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Penny Black


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Audio CD, October 22, 2012
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Penny Black + Hide Nothing
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 22, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rise Records
  • ASIN: B00936A1EM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,353 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. So Cold
2. Rescue Trained
3. Way Down
4. King's Canyon
5. Staring Down The Sun
6. A System Of Symmetry
7. Penny Black
8. On The Outside
9. Engines
10. Rusted Machines
11. Stem The Loss
12. Janie

Editorial Reviews

Further Seems Forever released its much-lauded debut album The Moon Is Down in 2001, and singer Chris Carrabba exited the group to pursue his solo career with Dashboard Confessional. But, no one likes a story that ends so abruptly. So when FSF's original lineup reunited in 2005, hope for something more glimmered. Penny Black both mirrors and expands upon Further Seems Forever's early aesthetic. From front to back, Penny Black is the record both fans and critics have longed for.

Customer Reviews

Great album -- excellent composition and lyrics.
Anna Elizabeth Reid
This record, much like the progression of Carrabba's DC, has grown with the audience and that is a rare feet.
rapaleeman
Hard hitting tracks like 'Rescue Trained' and "Engines' really help the album flow and stand out.
Matthew

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By rapaleeman on October 23, 2012
Format: Audio CD
To start, I have been a fan of Dashboard Confessional since 2001 when I heard "The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most" for the first time. Immediately afterwards, a friend pointed me in the direction of Further Seems Forever. Obviously since at that time they shared the same frontman in Chris Carrabba not only was the sound somewhat the same but the subject matter was also pretty close, though a little more family oriented instead of just about a break-up or losing your girl.

Now Further Seems Forever differentiated from DC by having more of a rock feel to it. This was obviously because FSF had a full backing band while DC was essentially Carrabba and a guitar. With that, the first FSF album was outstanding. Each song told a great story while also having a great flow and just overall cohesive sound. The subsequent albums though, what with their ever-changing frontmen all had fluctuating quality in every aspect from the writing to the instrumentation. Sure there were a few gems but the albums to me were really inconsistent and as such when FSF broke up in 2007, it wasn't a big deal to me as I still had Carrabba and his DC project which not only grew up with me, but also moved closer and closer to that original FSF album just in a more mature tone.

The last DC album "Alter The Ending" had a full backing band with more mature writing while still maintaining the great storytelling from previous DC albums. Now, here we are with a new FSF album and I'll be perfectly honest, it is exactly what I was hoping it would be.

Replacing the sappy, high school-aged drama of "The Moon Is Down" and the early DC records with more mature writing while also combining the full band is what you are going to get here on "Penny Black".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jacob Seal on March 3, 2014
Format: MP3 Music
First off, 4 or 5 stars easily for the music that is written and performed. The band really sounds tight and the songs have some major weight to them. I bet this stuff would kill in a live setting. Chris sounds like he really nailed it on a few songs, and the rest of the band brings thier signature psuedo-progressive chops as per usual. Great melodies throughout.

Unfortunately, this is one of the worst sounding albums I have heard in the last few years. First off, there are no dynamics to be found on the disc. The mix of the band has a strange mushing together instead of everything having it's own place in the mix. Also, WTF did they did they do to Chris' voice??? it is autotuned to hell and back! You can hear autotune artifacts at the end of notes where chris usually slides up or down. This is the sound of autotune trying to correct his natural singing style. Plus, it sounds like he is singing into a can or megaphone a lot of the times. Just awful, and inexcusable sound engineering. It sounds like you put the record on, put a 10 foot tube in front of the speakers and listened through the other end of the tube.

Just for comparison I put on Hide Nothing and it sounds 10 times better. It is still pretty compressed, but at least you can hear everything clearly and the parts that should get bigger are a little bigger.

I still gave it a 3 because the sound issues really aren't the fault of the band. They did a nice job writing a solid set of songs. But I still have to rate the product and the sound is a part of the product. The final product really suffers due to poor sound.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Darrell A. Jordan on February 24, 2013
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I was so excited to hear FSF getting back together, especially with Chris. Some of the tracks on this album are great and reminiscent of their first album with Chris. However, a few tracks I don't really like all that much. There is something different about Chris' voice on this album. It sounds too over produced and less raw, for the lack of a better term, than it did on The Moon is Down. Overall, if you're a FSF fan this is well worth your time and money. If not, well then there may not be much of an appeal. If you really want to get into this band, check out The Moon is Down and How to Start a Fire (my personal favorite album) with Jason Gleason.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Hoehn on March 12, 2013
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Not as good as some of their other stuff, but overall not a bad purchase. Not sure if I would recommend to other fans but I don't necessarily regret this purchase.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Blue Hen 2011 on November 28, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was very excited about this album. I've been a Chris Carrabba fan since I picked up the Dashboard Confessional MTV Unplugged CD in 2003 when I was in Middle School. Few other bands from that period in my life have stood the test of growing up. I pre-ordered Penny Black as soon as I could and was very excited to receive it.

I rarely review music but given the other reviews, I wanted to offer my impressions of the music. At first pass, I was disappointed like some of the other reviewers. I needed to adjust the audio levels to be able to hear the vocals clearly. I've never had that problem with any other CD. Reading the lyrics sleeve, I felt the writing was not up to par with "The Moon is Down" or Dashboard Confessional material. I really hoped Chris would catch lightening in a bottle again as he had with "The Swiss Army Romance". Except for the last song, Chris' voice didn't shine as clearly as it does in Dashboard Confessional songs and was more like his younger "The Moon is Down" voice. But time went by and I found myself listening to the CD over and over again.

The problem I had at first was I kept referring back to Chris' other music with FSF and DC when, clearly, this CD stands alone. I've had it for nearly two months now and I really do enjoy it.

As I said, this CD is a stand-alone in Chris' career and it should be listened to as such. It's not unlike Brand New's huge transitions between each CD. The lyrics and instruments in the songs weave together addictive songs that I listen to over and over again. Stand out songs are "So Cold", "Rescue Trained", "Rusted Machines", and "Janie". "Janie", my favorite song, sounds just like a Dashboard Confessional song. The instrumentals are hypnotic and I'm sure they would blow away someone better musically trained.
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