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The Monitor

The Monitor

March 9, 2010
4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

$9.49
 
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1
7:09
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2
1:55
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3
5:16
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4
5:06
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5
8:53
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6
8:38
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7
5:01
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8
7:00
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9
2:24
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10
14:02
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Product Details

Customer Reviews

5 star
86%
4 star
14%
3 star
0%
2 star
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Top Customer Reviews

By Saganite VINE VOICE on August 2, 2011
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I wish I could remember how I learned about this album--it sure wasn't from how famous Titus Andronicus is. But they deserve to be well-known, even celebrated. It's been a long time since I've heard punk-flavored rock as whip-smart and satisfying as what's on "The Monitor," or songs as complex and accomplished, or lyrics as clever and poetic as these:

Solidarity's going to give a lot less than it'll take
Is there a girl at this college who hasn't been raped?
Is there a boy in this town that's not exploding with hate?
Is there a human alive that can look themselves in the face

Without winking?
Or say what they mean without drinking?
Or believe in something without thinking, "What if somebody doesn't approve?"
Is there a soul on this Earth that isn't too frightened to move?

...

And so now when I drink, I'm going to drink to excess
And when I smoke, I will smoke gaping holes in my chest
And when I scream, I will scream until I'm gasping for breath
And when I get sick, I will stay sick for the rest...Of my days

Part of the poetry of these lyrics is reflected in the snarling, growling voice they are delivered in. I don't know very much about Titus Andronicus, and I don't even remember why I know them at all. But "The Monitor" has rapidly become one of my favorite albums of the past four years. If you're a fan of the vocals of a band like Flogging Molly, with shifts in intrusmentation and time signatures redolent of Rush (of all bands), with sturdy, break-out instrumentation and firmly rooted sense of place (New Jersey), you might find Monitor compelling. I can't WAIT to hear what T.A. comes up with next.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
A ramshackle ride through a loosely-themed album that somehow maintains its concept the whole way through. More than that, these songs are anthemic, joyous and bleak, often in the same breath. Destined to be a niche classic, even if they fall apart because of it.
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They can't sing. They can't really play. On paper, this is just tired and played-out punk rock. But there's more to this than the sum of its parts, way the hell more.

This album is a big step up from their dismissable debut album, "The Airing of Grievances," a badly-mixed soup of distorted instruments and vocals, giving the impression that the band had nothing to say, but wanted to say it loudly. With "The Monitor," the sound is cleaned up; they obviously have something to say, and they're willing to let it be heard.

What they're saying somehow combines imagery of the American Civil War with the lyricist's move to Boston. It's a headscratcher. It's something about living without a great cause, and dealing with an enemy as undefeatable as an invading army. Lofty quotes from Lincoln, Jefferson Davis and Walt Whitman are sandwiched between songs about personal pettiness and self-pity: "Heard the man with the hotepad say, / 'Yeah, they're funny, but they drink too much / And don't be surprised if they amount to nothing at all.'"

And the voice comes through more clearly than on their previous effort. A certain amount of historical literacy is required to get the context of lyrics like:

Soon you'll be burning orphanages down
Scattering ashes all over town
And when the smoke gets too close to the ground
You'll see blue trampling over gray, and green over brown.

Heavy stuff. But they make it heavier still, with lyrics anyone from any era might uncomfortably identify with:

Whatever price that you paid
For your mighty destruction, well, it was too much
At the end of every day
To whatever extent that you hate yourself, it isn't enough.

The whole thing sounds pretentious ...
Read more ›
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Format: MP3 Music
This album is great. The ten songs add up to just about 60 minutes, and not one second is boring. There is constantly great instrumentation and lyrics that will have you thinking and laughing. There are so many different genres on this album that keeps the listener wanting more. I could go on and on about this album, but I won't bore you. If you love punk, or any sort of rock and roll you need to get this album now.
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