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Penny Black

4.0 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 22, 2012
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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.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 22, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rise Records
  • ASIN: B00936A1EM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,986 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was on the fence about buying this until I found out Chris Carrabba is the lead singer on this cd. I like Jason Gleason's FSF cd but I am a bigger fan Chris and this cd has been in my hot rotation since I received it.
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Format: Audio CD
I hate the vocal production on this album. I hate it so much. I'm not sure why it's so bad, but it is. Surely Carabba can still wail. I don't know.

Otherwise, the album sounds really good, but nowhere near as good as the JWP produced albums.

However...while I absolute LOVE the two post-Carabba albums, particularly on a lyrical level. I will admit that some of FSF's catchiest songs are found here without question.
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Format: Audio CD
Over the years I remember hearing my peers talk about this band Further Seems Forever. I even recall seeing them on television once or twice.
A few years after they broke up, I found myself searching youtube for anything related to FSF.
I saw every video possible and from every era (since they have had three different singers and frequent member changes).
I was excited to find out that they were set to reunite for the tenth anniversary of The Moon Is Down. I even saw them at the 2011 Bamboozle Festival.
The whole thing had such an impact on me so when I had heard they hoped to make new music I fell into a spell.
They had become easily one of my favorite bands and the thought of new material from their original lineup was a dream.

When I first heard Penny Black I wasnt sure what to expect.
This album is easily my favorite that theyve created. They managed to build such a strong bridge between the prior albums and the current.
When compared to The Moon Is Down I almost favor Penny Black over it. There's so much growth and maturity to this album that sets it apart from previous albums but also borrows
certain charms from each of the past releases.

They give the listeners much more of a variety to choose from unlike past releases. 'So Cold' is a much poppier track, while 'Janie' provides the album with a slow paced acoustic ballad.
Hard hitting tracks like 'Rescue Trained' and "Engines' really help the album flow and stand out. Carrabba's vocals are on point and probably some of the best I have heard from him. This album shows his true potential where as Dashboard Confessional seems as if he holds back.
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