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Evermore's version of The Wall
on June 11, 2009
This is a brave effort to branch out from the hugely successful pop rock of previous efforts, such as Dreams with its wonderful single Its Too Late, into a concept on alienation, manipulation of truth and the ills of our times. For me it doesn't quite come off. 3 1/2 stars.
At over an hour long it is mostly angst and intensity but without any great variation or light. It reminds me of the feel of Pink Floyd's The Wall, but without the highlights. There are no equivalents to Another Brick In the Wall, Hey You, Comfortably Numb or Run Like Hell which lift that album from its dark pained and empty tone. here, Evermore's music is complex and solid, heavy grooves and pounding beats but no joyous tunes or inspiring ballads. It will no doubt take quite a few listens for individual tracks to stand out from each other. Little will make its way to the radio and it's really music to listen to on your own, played loud,when you are feeling down about the world. It won't lift you but you will at least feel you are not alone!
1. Plugged In sets the tone and is promising with the spoken intro and pleasant keyboards.
2.Tonight on the Show (Truth of the World Pt 1) follows. It is clearly a rock opera tune that moves the narrative forward but just doesn't lift.
3. Between the Lines follows, lifting the tempo with fast rhythms and solid drum beats and synths. Certainly gets the feet tapping but is not really memorable once its gone.
4. Max is Stable relaxes the pace with nice guitar plucking intro with overlaid choral sighs and baby sounds but soon becomes discordant and strident. This was a good place to generate a softer ballad to provide variation but that was blown after 1 1/2 minutes.
5. Hey Boys and Girls (Truth of the World Pt. 2) - up tempo number with distorted synth beats and probably the only radio friendly chorus and nice keyboard work. Highlight of the album.
6. The Lonely Ones - one of the shorter tracks at 3:17 with nice piano and synthesiser work, but still heavy and dark mood. Closing echo-ey piano bars lead seemlessly into piano intro for ...
7. Girl With the World On Her Shoulders - good track that can stand on its own even though it is integral with the story. Great piano, bass riff, vocals, drums and synthesisers. Almost U2ish in places.
8. Front Page Story / Diamonds in the River - slower double track. Initially soft spoken / sung then picks up with the pleasant Diamomds with nice paino riff repeated through the track but becoming more pained towards the end.
9 - 12. Infotainmentology (Truth of the World Pt. 3, Join the Party, Everybody's Doing It, Chemical Miracle / Faster - more rock opera songs, not memorable on their own. This is the weakest section of the album and what ultimately drags it down for me.
13. Can You Hear Me? - good closer and another song that can stand on its own. Has passion and excellent rhythm.
My philosophy on albums is that around 40 minutes is the ideal length to tell a story, provide scope for enough great songs with mimimal filler material, and provide variation while maintaining a consistent whole. On my ipod I will be excluding tracks 2, 4, 9 - 12. About 37 minutes left and it will be a pretty fine listen.
Given the other 5 star ratings, of course I could be wrong ... I still don't get Radiohead's gloomy OK Computer popularity. I may also be influenced by the fact that I bought this on the same day as I bought Eskimo Joe's latest album, Inshalla. That is 39 minutes of great tracks, all bar one under 4 minutes. Excellent 4 1/2 star album.