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Change

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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The Dismemberment Plan may be associated with the DC punk and emo-core scenes, but with their layered keyboards (three-quarters of the members contribute) they are never what you expect. The uninitiated might take exception to singer Travis Morrison's voice, but his nerdy charm, lyrics, and falsetto tend to take hold, as legions of devoted fans will attest. Some might wish DP would remake 1999's Emergency and I; instead, they enlisted Emergency's knob-twiddler, J. Robbins (Jawbox) and expanded their songwriting. Tons of vibrant noise is thrown down and the rhythm section deserves particular kudos. In many ways DP are more jazz than rock at this point. But the sonic spectrum is so wide that the songs never sound crowded. Continuing the tradition of peppering puzzle-like structures with disparate influences (hip-hop, funk, punk, new wave), Change--though thoroughly modern--evokes some good bits from the '80s. There's a bit of the Police (drumming by Joe Easley), U2 (Edge-like rattle and treble-kick guitar), and Talking Heads (quirky, African-sounding rhythms), but it's all mixed with a buzzing excitement, an electricity that hasn't burned out but increased in voltage. --Cyndi Elliott
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 23, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Desoto
  • ASIN: B00005QJG6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #177,731 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tristan E. Abbott on January 10, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The `Plan seem to have settled down. Gone are the bicycle horns and well-timed bits of screaming. Gone are the punk influences and screeching guitar extros. In exchange the `Plan have picked up a more introspective and sentimental sound. The result is Change, the fourth LP from the Washington D.C. quartet.
It looks as if The Emergency & I is going to go down as The `Plan's magnum opus. Change is an excellent album, but it just doesn't compare to its predecessor; and that was a goddamn kick in the teeth at an end to a disappointing year.
So Change took a bit of getting used to. If it wasn't from The Dismemberment Plan it would have been much more accessible. The album sticks to its title, and if it weren't for the nearly perfect time changes and Travis Morrison's irreplaceable vocals (which easily place as best of the year) this could have been passed off as a new Desoto group.
Many a critic wrote this disc off before even giving it a fair shot. Just because, as NME puts it, "It's not nearly as catchy as (their) earlier works." That's true. It's not as catchy as their earlier works, it's not as zany, and it's not as manic. But Morrison's incredible lyrical prowess is even more open to express itself in the `Plan's new, more confined setting. The eerie accuracy in which events are described (especially when describing a lady friend getting sucked into the clouds in "The Face of the Earth") and the plain, non overly descript emotions of "Super Powers" and "Secret Curse" are so powerful yet free from pretense that they ring in the mind almost like Greek Poetry.
The calm spirit of the album makes its emotional bits (the few that there are) even more powerful.
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Format: Audio CD
Almost every review I've seen of the Dismemberment Plan's most recent
record has invoked the album's title to discuss the earth-shattering shift
that it represents away from the band's old sound. I find this quite
amusing, partly because I'm just amused at how much artists can shape
critical response to a record just by their choice of title, but mostly
because I doubt most reviewers would have harped on that aspect of the
release if it hadn't been for the title.
First of all, the elements that make the Plan one of the most distinctive
bands around are still firmly intact - clever, chiming guitar work;
complex and methodical but funky drumming; and head Planner Travis
Morrison's unmistakable dry, deliberate delivery. Certainly, there are
distinguishable differences between this and their last effort, 1999's
universally (and rightly) lauded "Emergency & I." For instance (as has
been most often commented on), this one is slightly mellower - that is,
nothing here verges on unlistenable the way "Emergency's" weakest link
"I Love a Magician" did.
Also, there's nothing as glorious and cathartic as "The City" or as
inane-yet-beautiful as "You Are Invited." And, arguably, this release
definitely finds the Plan continuing to distance themselves from their
brash and raucous early work (epitomized by "!," whose title is
unfortunately not pronounced as a Bantu click). But so what - what's so
mind-blowing about a group evolving their sound?
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Format: Audio CD
I could easily sit here and gush about the Plan (because they are that good), but I won't do that. What I will say is that they are simply one of the most exciting indie bands working today. I have to admit that for a short time after I first listened to "Change", I was slightly disappointed. It didn't seem to knock me over with the same brilliance, energy or feeling of euphoria that I get from listening to Emergency&I or Dismemberment Plan is Terrified. The difference in sound on Change is very apparent. This album is much more sentimental, emotional, and understated than other Plan albums. However, after a few more listens, I started to like it alot. It also has the first acoustic Dismemberment Plan song I've ever heard! You can definitely rock out to this album, Face of the Earth and Time Bomb are especially good. Also, Travis's lyrics are some of his most poetic and emotionally upfront. But don't expect to feel that special electricity course through you like you would with their other albums. You can get that at the live show.
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Format: Audio CD
I didn't become aware of the D-Plan until the summer of 1999 when the radio-friendly track "What Do You Want Me to Say" from the album "Emergency and I" showed up on my CMJ sample disc. What can I say, I was struck and I found myself singing along to that song every time it played, bought the album two weeks later. Six months later I drove 450 miles to see a show in Milwaukee,WI. A veteran of some 300-500 indie rock shows, I was blown away, and not just a little. At the show they played "Time Bomb" and "Ellen and Ben" and "The Other Side", so I got a taste of what to expect when "Change" was released. And for the next six months I went to shows and bought other CDs, but all I could really think about was: When was The Plan's new CD going to come out.
One can try and label this band with a genre but why try? They have been labeled post-punk, emo, or avant garde, and I wouldn't necessarily say any of those comparisons are inaccurate, however by doing that you forget about the jazz, soul, and dance influences. To say they are a polka band would be inaccurate. If you are a true devoted fan of punk rock, "Change" is going to sound poppy and catchy and accessible, and a person might prefer an earlier album like "!". Your "average" radio listener is going to say they are weird. What I say is: Try a pair of headphones,turn up the volume, and reeally listen to the music. And who besides Travis writes lyrics like these: "...I'm an old testament type of guy/I like my coffee black and my parole denied yeah.....
Peace I'm out..........
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