Released: Apr 20, 2010
Genre: Experimental, Indie Rock, Ambient, Progressive Rock
Label: Atlantic Records
Number Of Tracks: 12
Circa Survive has come a long way and has shown us mindblowing technique. Now with their Blue Sky Noise record released, they've added more to the table.
Blue Sky Noise
Thebiz, on june 23, 2010 4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: Circa Survive have been known for mainly two things within their short career: Anthony Green's dynamic, impressive vocals and the band's crucial use of atmospheric textures and creative instrumentation. With this being said, there will be many Circa Survive diehards disappointed with Blue Sky Noise, for in this album the band takes a backseat to ambience in favor of more versatile, and for lack of a better phrase, more "in-your-face" songwriting. The album's second track and first single, "Get Out", illustrates this change extremely well. Taking more of a 90s alternative rock influence with this song in particular, Get Out is almost inarguably the heaviest (though still very melodic) track the band has released in its career.
Though this evolution will alienate some fans, newcomers will most likely open up to this album easily. I have listened to Circa since On Letting Go, and I for one find this change in sound as an interesting, necessary progression. Songs such as "Through The Desert Alone" and "Imaginary Enemy" also show new types of songwriting in that has been introduced in Circa's repertoire, with the former track opening with anthemic war drums and a good guitar buildup, and the latter track with an odd opening: an odd, but unique combination of bass and guitar that justifies "Imaginary Enemy" being credible as the album's second single.
Though old-school Circa fans may be disappointed with the radical departure, Anthony and the boys haven't forgotten the hardcore. They stick true to their ambient roots on tracks such as "Glass Arrows" and "I Felt Free". The former is possibly the most atmospheric on the album, and "I Felt Free" has some of the best lyrics and vocalwork by Anthony Green despite a lack of soaring high notes.
Honestly, in this reviewer's opinion, "Blue Sky Noise" is the most versatile, most memorable Circa Survive album so far. I dare not say 'best' for fear of mass flaming and the fact that this album is still relatively new, but I do believe in the future, fans might look back and state this album as such. // 9
Lyrics: Just when everybody thought Anthony Green's performances couldn't get any better, he proves everyone wrong with this album. The album's themes include the loss of a former friend due to irreconcilable emotional differences ("I tried for so long to be what you needed...your imaginary enemy" as said in "Imaginary Enemy"), the successful act of moving on from a former lover and once again embracing freedom and independence ("I fell apart in your arms for the last time, and I felt free, because of the things you told me" as said in "I Felt Free"), and even a story of a place Green knew in his youth, possessive of some kind of foreign, enticing mysticism ("on top of the frozen creek, I would love to take you there. I swear it flows through me, on top of the frozen creek" as said in "Frozen Creek"). Anthony's songwriting and lyrics have always been listed as impressive in other critics and fans' opinions, but his work never before seemed so seductive or relatable. You're left hanging on to Anthony's every word, purposely listening to what he says and the ultimate motive behind his words.
Not only have the lyrics of the album entered a new level of excellence, but Anthony's range hasn't suffered one bit. Always one to experiment with his vocals, Anthony screams his lungs out in "Get Out", soars triumphantly in "Through The Desert Alone", and varies his range from low to high with the skill of a true vocal master in "The Longest Mile".
In short, if you thought Anthony Green was a good singer in his previous projects, or the previous Circa albums...listen to this album. You haven't heard Anthony Green like this before. Truly phenomenal in every way. // 10
Overall Impression: I love this album. In my opinion, it's one of the (if not The) best alternative/experimental rock albums of this year. I haven't been this affected by an album of this kind since the Pixies' "Doolittle", Smashing Pumpkins' "Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness", and Coheed And Cambria's "In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3". "Blue Sky Noise" really Is that good. Don't take my word for it. Discover it for yourself.
If you for some reason you Don't want to listen to the full album, I'd recommend these tracks for listening: "Get Out", "Glass Arrows", "I Felt Free", "Imaginary Enemy", "Through The Desert Alone", "Frozen Creek", "The Longest Mile", "Dyed In The Wool". // 10
Blue Sky Noise
unregistered, on april 27, 2010 2 of 10 people found this review helpful
Sound: Circa Survive has come a long way and has shown us mindblowing technique. Now with their Blue Sky Noise record released, they've added more to the table. Their sound off this CD has changed a great amount in several ways, but it's still the same Circa we know and love. A lot of the songs sound more distorted and are missing the ambience we're all used to, but it's only the same band doing things they've never done before in the past. Songs such as "Get Out" have it's basic structure and sort of radio friendly atmosphere, but the melodies used and somewhat ominous tone of their music is in it still. Although, the overall sound isn't as technical and I believe the production process was done a bit poorly, aiming highly at the vocal melody. You don't get the whole feel of every instrument on this album as much as the previous ones. Their sound is still there nonetheless. Songs such as "Glass Arrows" have their old feel to it which fans can enjoy. Starting off with that song might help the listener to portray everything much easier. For some, the album might take a little bit of getting used to, but it's a spectacular record and I'd feel sorry for you for not tuning in. // 8
Lyrics: What's to debate as far as lyrics when dealing with Anthony Green? He never ceases to amaze in writing. Lyrics on this album are very interesting and well thought just like the previous songs. The somewhat repetitive lyrical style of writing is still there as well. It's shown in "Glass Arrows" well and also "Strange Terrain". The only flaw I believe is that the lyrics aren't as memorable as the older ones, but that might also be because the older songs are more classical to the listener. The lyrics almost don't feel as important, yet still very interesting and well thought of. "I Felt Free" has great lyrics during the verses especially. "Nothing new to say. Nothing to report because the future happened yesterday. If I could tell the truth, I could make you stay, but forever seems to far away". Overall, Anthony Green still has his "out there" lyrical concept and has managed to keep hold of it, flowing just as well with the music. Perfect composition. // 8
Overall Impression: At first I had listened to it and I was impressed, but not too satisfied. How do I feel now? Still not as satisfied, but I'm glad I have a new amazing album. I understood it much more after giving it time. It's blowing my mind! This is the best record I've heard in a long time. Overall sound is superb other than mastering and the whole production process. Other than that, every member of the band manages to match with each other so well, just like the other albums and they've managed to stay connected as a band. It's not very common to see that anymore. Now that I have Blue Sky Noise, it pumps me up just as much for their next album to drop. // 9