Released: Sep 7, 2010
Genre: Alternative rock
Label: Universal Republic
Number Of Tracks: 10
Musically, this album is the most consistent and mature we have ever seen, but it comes with a massive amount of frustration.
Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place
TAOD4ever, on september 24, 2010 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: I have been a long time fan of Anberlin since "Blueprints For The Black Market." They released this album on September 7, 2010 almost two years after releasing "New Surrender" they released "Dark is the Way, Light is a Place" and it is only has 10 tracks, I for one was like "WHY? You had two years and you only made 10 tracks?" But that aside, I must confess "many" of the ten songs I really did like. The percussion is very diversified and this gives it a cool sound except for "Pray Tell" which has that fake clapping sound effect that does not fit Anberlin at all. But I loved the full and rich sound that this CD has. I recommend "Impossible", and "Art of War" // 9
Lyrics: Stephen Christian sings beautifully on this album. I loved his vocals especially on "Art of War" "Down" and "You Belong Here" The lyrical content is also very traditional Anberlin, and that is a good thing. Deep, thought provoking lyrical content is always what Anberlin has aimed for and again they succeeded. Christian has taken many vocal lessons and you can see the improvement in the live videos and on the albums, this is the result of all that training; beautiful meaningful poetry sang by a mellow but powerful voice. // 9
Overall Impression: I must say I was disappointed. For two years I expected more than 10 tracks. That is their lowest number of tracks ever for a CD. But this album was still characteristic of Anberlin. Just like: "Never Take Friendship Personal", "Blueprints For The Black Market", and "New Surrender" the guitar is the first thing you hear. But a letdown for me was that there was only one nice acoustic track, while "Down" is phenomenal, I would have liked at least once more. songs like "The Unwinding Cable Car", "Inevitable", and "Breathe" were evidence they can create beautiful music. One last thing they missed was what I call "The Monster Track" at the end of each CD, who could forget "Dance Dance Christa Paffgen"? Or the colossal track "Fin*"? Or the beautiful "Miserabile Visu"? And this album has "Depraved" which is not nearly as good as the others. All in all I was disappointed it's been two years and I expected a lot more from Anberlin. Would I buy it again well yeah... it's got some very nice songs on it, while I was disappointed with the album itself, the only songs I was disappointed in were: "Closer" and "Pray Tell" the others I was pleased with. And I especially liked: "Art of War", "Impossible", "Down", and "Take Me (As You Find Me)" The thing I love about this CD is the newer more advanced sound, but what I hate is that so far it's the only Anberlin I can't listen to from start to finish without skipping songs. And for someone who loves Anberlin that is not a good sign. // 7
Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place
jtalep, on september 24, 2010 0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Anberlin have been slowly coming to the boil for quite some time now. Starting with the epic masterpiece that was 'Cities', and the power-pop sound of the summer 'New Surrender', they now return with their latest and 5th studio album.
The band have always managed to somehow reinvent their sound from album to album, yet never lose their defining sound, and this is no exception. Tracks such as 'Pray Tell' and 'Art Of War' display a new side to the band, un-chartered territory with S.American inspired drumming beats and a subtle but existent homage to the bands influences of days gone by (The Cure).
For the first time, vocalist Stephen Christian leads every song in the mix of things; his voice powering through like we've never heard before with epic results. With Grammy award winning producer Brendan O'Brien on board, the production and mastering precision on this album is second to none, yet unlike their previous album, it never feels over produced. To get the full picture of just have immense the sound on this album is, you have to whack on a pair of decent headphones, and suddenly it takes you onto another level.
Whilst a fresh and different approach to things, old fans of the band can rest assured that this is unquestionably an Anberlin album, with songs such as 'To The Wolves' and 'You Belong Here' harking back to the bands early material. // 9
Lyrics: Lyrics have always been a staple part of Anberlin. Unfortunately, this album lacks lyrical depth, and whilst not a disaster, collectively these are probably the worst lyrics Stephen Christian has penned. They are repetitive, and lack any kind of honesty.
On previous albums the level of quality in the lyrics has been outstanding, giving us such an emotional journey. There is no such journey on this album, more like a parking garage; lots of levels, but all with the same view.
The only saving grace is that what lyrics there are, Christian sings them to absolute perfection. // 5
Overall Impression: Whilst in days gone by, the band has focused on experimenting with guitar sounds and other instruments, this time around it was the vocals that got the majority of the work. Whilst Stephen Christian remains one of the strongest singers in the genre, you certainly feel in some areas that the guitars in particular fall short in terms of excitement and variation due to this focus on vocal tone and texture.
Whilst not quite on a par with 'Cities', this album does display a more solid consistency, with the album flowing nicely from start to finish. It's a mature record, and one that is set to stand the test of time. This album sees the band showing the dark side they displayed on 'Cities', and seemingly lost on 'New Surrender'.
Stand out songs are 'Pray Tell', 'Art Of War', and 'Take Me (As You Found Me'. However, one of the best songs on the album comes strangely in the form of a b-side, 'All We Have', which is classic Anberlin in every single way. This is possibly the only song to come out of the record that can stand up to the bands heavyweight songs such as 'Dismantle Repair' and 'Paperthin Hymn' in terms of the stronger focus on guitars rather than vocals. In comparison, 'All We Have' is to this album, as 'The Haunting' was to 'Cities. It will have fans questioning why it didn't make the final cut, when it is one of the strongest candidates to be a hit single.
Musically, this album is the most consistent and mature we have ever seen, but it comes with a massive amount of frustration. On Cities, the lyrics were outstanding but the album lacked consistency. On New Surrender the band kind of lost it's way completely, but the lyrics held it together. This album helps the band find it's feet again musically, but because of the lack of lyrical quality the whole thing is held back from reaching it's full potential. // 7