Never Take Friendship Personal Review

artist: Anberlin date: 12/07/2009 category: compact discs
Anberlin: Never Take Friendship Personal
Released: Feb 1, 2005
Label: Tooth & Nail
Genre: Rock
Styles: Indie Rock, Emo, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Number Of Tracks: 11
Moody at times, exhilarating at others, this is a giant leap forward for a relative newcomer in Christian music.
 Sound: 10
 Lyrics: 9.2
 Overall Impression: 9.2
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (5) 8 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
Never Take Friendship Personal Reviewed by: strider_hein, on june 15, 2005
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound ranges from being powerful and almost harsh, to being quiet and soothing. The guitar work is unpredictable and combines well with the vocals. It has its moments where you can hear the relation in songs between their last album (Blueprints For The Black Market) but not in a boring way. // 10

Lyrics: Stephen Christian is a phenomenal vocalist in my opinion. His high voice just suits the type of music they are playing perfectly. It is not Axel Rose annoying high either. It is a soothing, when need be, and harsh, when the song needs it. A lot of the lyrics are very relationship oriented. Although they are Christian rock, I do not see any obvious christian oriented lyrics. The songs, as earlier mentioned are very relationship oriented. The song, Stationary Stationery, is all about a girl who moved away and seems to be forgetting about the boy she left behind. So he writes her a letter basically saying don't forget about me. The song Time and Confusion is just a cry of happiness because this girl is yours. A Day Late is all about a past lover showing up at your door step one day and confessing that she is still in love with you, even though both of you have significant others. Stephen basically toys with the idea of being with this girl or going back to his old lover. Although there are the evident love songs, there are also songs that go deeper into it. Dance, Dance Christa Paffgen is all about drugs and the girl who saved you from them. The Feel Good Drag is all about cheating and realizing that it was all just a big mistake. // 10

Overall Impression: I find this album as a huge improvement from Blueprints For The Black Market. The maturity as a band is evident. People want albums that they can listen to front to end without hesitation and this album is perfect for that. There is a song to reflect each mood on this album and we need more of them. My favorite track is definatly the feel good drag. If I lost this album I would definatly buy a new one because this album doesn't lose intrest. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Never Take Friendship Personal Reviewed by: Sandman., on july 17, 2006
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: This CD is a great example of loud and quiet rock, producing a nice sound of the both, with some great riffs. This album is probably Anberlin's best and just gets you listening. I like the use of the instruments in this album but I think they should have varied the drumming a bit more, though it fits in most of the songs so it works OK. I like that it just goes quiet here and there and that they aren't full on like some bands can be, and it all simply fits in place and flows well with a fair bit of ascending and descending in places, no sharp key changes. // 10

Lyrics: Awesome. They have definitly created a much better flow with the lyrics and music, making the listener focus on the lyrics and the music sort of expresses the same thing Stephen is singing. I think he uses his voice very effectivly in Never Take Friendship Personal, The Runaways, The Feel Good Drag - which is a very powerful song and Dance, Dance Christa Paffgen. They have also used their wording well and experimented with some of the rhyming which is great and gives it much better structure. // 9

Overall Impression: This is a very good album all over, but wish it had a few more tracks on it, though all of these ones are great anyway. I think Never Take Friendship Personal has very deep meaning and is a great song, but I think the standouts are The Feel Good Drag and Dance, Dance Christa Paffgen, for a bit of variety. If I lost this album there is no doubt that I would buy 3 more copies so I never lost it again. I like that they sing about something different in each song and don't keep just pushing one point of veiw in each song. // 10

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overall: 9.3
Never Take Friendship Personal Reviewed by: Tucker Y., on november 02, 2005
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound of this band is incredible. The lead guitar has a beautiful distorted tone and the rhythm guitar fits in perfectly with the rest of the band. All the parts of the band blend together wonderfully and the sound of the vocalist's voice is a great complement to the rest of the music. Anberlin has also obviously practiced alot because their transitions and leads are seamless. The whole sound is highly energetic and makes you want to get up and do something (You should see their music videos). This is their second major album and it is a big improvement in sound, but it still sticks to the new-age rock style that Amberlin tends to have. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are at first hard to hear because they blend so well with the rest of the band, but when you do listen to them, they have more meaning than most bands out there today. Anberlin isn't an official Christian band, because it is listed under rock/alternative on the market. However, all of the members of the band are strong Christians and their general themes are based on Christian beliefs. For example, in The Feel Good Drag, Amberlin sings about how easily lust can grab hold of you and drag you down. Most of the other songs are mostly about love, and generally have a good message. The words seem to flow in unison with the rest of the band, so with all these high-energy love songs you can't feel down when you listen to them! // 10

Overall Impression: In comparison with other artists, I would say that this band is just so unique that its hard to compare with others! The only flaw that I found that some of the songs got a bit repetitive after a while. Sometimes if you don't listen to the song closely, you can't tell when one song ends and the other one starts! Other than this flaw, though, Anberlin did an excellent job making this album, and I would only suggest that they make it more diverse next time, for instance making a couple of songs different speeds and in different keys. // 8

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overall: 9.3
Never Take Friendship Personal Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 28, 2005
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: These guys have put together an attractive blend of indie-rock, pop-punk and '80s rock. All five musicians work very well together. The guitars are tight, and the complex, speedy leads weave very nicely into the fabric. The rhythm section is what I really love about this band. They form solid, catchy backbeats and hold the songs together like Gorilla Glue between a fat man and a toilet seat. // 10

Lyrics: Stephen Christian breaks the mold of the traditional emo-rock singer. He's high-pitched, but he delivers with really good power and conviction. The lyrics are really nicely written and thought-provoking, concentrating on male-female relationships on a traditional rock & roll level. // 9

Overall Impression: This is really a great album for fans of emo-rock that are tired of the stupid goth-rock imposters. Anberlin is a band that I can see being very, very successful in the future. They're just too catchy, honest, and overall awesome not to be destined for greatness. Easily one of the best albums in any genre for 2005. // 9

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overall: 9
Never Take Friendship Personal Reviewed by: sg4ever, on december 07, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: I think the sound of this album is fairly solid. I've only heard this album and other albums after this so I can only comment within that context. It ranges from indie/alternative vibes to harder sounds in a cohesive way. The guitars lock tightly with the music and and carry clear rhythm and lead roles. The guitar tones vary from crunchy but not overly saturated tones that are bright yet chunky all the way over to smooth cleans. The sound of this album strays from the generic power chord and octave approach I feel. The reason being there is actually some real riffs and leads going on and an actual solo. Certain licks seem to jump out through the spaces and I think that was the intended purpose. The drums and bass are fairly standard fair but offer a solid performance albeit never straying far from the basic pocket. Overall, it's a solid album with good songs and good playing. I think that's an endeavor we can all relate to. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics could be viewed as sappy or emo to some people, but they are honest lyrics. There is authenticity in them that separates them from typical pop/rock and emo fair. They speak mostly about guy/girl relationships and the like. They are mostly positive lyrics thought are just speaking about life in general. There is some Christian themes and morals presented in some of the lyrics (speaking against cheating and lust, allusions to prayer, etc.), due to some Christian influence, although they aren't a Christian band. I find Stephen's voice to be pleasant and appropriate for the music. He has more tone and expression in his voice than others of his ilk, able to sing high without sounding whiny. He even lets out some unexpected screams which are effective. // 8

Overall Impression: It seems to be a fairly unique album, borrowing stylistic elements from pop, rock, indie, alternative, and a bit of punk/pop. I can't really compare them to a specific artist as they take a familiar style and turn it into something all their own. I particularly like the opening track, as well as Paperthin Hymn, The Feel Good Drag, and the closing track. They are all worth listening to though. The only I actually dislike is the fairly standard drum and bass performance. Other than that I really enjoyed this album and think it's excellent. I actually have lost it and plan to get it again. // 9

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