Billy Talent review by Billy Talent

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  • Released: Sep 16, 2003
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (98 votes)
Billy Talent: Billy Talent
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Sound — 9
Billy Talent's sound is very unique, because it has such a distinctive sound, that, in my opinion can only be likened to the technical talents of Red Hot Chili Peppers, the raw punk-ness of The Clash and The Sex Pistols and the togetherness and all-round talents, again of RHCP. This combination is a perfect mixture, and it makes Billy Talent one of my favourite bands ever. This album flows, it builds on the experimental Watoosh!, from Pezz, and I can honestly find no weak track - each one could have genuinely been a single. Ben, the lead singer, has fantastic writing skills, and his voice is perfect for that of a punk singer, as shown in This Is How It Goes, but can also reach the higher, more emotive notes, as shown in Nothing To Lose. He, in my opinion, brings the band, and the album together, and ties up all the loose ends. Ian, the guitarist, is one of the most versatile guitarists I have ever listened to. His technical ability with a guitar is second to very few people in the modern world, and he performs brilliant, sharp, clean and strong riffs in almost every track. He also provides back up for Ben in vocals, and his raw voice moves each track to another dimension. The other two members of the band, Jon and Aaron, are less popular than the other two, however still have important parts in the band. When listening to a track, I normally notice the guitar and vocals a lot more than the drums or bass, but maybe that is the same for every band. People often say that the bassist and the drummer are the backbone of a band, and in this case, I agree. Their timing, and understanding of eachother is top notch, and they allow Ian and Ben more freedom. There is, unlike later albums, no focus on bass or drums, which is why their roles seem smaller, but they are still very important.

Lyrics — 9
The lyrics of each song are well structured and thought out, and fit the music brilliantly. I rarely hear any lyric which seems out of place in this album, and even then, the guitar and bass cover it up well. I think that, in later BT albums, Ben's voice becomes more "whiny", but in this album, his raw voice is perfect, and he has introduced to this album, his screaming technique in most songs. I've already done an overview of Ben, and Ian, so I'll direct you back up there for that.

Overall Impression — 10
01.This Is How It Goes: this is a perfect opening for the album, as it defines what to expect from the album as a whole. It begins with the guitar playing a riff that will be repeated throughout the song, then the drums enter, followed by the bass. This slow introduction of the instruments build up to a massive explosion of sound to set the whole tempo of the song. The guitar in this song is amazing, and the song as a whole is one of the best. 9/10 02.Living In The Shadows: in comparison to the opening track, this is quite a weak song, however, it had to do a lot to out-do its predecessor, anyway. This song feels slower than the first track, but it is still pretty fast paced, and this is a very strong song. 8/10 03.Try Honesty: this is the first single from the album, and it brings the perfect example of the quick change from quiet to loud, and slow to quick. This is one of the best on the album, and overall, it is probably the strongest from each member of the band. 10/10 04.Line & Sinker: I love this song. The harmony between Ian and Ben contains a sort of beauty, and the song follows on from Try Honesty fantastically. The song opens with the chorus, and it appears to be the angriest on the album. 10/10 05.Lies: a slower song, which, in the context of the album, can mislead you to believe it is a weaker song. However, this is not the case. This is a very resentful love song, and there is a higher energy beyond the speed in this song, making it another great. 9/10 06.The Ex: a Short, angry song, which almost anyone can relate to. Ben lets out his angry frustration at his 'ex' and reveals his pain at losing her. Not the strongest on the album, but still very good. 8/10 07.River Below: my favourite from the album. I love every part of this song. The verse features alternating lines from Ben and Ian, before breaking into the chorus, which again features them both. This song really blows you away and is brilliant in every way. 10+/10 08.Standing In The Rain: a slower song again, but this time you are under no illusion about the quality of this song, especially not when you hear the chorus. However my favourite part is half way through, when the chorus is repeated with a palm muted guitar. This slows the song down and builds up the energy to release in the chorus that follows. 9/10 09.Cut The Curtains: the heaviest song of the album, and a song in which the bass and drums play a big part in bolstering up the guitar's volume. A great song, and a song, in which the vocals are actually the weakest part, despite them being great. This song also contains a bridge which slows it down and then bursts into the chorus again. 9.5/10 10.Prisoners Of Today: surprisingly, this is the weakest song of the album. It's far less angry, quick and energetic, and can actually become boring. Despite this, outside of the album it is brilliant. 8/10 11.Nothing To Lose: depressing. That is the only way to describe it. Ben puts so much passion into this song, and because of the softness of the song, the drums and bass play a big part again. Eventually though, the song does pick up and get distorted, however, the song can still make you want to start crying. 9/10 12.Voices Of Violence: if Nothing To Lose is the ultimate depressant, this is the perfect pick-me-up. The energy and speed of this album closes the album in style, and for me, should have been a single. 9/10 If this album was lost, I would first download the album from the internet twice, go to the guy who stole it, tie him up, play this album full blast, while rabid dogs munched on his you-know-whats, and then make my way to the store, while listening to Voices Of Violence, buy the album, and return home to enjoy the album, once more restored at home.

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