Sound: "The Beauty Of Letting Go," released October 2005, is Socialburn's sophomore album for a record label. After their not very successful effort two year ago for Elektra Records, that dropped them right after the release of the record, the band is ready for another try, another 12 songs, produced by John Kurzweg (Creed, Puddle Of Mudd). On their second record Socialburn softened hard edges of their music, being afraid to loose another deal with record label (that's my guess though).
You would have hard time trying to compare this Florida four-piece to any other band -? when it seems you almost got it, you loose it again. In their style there's a mesh-up of popular rock type of styles -? some alternative rock, some punk-rock, some metal. A little bit of something and nothing in particular. When it comes to their style, it seems that music was written instinctively after listening for many, many hours to all kinds of popular bands.
"The Beauty Of Letting Go" starts with "Be A Man" setting a tone for the record -? a nice hard rock track with cool guitar hooks. The first single of the album "Touch The Sky" is one of the best songs on the album -? with hooky echo guitar and popular punk-rock choruses with some kind of funky melody. "Cold Nights" is slightly different from other tracks, being more melodic. "Speak Now" has a catchy chorus and may make a good single. // 7
Lyrics: Vocals are very popular nowdays whining, growing into screamo it's most desperate. In partly raspy (mostly in versus) and partly moaning (when it comes to melodic choruses) voice with notes of hysterics, as complaining about something, the singer tells us how it is to be a man. By the level of emotion the vocals relinquish probably only to Stained. Lead singer Neil Alday will tell you about all kinds of fears and doubts a man can have -? heartache, insecurity, feeling lost, self doubt. This melodramatic line he cares all through the record, even when singing about being happy. Rare back vocals are mostly primitive, borrowed from punk-rock.
Lyrics at first sight seem to be meaningful and even wise, on philosophy topics. But if you try to realized, what he's actually singing about in the song, you get lost. Like "I'm not gonna let them or anyone else break me again/Cause I can break myself/I think it's time to make a stand." // 6
Overall Impression: How come it became so popular to sing about things that only disgust you, whine about what's going on in your life? How come our mums and grandmothers were listening to happy songs and all we get most of the time are sad depressing songs? Did life become worse or did we loose the ability to see good things in it? How come things, that seemed so obvious not so long ago, are now part of the history? Why do guys now are so vacillatory and just wonder how it is to be a man?
Oh well, that's about the emotion part of the record. As for the music one, it's one of those faceless albums that make no impression on you -? after listening to it you can't think about anything remarkable. Most songs are faded, with lack of power and solid moving beat. The caution the album is made with makes it boring and kills the talent. It's obvious songs are pushed to fit radio standards, when even screams are not too obvious, not to scare off occasional listener.
The band easily fits the standards of a popular band, but will survive due to the popularity, not to the talent if they follow this careful way of making music. // 7