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The Brink

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Australian quartet the Jezabels shimmer with their anthemic, empowering approach to indie pop. Comprising singer Hayley Mary, guitarist Samuel Lockwood, pianist/keyboardist Heather Shannon, and drummer Nik Kaloper, the group formed in 2007 after meeting at the University of Sydney, though Mary and Lockwood knew each other previously, having both grown up in Byron Bay. Taking a socially aware stance, the band name derived from Mary's perspective that Bible character Jezebel was misunderstood or misrepresented. Their first musical offering came in the form of an EP trilogy, beginning with 2009's The Man Is Dead and She's So Hard, rounded out a year later with Dark Storm. Propelled by a surprising combination of pop hooks and epic, moody energy, The Man Is Dead landed on the CMJ Top 200 chart in summer 2009, the first of many accolades for the band: by 2010, She s So Hard helped the band net two Independent Music Awards nods; the song 'Hurt Me' was featured as an iTunes Australia song of the week, and Tegan and Sara tapped the quartet to open for them on their spring tour down under. Full-length debut Prisoner arrived digitally the next fall, with Rolling Stone spotlighting the track 'Trycolour'. Mom + Pop issued the physical version of Prisoner in early 2012, just in time for the band's main-stage set at the Coachella music and arts festival. In 2014, the Jezabels returned with Brink.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 18, 2014)
  • Original Release Date: February 18, 2014
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Pias America
  • Run Time: 44 minutes
  • ASIN: B00HNR3ZE6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,322 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andrew on February 21, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
So a few nights ago I go to the local sports bar to watch some Olympic skiing and Ice skating and they've got this incredible jukebox blasting some hard rock. A truly fabulous jukebox that must have cost Fast Eddies $10K or more. So I say to myself - "The Jezabels" just released their new CD a few days ago, and I've heard a few cuts off of it but have not heard most of it. So I go over to said jukebox and see if maybe 'The Brink' is on the playlist, and sure enough it is... So I slide my Abe Lincoln into the machine, which gets me 7-8 songs. I pick four from their first album and four from 'The Brink'.

Now I've got some nice Boston Acoustics speakers at home and have listened to this wildly talented band on them, but when JZBLs came on the jukebox I was blown away. Ohh man. The jukebox filled the pretty large bar with a wall of JZBLs sound that was incredible, and when 'Psychotherapy' came on it was a music epiphany of the highest order. It sounded like Jewel singing Xmas songs, but I felt like I was in the twilight zone as I was reveling in the JZBLs wall of sound and everyone else in the place was oblivious to it. Just shows you that most people have the musical ear of a dead rat as this music is totally incredible.

This brings me to the subject of the reviews that I've read on `The Brink'. I find comments like `unoriginal second album', `no progression from the first album' to be absurd, and written by music reviewers that have the musical ear of the drunken pool players I was describing above.
This CD is sensational, and if you don't think that `Psychotherapy' is one of the most beautiful rock songs ever produced, then you need to restrict your musical listening to rap and death metal.
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By Zackwlsn5 on February 20, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not sure why the music critics are so disappointed in this album. Their first album, Prisoner was great but The Brink shows a lot of growth from the band. They haven't changed their sound too much but the pace of the album is much better than their first effort. There are quick paced, beautiful songs throughout instead of having them all at the front half of the album with classic and unique ballads in between. My favorite songs are "The End", "Psychotherapy", and "Time to Dance".

Overall, The Jezabels second album is much better than the critics are saying so don't let them sway your decision. If they keep progressing the way they are I can't even imagine how amazing their future music will be.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I loved the first Jezebels song I heard, on that crazy bike video. I got the song, then the EP, then all the EPs. I loved this band. I loved the videos. The spare, fresh, open sound. No Bass. Wicked Drums. Amazing Guitar from a single dude. Heather playing just piano. Then some violin. You can sense the real, classical training, and the depth of the musicanship. Soaring vocals and plantitive lyrics.

Well, that's all gone now. Synths not piano. 80s electro drum sounds. Multil layered everything. Outfront vocals and seriously insipid cliches, not deep thoughfulyMy first thought "how will they pull this off live?" The svengali production has robbed them of who they are. Talk of more cooperative writing, but something got lost in it all.

I've given this a listen for several days. Yes, a few songs are standouts, most feel like throwaways. Oh the power of an EP with 4-5 great songs rather than the reach for an album of 10. A few stick in my head, but on the whole it just feels too big, too bloated, and too unlike the small group I loved. I felt this creeping in on "prisoner" and tried to deny it. But now the direction is seriously away from the originality they were birthed with.

Go find some of the acoustic sessions on youtube of them standing out doors and playing. That's the pure sound, and man its great. And those songs hurt they are so beautiful. Its the brink, but I don't like what's over that edge....
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having finally listened to this album enough to write a review, I feel a little hesitant to give it four stars, but more hesitant to give it three. In short, The Brink is more accessible and immediate than Prisoner. It's also shorter in play time. And the sound here, as others have mentioned, is more softly textured and synthy than their EPs or Prisoner. All of that is of course neither here nor there as far as quality, but I don't think that this album is as good on the whole as what I've heard from this band in the past. The first several songs are terrific, especially "Beat To Beat" which demonstrates how easily the Jezabels create soaring melodies and surging momentum.

That being said, "Angels of Fire" is a track that I actively dislike and there are one or two others that I don't like all that much. Previous Jezabels albums struck me much more evenly across the board. All of those things being said, though, there are several really good songs and I don't mind that the band's sound is evolving, because they still demonstrate their fantastic musicianship and great melodic instincts. The Brink is an obvious choice for fans, because if you've fallen in love with the Jezabels, you just about have to pick this up. For those new to or curious about the band, I would suggest the Dark Storm EP as the best entry point.

EDIT: I just felt compelled to add that "Got Velvet" is a fantastic, incredible song. The arrangement just surges and the vocals trip the borders of singing and channeling something closer to pure ecstasy. Great stuff.
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