Sound: After two years of pretty being f--king unheard from, southern radio rockers Saving Abel stormed back to life with their new album "Bringing Down The Giant". Because of the variety on this record, I'm reviewing each song separately:
1. "Bringing Down The Giant" - The title track to the new album, and maybe the best song the band has ever written (Yes, even better than "Addicted"). It's a swaggering, heavy anthem that showcases Saving Abel at their heaviest. The riff is swampy, and the drums are pounding.
2. "Michael Jackson's Jacket" - Decent rocker, but nothing too impressive.
3. "Amazing" - Power-ballad. Bleh.
4. "Pine Mountain (The Dance Of The Poor Man)" - Not even a song really, it is mainly an intro to "You Make Me Sick". Does have some nice banjo/mandolin action though.
5. "You Make Me Sick" - if the title track is the best song on "Bringing Down The Giant", this song is a close second. The first minute or so is twangy, but it transforms into a swaggering rocker. Lyrics are kinda funny as well.
6. "Pictures Of Elvis" - Another power-ballad. I detect some drum machine as well. Meh.
7. "New Loser" - Kinda poppy sounding at first, but a nice rock tune nonetheless.
8. "Me & You" - Heavy ballad.
9. "I'd Do It Again" - This song is kinda country-sounding, but according to Saving Abel, they want to release this song on country radio. Good country-rock song though. Chorus is pretty much destined to become crowd sing-along fodder.
10. "Bittersweet" - Again, ballad.
11. "Those Who Wait" - Ballad.
12. "Parachute" - Ballad.
13. "Constantly" - A ballad that actually works. Piano is a nice touch.
Bonus Tracks (Best Buy version):
14. "Take It Back" - Kind of between a ballad and rocker.
15. "Love Sadistic" - Ballad-ish.
16. "My Catastrophe" - Good rock song. Should've been on the regular album. // 6
Lyrics and Singing: Jared Weeks does have a unique voice (in the context of rock radio) which easily identifies Saving Abel from the countless radio rock bands out there. His lyrics are kind of standard rock radio fare though. Much of the album is about relationships, although "You Make Me Sick" does swing at several targets including fame whores, the media, and politicians. The title track is about overcoming obstacles. // 7
Impression: Compared to their last album "Miss America" (an absolutely great rock record), Saving Abel's new record "Bringing Down The Giant" is a letdown of sorts. For much of the album, it seems like Saving Abel let pop writers take over. When the band does unleash actual hard rock on "BDTG", they sound unrestrained and energetic. The title track is by far the best song on here, but there are decent songs to be found. The main problem is that "BDTG" is overloaded with ballads and is too long. Had Saving Abel thrown away tracks 10-12 and added the three bonus tracks to the regular version of "Bringing Down The Giant", the record wouldn't have felt like a letdown as much. Basically, download tracks 1-9, skip tracks 10-12, and download 13-16. // 7