Felt review by Anchor & Braille

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  • Released: Aug 4, 2009
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.8 (5 votes)
Anchor & Braille: Felt
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Sound — 9
Nearly 5 years in the making, the debut release from Anchor & Braille, 'Felt', has arrived. Produced by Aaron Marsh of Copeland, with vocals coming from up and coming band Anberlin, the album is a fuse of the 2 minds. From the first track to the last, there is a genuine feeling of elegance and grace about the album, from the lively debut single 'Like Steps In A Dance', to the powerful yet classy 'Summer Tongues'. What makes this album dance with such sonic grace however, apart from Christian's soaring vocals, is the light use of brass and string instruments. Had they been over used, they would have lost impact, but the slight touches we get in 'Rust' and 'Introspect' really make for a great listening experience. Because the album feels, in the most, very natural, it can be easy to forget the brilliant production work of Aaron Marsh. It would of been very easy to do what Neil Avron did on Anberlin's 'New Surrender' and wildly over produce, but he didn't, instead he did what every good producer should do, and kept the album honest to it's true sound and feeling. My only slight criticism is on the side of percussion, sometimes it feels like the drums were thought of last, and simply dumped on top. There are some moments when they feel very disjointed from the song, and very lackluster indeed. But the songs themselves are so beautiful, it's not enough of a problem to take that much away from them.

Lyrics — 10
Well, with the exception of 'New Surrender', Stephen Christian has written some of the most truthful, beautifully crafted lyrics around on the modern music scene. They are honest, heartfelt, and really strike a chord inside, no matter what the topic. What I love about Stephen's work, is that they can be so simple, but so incredibly elegant, without being crass or patronizing, for example, 'I can tell when your lying babe, your lips move again'. As for the vocal talent of the man himself, well, perfection is not often a word that can be used in modern music, but that's the only way of describing it. Every note of every song hit perfectly, and with conviction. It soars above, but never overpowers. It is smooth, natural, and full of emotion. There is nothing more we could of asked of Stephen on this album.

Overall Impression — 10
I, like many, have been waiting a long time for this album. Expectations were high, and yet no one ever feared it would be anything other than excellent. The songs are endearing, none more so than 'Calm, Calm, Calm Yourself', which never fails to make me smile every time I hear it. 'Forget Love', which is one of my favorite tracks from the album, really showcases what this album has to offer, especially the small section where Marsh and Christian sing together; a combination made in heaven. Although a totally different style to 'Anberlin', Anchor & Braille's album has in essence what 'New Surrender' lacked; soul, emotion, and honesty. The vocals sound natural, and lyrically it is as passionate as 'Cities', but feels much more intimate. However, as happy as this album makes me feel, it also makes me feel sad. It took 5 years to record and release this album, due to commitments with Anberlin. And now Anberlin have finally hit the big time, we have to wonder how long it will be before the next Anchor & Braille album, or even if there will be a follow up. But for now, we can sit back and revel in the glory that is 'Felt'.

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

    jtalep
    multipleofone wrote: Serious 10/10? Fanboy reviews do more to dissuade me from actually checking this out.
    I'm not a 'fanboy', I'm a musician. It did not score full marks, I gave it 9.7, because in my honest opinion that is how good it is. If you disagree, listen to the album and write your own review, but don't criticize it without listening to the album first, that's just stupid.
    jtalep
    =McS= wrote: What's wrong with "New Surrender"? I liked it a lot.
    It's ok...but thats the thing, this band can do sooo much better than 'o.k', and 99% of proper Anberlin fans (not the newbies) will agree that Cities and Never Take are far far better.
    madefortvmovie
    jtalep wrote: It's ok...but thats the thing, this band can do sooo much better than 'o.k', and 99% of proper Anberlin fans (not the newbies) will agree that Cities and Never Take are far far better.
    You do realize that this is NOT anberlin, don't you? Tt's just the lead singer's (Stephen Christian) side project. The whole point was that these are songs that he felt didn't fit with the band. These are NOT Anberlin songs.
    jtalep
    madefortvmovie wrote: jtalep wrote: It's ok...but thats the thing, this band can do sooo much better than 'o.k', and 99% of proper Anberlin fans (not the newbies) will agree that Cities and Never Take are far far better. You do realize that this is NOT anberlin, don't you? Tt's just the lead singer's (Stephen Christian) side project. The whole point was that these are songs that he felt didn't fit with the band. These are NOT Anberlin songs.
    Do you think I'm stupid? I know this is not Anberlin, I've been waiting for this album since it was first mentioned several years ago. Anberlin are my favorite band, and I pride myself on knowing everything there is to know. The comparisons I make with Anberlin are purely in terms of the quality of production, and the lyrics. Please read things properly before saying silly things.
    madefortvmovie
    I just feel that its a bit disingenuous to review or talk about the album in relation to past work in Anberlin. I am not "saying silly things" or accusing you of being "stupid." Just stating an opinion
    jtalep
    madefortvmovie wrote: I just feel that its a bit disingenuous to review or talk about the album in relation to past work in Anberlin. I am not "saying silly things" or accusing you of being "stupid." Just stating an opinion
    How could I not make reference to Anberlin? He is the lead singer. And whilst this is a totally different genre, and the songs a little more personal, they are coming from the same man. I never once said that this album compared musically in any way to previous work, I compared lyrical content and the way it was produced. Only an idiot would completely ignore Stephens past work when reviewing Felt, either that or someone who knows nothing about the background of the man or the songs.
    jtalep
    Anyway, lets just forget all this, and agree that Anberlin are fantastic, Anchor & Braille are fantastic, this album is fantastic, and that's that.
    madefortvmovie
    jtalep wrote: Anyway, lets just forget all this, and agree that Anberlin are fantastic, Anchor & Braille are fantastic, this album is fantastic, and that's that.
    haha agreed. really did enjoy the album.
    ForeverInUtero
    sounds sweet cant wait. and yeah New Surrenddr was just ok. Cities was the best album, closely followed with NTFP