freinds the statues and y=things get badd so one ends up hurting the other one not necessarily phisycally but maybe by diong something else wise. anyway great cd here you people out there should own this.
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on February 3, 2006
This was another "on-the-whim" purchase for me, and it paid off once again! A very unique sound from a very unique band. The only objection I have is that they sometimes repeat themselves; for example, "Lips that need no introduction" appears both in "A Feel Good Drag" and "Dance, Dance Christa Paffgen." Such a unique phrase shouldn't be overused. However, that's a small trifle when you consider how great this album is overall! "Paperthin Hymn" is a beautiful song written in memory of lead singer Stephen Christian grandmother (that's what I heard, anyway...Correct me if I'm wrong); "A Day Late" is the ANTHEM for the victims of unrequited love; and I could go on describing how great every song is, but listen for yourself. Absolutely remarkable!
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on December 22, 2005
I decided to pick this up after seeing it in Amazon's Best of 2005 List. I am so glad I took a chance on this band, one I had never even heard of before. The first thing that jumps out is how lyrically tight the songs are, intellegent and poetic. Lyrics shine on songs like "Paperthin Hymn" and "dance, dance Christa Paffgen". "The Runaways" is a great song with one of the catchiest hooks in a rock song I've heard all year. I've heard other bands in this genre, and Anberlin definately stands out as one of the best.
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on March 23, 2005
I bought Blueprints for the Black Market on a whim and fell in love with their sound. When I saw they came out with a second, I wanted it, but I'm always skeptical about 2nd albums. I'm always afraid it's not going to be as good as the first. I was wrong thankfully. I'm reminded why I like them so much. This is such a great step in the right direction for them. Who wouldn't want to have 11 more songs to listen to?! Also, buy Forever Changed if you like Anberlin. You won't be dissapointed with them either.
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