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Release Date: Jun 27, 2006
Genres: Punk Revival, Post-Hardcore, Emo
Number Of Tracks: 13
While the band?s harder edge has been shaved off a bit, there are still plenty of creatively inspired moments.
Billy Talent II
UG Team, on july 05, 2006 6 of 10 people found this review helpful
Sound: When a band decides to go in a different musical direction, it is always a risky move that has the potential to divide fans. Canada's Billy Talent will likely find its fans feuding as well with its latest release, Billy Talent II. As a follow-up to its 2003 major label debut, it might just have too much of a new sound to keep all of its original fans. While the new album succeeds in often being melodic with a hard edge, it also has a much heavier helping of what many listeners may dread -- love songs.
Is the album chock-full of oozing sentiment? Not at all. But it is toned down from the band's debut? Yes, but not enough to lose all its steam. Fans of the debut record may have enjoyed vocalist Ben Kowalewicz's trademark screams as a highlight in most of the songs. This time around, the screams are still there, but singing is given the priority. The songs are structured around the melodic guitar lines of Ian D'Sa and the vocal harmonies of Kowalewicz, which may give the impression to some that the band has lost some of its edge. But while Billy Talent (rounded out by bassist Jon Gallant and drummer Aaron Solowoniuk) has taken a different path, the band still has a few very memorable songs.
One of the standout tracks is Worker Bees, an anthem seemingly dedicated to nonconformity, strikes the right balance between a solid musical base and punk-rock angst. The song's intro and verses incorporates several different rhythmic changes that eventually build to a harmony-filled chorus. The introduction features a nice blending of the instruments, with the bass, drums, and guitar each making their own unique entrance to the song -- you can almost see the drones marching in one by one along with the instruments.
It will be interesting to see fans of Billy Talent's first record react to a balladic song like Pins And Needles. The clean guitar intro, soon followed by a lower tempo beat, is a suitable backing given the topic of the song: love. What will follow is a heartfelt take on an imperfect relationship, but perhaps too much of a contrast to the band's scream-filled earlier hits. For the skeptical punk rockers who may be frightened of Billy Talent's softer side, the presence of a full-on ballad may be a tad disappointing. And while it's far from being a perfect ballad, the band members do deserve credit for being men enough to show their softer sides.
While there are songs like Worker Bees and Devil In A Midnight Mass, which are both catchy and filled with powerful rock elements, the CD also has a few songs that just don't have much to offer musically. It was probably not at all the band's intention, but Surrender has an uncanny resemblance to the Red Hot Chili Pepper's Otherside at the start of the song. Unfortunately, Surrender never goes anywhere interesting enough to establish its own unique sound. // 8
Lyrics: When you read the title of the opening track, Devil In A Midnight Mass, you might think that you're in store for a punk twist on, say, Iron Maiden's Two Minutes To Midnight. But the song carries a more newsworthy meaning, written about a priest who molested more than 150 kids over a 30-year period. Even with its contemporary meaning, the band still wisely wrote music with a driving energy that could fit amazingly well in a horror film. When vocalist Kowalewicz shouts, Silent night for the rest of my life, his emotional delivery allows the listeners to feel a bit of the real terror that the priest's victims felt.
With all the rage that was heard on Billy Talent's debut record, it is admittedly a bit surprising to hear a song like Pins And Needles. The tune about love gone wrong lays it all on the line with lyrics like, Is it worth the pain, with no one to blame? For all of my insecurities; How did I ever let you go? If you enjoyed the raw anger of The Ex off the first CD, this sudden change in tone may leave you longing for the angrier, screaming side of Billy Talent. // 8
Overall Impression: Say what you will about the band going soft, Billy Talent have not completely failed in its mission to find their more melodic side. While the band's harder edge has been shaved off a bit, there are still plenty of creatively inspired moments. The first song Devil In A Midnight Mass features probably the best guitar riff on the record and is the perfect example of what an opening track should sound like.
When a band includes so much screaming in a debut record -- and wins plenty of fans over because of it -- the sudden absence of it may leave listeners confused and annoyed. But hopefully the band's fans will not completely toss Billy Talent II aside simply because of a few more harmonies that were placed where angry rants might have been. Anger is a great selling point, but even a semi-punk band has a right to take a breather from the screaming sometimes. // 8
Billy Talent II
unregistered, on july 05, 2006 4 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sound: Basically 3 years after their original release, Billy Talent comes up with Billy Talent II, a great follow-up to their original self-titled album. Something about Billy Talent's music gives me chills all the time. They show here that their music varies alot, they are very versatile, and we should keep an eye on them for the future. // 9
Lyrics: 01. Devil In A Midnight Mass - this song is full of energy. The beginning guitar intro is like nothing you've heard from Billy Talent. There's quite a few bits of amazing harmony here done by Ben (lead singer). The lyrics in this song are good, but not as good as the other songs.
02. Red Flag - one of the weaker songs of the album, or maybe it's because it was the first one I've heard, and it has been overplayed since. The guitar in the pre-chorus is fantastic though.
03. This Suffering - one of the best songs on the album. Every member of this band seems to have put all their talent into this song. The lyrics in this song give me chills. "She's a bullet in Russian Roulette". The song is easy listening but still has everything you would want from Billy Talent. The harmony in this song is fantastic.
04. Worker Bees - different. That is the only word you can use to describe this song. I liked it, there's something about it. The lyrics are great, confusing at times. The vocals in this song are amazing.
05. Pins And Needles - one of the best songs on Billy Talent II. The guitar intro is one of the best little riffs ever. The lyrics just fit so well with the music and the vocals are subtle and yet, so great.
06. Fallen Leaves - what a great little song. The energy just oozes out of this song. The lyrics are amazing "In a crooked little town, they were lost and never found, fallen leaves" It's just so haunting. The Vocals in this song are the best of the album!
07. Where Is The Line - weaker song, still great though. Not much to say except that this song is still enjoyable.
08. Covered In Cowardice - great song, truly. The lyrics in this song are amazing "Beware the voice without a face!" The intro to this song doesn't seem to fit, but is ignorable due to the amazing lyrics and vocals.
09. Surrender - I never thought Billy Talent would release a song like this. This song is great on many levels. It is slow, subtle, soothing. The vocals are amazing, Ben has outdone himself here too. The lyrics here are a little weaker than the rest, but ignorable.
10. In The Fall - the worst song on the album, in my opinion. I felt like I was listening to a christmas album. I have nothing to say except why?
11. Perfect World - this song is so fun to listen to. It's a perfect dancing song. The little guitar riffs in the verses are fantastic and the chorus leaves you in a funk. The lyrics are decent.
12. Sympathy - great song! "It hurts my pride, step aside, because I dont need your sympathy," Ben sings, as we enter the chorus into a heartfelt, yet upbeat song. I love this song because it is simple, yet nothing comes short.
13. Burn The Evidence - another song makes its way into the top of the tops. The guitar riffs here are fantastic on so many levels. The chorus' riff is amazing. Burn the evidence is a more mature song, then most. The outro in this song is just great and leaves you in an offbeat funk.
14. When I Was A Little Girl - a fun song. Plain and simple. Upbeat, full of energy, easy to listen to. The lyrics are left to be desired, but that's okay. The vocals seem to have been rushed and not concentrated on because the instrumentals dominate here. // 9
Overall Impression: I think the sequel to the Self-titled album, Billy Talent proves that the band has matured, emotionally, and musically. I love the energy that I gain listening to this album. The vocals just give me goosebumps. Ben can sing and scream, with no issue. What Is missing? I think Ian should be allowed to pop in some rockin' guitar solos. I love Billy Talent, and they've made me happy with this release. // 9
Billy Talent II
Swiftfury, on july 06, 2006 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Billy Talent is one of those occasional punk bands with a completely unique and original sound and they've definately pushed the envelope since their last album. This album sounds amazing. Virtually every song is fresh and gives a different feel to the song. They write their songs by using stuff in the news/their lives and incorporating it into their music. E.g. Devil In A Midnight Mass (amazing track) is actually about the molestation of 150 kids by the priest who was accused and convicted (later killed in his prison cell). Overall, this album sounds and feels amazing. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics are fairly simple but fit in perfectly with the music. Afterall, why would you want to hear something totally complicated? Usually. Ben Kowalewicz's (lead singer) voice is very unique compared to any other artist I've heard and completely fits in with the music (especially their amazing live performances). Ian D'Sa (guitars/vocals) and Jonathan Gallant (bass/vocals) sing along with a lot of the vocals and this provides a great blend and is also one element that gives them their uniqueness. // 10
Overall Impression: Personally, I think this is the best punk album ever released by anyone. The guitar parts are slightly different from usual punk style (barred chords mainly) but thats all part of their great sound. I love every song on this album but in particular the best would be 'Pins And Needles,' 'Devil In A Midnight Mass,' 'Red Flag,' 'This Suffering' and 'Fallen Leaves.' My advice to everyone reading this would be to buy it if you are into anything punk, heavy, slightly soft. So, overall, this is a wonderful album and my advice would be to go out and get it. // 10
Billy Talent II
Talented, on july 07, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Canada's favourite Punk rockers finally came out with there highly anticipated CD, Billy Talent 2. As the name implies it is the second of there CD's. Billy Talent formed about 14 years ago under a different name, PEZ. Then a few years ago they changed the name to Billy Talent and released there first CD. Billy Talent or "the screechers" had majour success from the first CD and are looking to build on it with this one. They stay quite true to the first CD. // 8
Lyrics: My first impression of the CD came from the first song entitled "Devil In A Midnight Mass". Right at the beginning they kick it off with a scream from lead singer Ben Kowalewicz. That pretty much sets the stage for the rest of the CD. Billy Talents lyrics really try to reach out to teens. They write songs about real life things that you would proubly hear in the news. It is mostly about bulling and stuff like that a teen goes through and how they got through it. If you are annoyed with bands that scream alot then you will not like this CD nor the band. It is compiled with screaming after screaming after screaming. But they are good at it. // 8
Overall Impression: I would say Billy Talent is near the top of the music world at this day. Just last week it was #1 on Much Musics "Countdown". It in my opinion is better then most artists at the day. They really know how to set up a alubum kick starting it with hit singles "Devil In A Midnight Mass", "Red Flag", and "The Suffering". The rest of the CD is very solid. I love the bands messages in the songs and the material they get when writing there songs. If I lost this CD within a day of losing it I would have already picked it up again. That is my review of Billy Talent 2. // 9
Billy Talent II
billytalent94, on january 05, 2007 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album was defintely great. Obviously, the song 'Surrender', track number 9 on the CD, was a love song. But I also realized, that in every song, there's a bit of the real Billy Talent. What I mean is, that 'Surrender' starts off all emotional and soft, and then at the bridge, they go all punk. This is kind of the same with the song 'Pins and Needles', track number 5 because they start off a bit less emotional but still is a bit soft for Billy Talent, I felt. But again, at the bridge just like 'Surrender', they begin to show the real Billy Talent. The song 'Where Is The Line?', however, was a bit too cheery for me at the beginning. The song felt a bit wierd, I don't really know how to explain it. But although the song lacked the good sound it needed to be one of their great songs, it had a very good message: be yourself. I found that the 'Devil in a Midnight Mass' riff really fit the sound perfectly. It sounded almost evil and perfect with the message that Billy Talent were trying to show everyone. // 9
Lyrics: I thought the lyrics were much more thought out in this album than their first album. You could tell that the messages of these songs were much more clear than the first album. I think the lyrics fit perfectly with the music almost perfectly for every song. With 'Where is the Line? ', I especially liked the chorus and how the lyrics went along with it. I would say that 'Burn The Evidence' and 'Where Is The Line?' had the least well thought-out lyrics. For 'Where Is The Line?', I mean in the verses. // 9
Overall Impression: This album has been one of the most inspiring albums ever. There's music of the same type and genre, but the way the music is played makes it all the more unique. I feel that Billy Talent are truly original and their songs are not a copy of style from something. In every song on this album, there is a lot of picking from the guitar, and still they manage to make it sort of punk rock. // 10
Billy Talent II
pyritmann, on august 16, 2007 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound of this album is slightly different from the debut album. Ben does a lot less screaming and much more singing which is very impressive at times. He still throws in the occasional scream of course or it wouldn't be Billy Talent. The guitar on this album is very unique. Ian is extremely talented and fairly technical most of the time. He uses very unique chords which create a unique sound. His guitar almost sounds like the beach boys at times but it is an amazing sound for the band. Jon Gallant is on bass and the bass is absolutly incredible on this album. Though it is not extremely technical or hard to play. It sings right along side of the guitar. The bass fills in very nice with the lack of a second guitar (even recorded, few do overs). Drums we have Aaron. I, being a drummer, thought they were very solid and filled in nicely. Not overplayed or underplayed. Just the right sound. The snare has a very nice ring to it and that's what I loved the most about how they sounded. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are amazing with Billy Talent. Whether Ben is screaming in covered in cowardice or singing his heart out in surrende, he always manages to make the lyrics sound beautiful. The only problem I had with the lyrics is they all follow the same basic pattern in the chorus, where Ben sings a catchy phrase then ian sings the title of the song. Over half the songs sound exactly like that, but it only bugs you after you've listened to it a gazzilion times (which I have). // 8
Overall Impression: This album is probably the most unique album I've ever heard in my life. It is totally different from any other band and unique music is something I grab and don't let go of. My favorite songs were devil in a midnight mass, covered in cowardice, surrender and burn the evidence. Oh and perfect world. They are all solid throught the whole cd, the song I disliked the most would have to be sympathy. I still love it, but if I had to pick one I most disliked it would be this. I love that the album is unique and I love Ben's voice with a passion, I hate nothing, but the repetitive lyrics patterns are the one thing that bugged me a very tiny bit. // 9
Billy Talent II
tryhonesty, on december 12, 2008 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Band " Billy Talent" did a very good job on this album.They have a very unique sound to every song. and unlike some bands that just have the same song repeated 12 times to make a record, Billy Talent does the opposite. Each Song is Unique in it's own specail way. The Band also has a variety of styles they use in their songs. some are Punk, some are soft rock, but most of the tracks are just rock. Billy Talent is a fantastic band with many different features and attributes. // 9
Lyrics: The Lyrics actualy make sense, and the way Ben streams it all in so that it flows very nicely and. and Ben's voice never crackles, or breaks uo, it's all very consistant. His voice is a little bit high, but just a little so it's not that important.But one of the greatest things about this album is that the music flows very good with the lyrics, whenever there's a short couple note riff, there's never any singing to cover up the lick. // 8
Overall Impression: Billy Talent has a good running with the good rockbands out there. Not like Mettalica and Sabbath good, but BT has great skills in all there music writing, lyrics, drumming, the whole works.If this album was lost I would deffinatly order another one. Becuase it's such an original sound. I Love everything about this album, there's nothing wrong with it as far as I am Concerned. // 7
Billy Talent II
Wingswonttakeme, on july 05, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Can you beat Ben Kowalewicz's screams? The anwser is no. The loud drop D guitar and bass, and booming drums all combined with the screams of Ben Kowalewicz create what we know as one of the greatest punk bands around. The single "Devil In A Midnight Mass" tells a story of a priest who molested children (150) before he was caught and arrested, and my favourite song "Where Is The Line" is about the indie scene that shunned them. // 10
Lyrics: My overall impression of the lyrics, as I read them was amazed. I bought the CD, and popped it in immidiatley on the drive home. I read the lyrics while listening to the music, and couldn't beleive that complexity and thought that must have gone into them. // 10
Overall Impression: Overall impression? Blown away. The most impressive songs are Red Flag, Worker Bees, Where is the ling and Fallen Leaves. I love how the lyrics co-ordinate with the music perfectly and how the screams also co-ordinate in there as well, without going over the top. If this was stolen, or if I lost it, I would go out and buy it again defintly. Great Album, you should all buy it. // 10
Billy Talent II
hakudoushi, on july 05, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: With the 2 year wait we had for this album to come out, it was worth every second. The band has tried different approaches in this album, from Devil In A Midnight Mass (Hardish Punk) to Pins And Needles (Softish Punk), to Worker Bees (Originality on their side). They have worked a lot on this album, and it shows. Their new album still has that punk kind of sound, with every song having their own special thing. They have worked harder having better and longer solos, a little less screaming, which for some is great. I was very impressed with what they did with this album, the long riffs keeping you listening. Some cons are the sound does get repetitive. The verses sound the same, the choruses sound the same, and sometimes a little jumpy, but they make up for it in the end. This album was very unique. // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics for this album were downright amazing. There was not a second where the lyrics didn't make you think. Worker Bees, for example, has that influencial style that it's really about worker bees. If you think carefully though, it has nothing to do with worker bees, more about the government and terrorism. The go from religion, to politics, to their old style stuff. I noticed in this album they love using the word sting in their lyrics. Red Flag, like the smallest bee packs a sting, Worker Bees, if you resist us you will feel our sting, etc. Overall, the lyrics for this album were very creative just like their debut. Ben's singing was great, very emotional. The way he sings makes you wanna keep listening til the song is over, then listen to it again! For each song you can actually feel a story being created like in Pins and Needles or Burn The Evidence. This albums lyrics were amazing. // 10
Overall Impression: Overall, I recommend this album for Punk Rock fans. It has probably got the most impressive sound since their debut. No album can compare to this one, it's very original. The songs that really blew me away were "Worker Bees", "Pins And Needles", "Perfect World" and "Burn The Evidence". Not only did the sound come out great, bt the lyrical section is just amazing to these songs. Most people might have to get used to their new style they use here, but they wanted their new album to sound far from the same! "Where Is The Line?" and "In The Fall" have this weird kind of sound to it, in a good way of course. With the lyrical sounds, jokes, and propaganda they have in this album, it makes one of the best albums out there in my opinion. Once again, this is Billy Talent II, and I highly recommend you get this CD. // 10
Billy Talent II
iamarocker06, on july 05, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: I was very impressed with the quality of the sound. The guitar has many different and great licks. Even through the lyrics I liked how you could still hear the guitar. Many of my friends and I thought this would be a very dark album (considering Devil In A Midnight Mass) but it's really not. The songs are really different but in a good way. It's also not like the last album where it's scream and jump around on stage. It's upbeat sometimes and then slows down with minimal screaming. In Devil In A Midnight Mass it's obviously a very dark song, but then you listen to Where Is The Line? And it's very upbeat and quick. There is a thing some people say is the Sophomore Album Slump. But I really don't think that for these guys. // 10
Lyrics: I love the lyrics of the album. Though in the song Perfect world it's sort of lame how they repeat "Control-Alt-Deleted" 3 times and then say "Reset My Memory". I didn't really like that part but that's it. I have always liked the singer's (Ben Kowalawicz) voice and his hair too (lol). There is less screaming and more actual singing but it's awesome. The lyrics all have something to do with the music so they didn't mess up. // 10
Overall Impression: It's not an album like their first one. It's different but if you're a fan of Billy Talent you'll love it. My favorite's songs are Devil In A Midnight Mass, Red Flag, Falling Leaves, Covered In Cowarice and Burn The Evidence. This time I think they were attacking more importent issues. When I found out it was coming out I told my friends and about five of us went June 27th to buy it and we're all impressed. If this was ever stolen I would be extremely mad and would go and buy it again right away. I love the album and can't wait for a tour to start. // 10
Billy Talent II
boyan89, on july 05, 2006 0 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound on this album has improved than their previous album. I think this album sounds heavier than their self-titled debut. The guitar on this album is really good that guy can truly play (I forgot his name). The drums on this album are pure amazing, they aernt soft but their actually really heavy on this album. The bass on this album is actually really amazing with interludes in Devil In A Midnight Mass and pretty sweet intros for example Worker Bess is a good bass song. So overall the sound is a bit more heavier than their debut so get it. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are pure genious. The lead singer can write song about almost anything devils invading masses, girls etc. It has pretty nice background lyrics with the guitarist singing which I think is really cool. So therefore the lyrics have improved and this album has better songwriting structure than the 1st one. // 10
Overall Impression: This album can compare to Green Day, Sum 41 and Taking Back Sunday. I dont have any fav song on this album because they all rule. I hate nothing about this album, I love everything about it. If your looking for a punk-pop and punk revival album then you should defenitely get this album. So fans of Green Day, Sum 41, Anti-Flag, Blink 182, Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy, Hawthorne Heigts and the many other punk bands I recommend this album to any punk rock fan. // 10
Billy Talent II
hang.em.high., on july 05, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The band seems to have grown up since it's last record. The sound is a little different. Ben K., the lead singer, doesn't scream as much on this record as on the last one. Ian D., the guitarist, found a different type of sound to write with; on songs like Devil In A Midnight Mass. There are also more "solos", and more love songs. The sound is amazing too. Listening to some songs, like Fallen Leaves, almost made me dizzy. There are 13 songs. It's an amazing deal. And they are all separately wonderful, as in, none of them sound the same. It's perfect. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics to this album fit in the same with the lyrics of the last album, they make stories, or create pictures in your head. Ben's emotion also helps create the mood. The lyrics are amazing. They make everything absolutely perfect for this album. The lyrics fit with the music itself like they were meant for each other, it's amazing. The music creates the lyrics, the lyrics create a story, the story generates a feeling, and the feeling matches the music like a glove. There are a couple political songs, a few love songs, and some more random stuff that you can't help but love. // 10
Overall Impression: This album is definitely as good as the last Billy Talent album, if not better. The music is not exactly the same, as you can expect after 3 years, but it's not entirely different, so it's all good. All of the songs are amazing, but my favorites are: This Suffering, Fallen Leaves, Covered In Cowardice, Surrender, and Sympathy. Once again, all of the songs are amazing. I love absolutely everything about this record, I love the range of vocals, although at first I was disappointed with the shortage of screaming, but Ben has an amazing voice and it's perfect anyway. If it were stolen or lost (which actually happened to my last Billy Talent record) I wouldn't worry, because it's already ripped to my computer! // 10
Billy Talent II
Codezzzz, on july 05, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Wow this CD suprised me. I expected most of the songs to sound identical like several punk rock sounds out there right now but they have a very well-balanced variety to appeal to everyone. They can go from dark and evil guitar riffs such as "Devil in a Midnight Mass" to a very heart-warming ballad such as "Surrender." Although songs like "Surrender" have a sappy element to them, they still stay true to Billy Talent's style which is a good thing. You would probably buy the CD because you like Billy Talent's style but you would also want several different types of sounds to match that style which Billy Talent has achieved. // 10
Lyrics: Oh boy this is where things would likely go downhill right? Well somewhat. The lyrics are a little straightforward at times which can be good for punk music fans but often times they can be very deep in songs like "Worker Bees" and "Devil In A Midnight Mass" to cover certain issues that the band finds interesting. Many people say that Ben is one of the worst singers around and I can understand where they're coming from but when his vocals are backed up well by the music and the two backup lyricists, it turns out as a really amazing song. // 9
Overall Impression: Overall I was impressed by this album. I like the diversity in songs so you would probably buy the CD because you like Billy Talent's style but you would also want several different types of sounds to match that style which Billy Talent has achieved. It stays true to the punk genre which Billy Talent has strived to be part of but anyone can enjoy this album whether a pop music fan, heavy metal, or probably anything else you can think of. // 10
Billy Talent II
unregistered, on july 18, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Truly, this album is amazing. I bought it for the sole purpose of the song "Devil In A Midnight Mass". Boy was I surprised. Evrey song on this album gives meaning. This album has definately reached a higher level for the band. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics, I find, blend perfectly with every mood each song gives. Especially on the song "Where Is The Line?" In this song the band expores how people waste so much time trying to keep up with the latest trends when it really dosen't matter. You can tell that the lyrics ars saying this very well in the line, "Trends come and go, but when you're alone it dosen't mean a thing". Generally, all of the songs keep the message they are trying send without getting off track. // 10
Overall Impression: One thing I failed to mention was the amazing artwork done ine the album! It makes the album so much more animated than the first one. I love the balence between the mellow songs ang harcore ones. There is absolutely nothing I "hate" about this album! If this album were stolen, I would buy it again, and again, and again! This album is way better than the first by far! // 10
Billy Talent II
cmsurvive11, on september 18, 2006 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: I knew about the song red flag for a while and thought Billy Talent wasn't really going to change there sound on their new album and just stay the same. I was completly wrong. I heard Devil In A Midnight Mass on the radio and bought the CD about 1 hour later. This CD is truely unique easily one of if not the best rock album of 2006. it's also nice to see a punk band that stays with their style and doesnt't bend to popular cuture like so many bands today. "Surrender" probably is the most unique of all songs on the CD because it is much much quiter than the Billy Talent we've been listening too. This Suffering, Fallen Leaves, and The Navy Song really highlight how good the musicianship is of Billy Talent. Those also are probably the best songs on the album also. Ben has turned his screaming down a bit but his heavy emphasis on vocal melody really shines on the album. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics catch you off guard on every song. Ben voice in songs like Pins And Needles and Fallen Leaves really drive the songs. Each song seems to have it's own story invovled, espically in Fallen Leaves "in a crooked little town they where lost and never found fallens leaves" or the Navy Song "I gave my life to save them the ocean turned to red, good men were left for dead when the tide the tide took them all". that's just a taste of some of Bens lyrics on this album. One nice thing was the increased amount of back up vocals I think this really helped make some songs reach a new level. // 10
Overall Impression: Billy Talent II is easily going to be regarded as one of the best albums of this decade. The first album seemed like warm up compared to this one. Perhaps the thing I love most about this CD is the great blend of guitar and vocals. It really is impressive. The song Where Is The Line really shows this. There isnt another artist like Billy Talent, they are unique in everyway. Buy This album even if your in debt. // 10
Billy Talent II
BassPlayer500, on february 07, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Billy Talent is a great Canadian punk band. There is a lot of variety on this CD, each song sounds different and tells a different story. There are some "dark" songs on this CD like "Sympathy" and "Worker Bees" and there are some "light" songs on this CD like "Surrender" and "Pins and Needles". Ian is an amazing guitarist, "Devil In A Midnight Mass" and "Covered In Cowardice" have great intro riffs, and "Fallen Leaves" has an amazing guitar solo. Jon is an awesome bassist, the bass parts are easy to pick out because the bass is loud and it doesn't just play along with the guitar. "Worker Bees" has a cool bass intro and "This Suffering" also has good bass riffs. Aaron is a great drummer, excellent drums in "Red Flag" and "Perfect World". // 10
Lyrics: There is not as much screaming on this CD as there was on their self-titled album, but the singing and lyrics are still great. "Where Is The Line?" is about people that always try to fit in and be like everyone else. "Covered In Cowardice" is about people on the internet who hide behind their words, something like that, hard to explain ("cowards that hide behind their words don't care whose feelings will get hurt / beware the voice without a face that's hidden underneath them"). "Red Flag" has great lyrics too ("The smallest be packs a sting, like a pawn checkmates a king") and a catchy chorus. All of these songs have powerful meanings except for "Sympathy", which is really just an angry song. // 10
Overall Impression: "II" is a great album from Billy Talent, even though it doesn't sound as angry as the self-titled album with all the screaming 'n stuff. My favorite tracks on this CD are "Burn The Evidence", "This Suffering", and "Covered In Cowardice". If you're a Billy Talent fan just get this CD, get their self-titled too if you don't already have it. // 9
Billy Talent II
unregistered, on august 20, 2007 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: After three years, Billy Talent are back with Billy Talent II. They won fans over with a hard rock sound and lead singer Ben Kowalewitch's trademark screams. Then they decided to make some changes: there is less screaming, it's not as angst-ridden, and there are now a few love songs- and I do not mean break-up songs (although there are more of those)- I mean LOVE songs. Or at least, kind of. The sentiment fest begins with Pins and Needles, written about dumping a girl over insecurity, regretting it, and asking forgiveness. Fans may not react well to this, especialy since the song is a lot softer than anything Billy Talent has ever done. Or is it? We continue on the love trail with the fourth single Surrender. This song follows the path of a young man who has fallen for his female friend, knowng she will never return his feelings, yet he loves her more than anything. Surrender was probably released as a single to show people that Billy Talent do have a softer side, and it worked. The song greatly differs fom anything people expected fom Billy Talent, and is overall a beautiful song. The Navy Song, also called In the Fall, follows the path of a soldier in the war. As the song progresses, it is clear that he misses his wife and wants to be with her in his time of death. While not entirely a love song, it is sentimental enough to gain at least partial dislike from old fans. Following the wake of The Ex, Billy Talent II delivers three breakup songs with three different breakup themes: the torture he had to go through (This Suffering), regret (Pins and Needles), and the I-don't-need-you anthem Prefect World (easily set apart by the lyrics "baby I don't need you"). A few musical highs of the album are the bass riff in Worker Bees, the opening music of The Navy Song, the killer riffs in Devil in a Midnight Mass, and the solo in Fallen Leaves. Overall, Billy Talent have partially turned around from their angry sound in Billy Talent, while staying true to their punk-rock roots. // 9
Lyrics: As with the first album, most lyrics are deep and metaphorical. Unlike the first ablum, the message of the song is usually straightforward with a few metaphors that don't hide the meaning, unlike someting like This is How it Goes. While this can be a good thing (I have gotten headaches trying to figure out what a song means) fans may miss the challenge. Not to say that no song has a deep meaning, just listen to Devil in a Midinght Mass, Red Flag, Worker Bees, Fallen Leaves, and Burn the Evidence among others. It's just that it's easy to figure out what a song means for the most part, but there is still that one verse that you can't crack. The lyrics are usually strong and meaningful. I think the only song with weak lyrics is Where is the Line, and that's only in the verses. On Billy Talent, there was a screaming part, or some variation on that, in eight or nine of the twelve songs. On Billy Talent II, there is only a scream in three of the thirteen songs. While it is nice to hear Ben's amazing voice, many fans-including myself-miss the old times (maybe that's part of the reason my favourite song is Worker Bees). One thing that bugs me is the little Homer Simpson-imitation thing. If you listen to the end of the second repetition of the pre-chorus in Red Flag, you can pick out the sound. That little yelp, identical to the one in Cut the Curtains, appears ont he album a few more times than needed. Hopefully that will be cut out of the third album. One thing I liked was the way Ben pronounced the words in the verses of This Suffering, that little whine. Overall, the lyrics are solid and deep. // 9
Overall Impression: Billy Talent has made a slight change in their sound while still being the Canadian rockers we know them as. Standout tracks are Worker Bees for being one of the three songs where Ben finally screams and for the perfectly pulled off bass riff (coutesy of John Gallant), Fallen Leaves for it's distinct sound, Where is the Line for the way Bens' voice sounds during the verses, Surrender for it's softer sound and opening riff, and The Navy Song for the way Ian D'Sa pulls off the Scottish sound. I would definately buy this CD again if I had to. I love their hard rock sound and how they're talikng about politics and war more. There is nothing I hate, but I don't like the little yelps(see lyrics section). Good job boys, another great album. // 10
Billy Talent II
halftimelord, on october 13, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: From the moment I put the CD on, I could tell that it was going to be as good as the last one. Starting off with an "evil" guitar riff, before plunging into the first track. With the backing, guitar intros, and the energy that came from it, I immediately came onto here and started looking for the tabs. Some of the stories behind the songs are as grim as they sound - the first track, "Devil In A Midnight Mass" is about a priest arrested for child abuse, and was murdered in his cell by a fellow in-mate. Starting off with a track like that, you know if you're going to like them, or loath them. // 9
Lyrics: The first thing you notice about Billy Talent is the brilliant guitar riffs and intros. The second - the lyrics. Not always making sense at first, but with topics to make you think, ranging form being yourself and not trying to be like everybody else (Where Is The Line) to drug addiction, and the effects of it - on your brain, and also rejection (Fallen Leaves). The lyrics fit perfectly with the songs, setting the mood with the brilliant intros, and with Ben Kowalewicz singing (or screaming) his heart out, the singing is excellent. The backing vocals (Ian D'Sa and Jon Gallant) fit perfectly, by just singing something you can actually understand for a change. // 10
Overall Impression: I will probably get flamed for this later, but I think this is as good as - if not better than - their first album. The lyrics as good, the playing as good - this is a fantastic piece of music. My favorite tracks are Pins And Needles, Fallen Leaves, Surrender, and, last but certainly not least, Devil In A Midnight Mass. The thing that I love most about Billy Talent is their backing vocals. They take this to a whole new level, and make it so much more important that it is with most other bands. If it was stolen or lost, I would buy it again - but it's all on my iPod, and backed up, so I can't really answer this question. One of my faverite albumns of all time! Billy Talent rules! // 10
Billy Talent II
mattant250, on july 22, 2009 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The next instalment from Billy Talent comes in the form of Billy Talent II, and there has been a definite progression in style and musical knowledge. Billy Talent have realised that they don't need to have blistering pace in a song for it to be a hit. Many of their songs have now slowed down, and allowed a lot more technique and thought to be put into the songs. Also, the screaming has become less frequent in this album, but still fairly regular. However, do not fear, as this band are still very much unique and have their own style. They have merely matured and allowed themselves to produce more complete music, and a much more complete album // 9
Lyrics: This album is not quite so focussed on vocals and lyrics, and that as allowed the other instruments to flourish, which indirectly has led to the improvement and wholeness of lyrics. The lyrics are still as strong as ever, maybe even stronger, but they don't have such a prominent role in this album. I believe that the vocals have become slightly more "whiny" in this album, however, this is barely recognisable and it should not put you off buying the album. Ian's backing vocals are still as strong as ever and each song is enhanced by his contribution, as it gives the song another dimension and quality. // 8
Overall Impression: 01.Devil In A Midnight Mass: This song opens the song perfectly and immediately states BT's intentions to be much slower and composed in this album, but this is not a slow song, just slower. It has a lot of energy, and is almost haunting, making great use of falsetto. 9/10
02.Red Flag: this song, like Line & Sinker, starts with the chorus, and like Line & Sinker has such energy and power, that it makes it a very punk song. There is a huge focus on the bass line in this song, which is constant and recognisable, especially during the verse. Terrific song. 10/10
03.This Suffering: this is, in my opinion, the best song on the album. It reveals the best of every member of the band, and definitely plays to the individual talents of each member. 10++++/10
04.Worker Bees: the first song that BT have ever released with such emphasis on the bassline, as we enter the song. I love this song - it has such energy, and the title fits perfectly. The drums also play an important part, as they replicate a constant march throughout the song. 10/10
05.Pins & Needles: this song is much more of a ballad than the first four, much like its counterpart, Lies, on the previous album. It does break into heavy, fast guitars though, later on, and makes this song really worth the wait. 9/10
06.Fallen Leaves: the first song I ever heard from BT, and the song that got me into them to begin with. This song reminds me of a sped up, enhanced version of Standing In The Rain, and, like This Suffering presents all of the strengths of the band. 10/10
07.Where Is The Line: one of the weaker songs off the album, but it still has good moments. Although the verse can get quite tedious and boring, when we enter the chorus, Ian's vocals improve the song tenfold. 8/10
08.Covered In Cowardice: the intro seems almost detached from the song itself, but it certainly gets you into the song, and by the time you get to the chorus, and hear Ben's screaming, you instantly fall in love with the song. 9/10
09.Surrender: this song is the most un-Billy Talent-like song they have released thus far. This is the closest thing they have written that qualifies as a ballad. Before I heard this song, I would have cringed at the thought, but after hearing, it is the best thing they have ever done. It shown us another side to them, and made them so much more than a punk band. 10/10
10.The Navy Song: I don't particularly like this song. Nothing special, adds nothing much to the album, and I would have much preferred another song to be included. 7/10
11.Perfect World: this is a great song. Simple as that. However, this song feels very much like the vocals are "whiny" somewhat and that annoys me, because it could have been such a great song otherwise. 9/10
12.Sympathy: everything about this album is brilliant. The heavy, verse riff explores a very different guitar sound, the pre-chourus builds up to the amazing energetic chorus. 9/10
13.Burn The Evidence: this song would have been a perfect single. This song is a perfect end, yet again, to a perfect album, and the emotion and power of this song is breath-taking. 10/10
Overall, this album is, in some aspects, an improvement on the first album, however, they do seem to be becoming slightly radio-friendly, and that would be a step in the wrong direction. However, at the moment they have a great album here full of top quality tracks. // 10
Billy Talent II
walkingwithjack, on april 01, 2010 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: The ground-breaking first album of canadian rockers Billy Talent, would seem like a hard act to follow, and many artist's musical talent declines as time goes on, however this band's talent only increases. Whereas the first album was hardcore punk, the feeling of this album has a softer, yet more powerful sound. The bass is a lot louder and more present, which is something (as a bassist) to be happy about. The riff's varie betweens simple as hell (Worker Bees, The Navy Song) to finger breakingly difficult (Devil in a Midnight Mass). The Riff to some song's sounds very moody. For Fallen Leaves it almost sounds like a childs fantasy or a nursery rhyme, which is represented in the video. Devil in a Midnight mass sounds absoulutely evil. // 10
Lyrics: The Lyrics are beautiful. Every song in the album has a defining topic. Devil in a Midnight mass is about a peadophilic priest, Red Flag is a tale of Youth Rebellion, This Suffering, Pins and Needles, Surrender and Perfect World are about girls and the bands experience with them, Worker Bees is a story of war, Fallen Leaves involves drugs and the corruption that follows through their use, Where is the Line is about fashion, and the media. Covered in Cowardice is about being truthful. In the Fall (also known as the Navy Song)is about a Navy soldier dying in battle, and Burn the Evidence is about leaving everything behind and starting afresh. Each of these sets of words are meaningful and beautiful, making great harmonics. I especially love the backing chant in 'In the Fall' where Ian D'sa and Jon Gallant shout "In the Fall, In the fall, When the tides took them all". The only lyrical problem in my opinion is in 'Fallen Leaves' because the lyrics are made up of about 60% of the phrase 'Fallen Leaves', this is commonly mocked by haters of the band. // 9
Overall Impression: This album is without doubt, the best of Billy Talent's range, it is melodic, it is hardcore, it is a fan favourite, it is topical, it is memorable, and it has that extra 'umph' you get from Billy Talent. I couldnt give you the best song on the album, they are all amazingly good, but my least favourite would be 'Sympathy' it's generally unmemorable and not very exciting. I love the fact that this album is more topical than the others, it has varies areas and explores them in great detail. This is the album that made me love Billy Talent. // 10
Billy Talent II
unregistered, on june 27, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: This albums sound it a lot different then the first, the vocals are clearer, the guitar heavier, but you still hear the bass and drums without trying to like their orginal. It reminds me more of night time or being alone than the other one, just the way it sounds. I still love Billy Talent though, and this still sounds great. I have to say Original is always better. // 7
Lyrics: The lyrics match the music prefectly and so does the singing. The one thing I regret is the song has more singing and screaming but not to say it doesn't have screaming because it does. The emotion is missing a bit though, but it's not bad. It's just different and not as memorable as the first albums. // 7
Overall Impression: This album is still good old billy talent, which makes it amazing. I still listend to this album 1000 times 5 years ago, and I still listen to it, but not as much as the first album by them. I feel it lacks what the old one had, which is the same as most bands after an album or two, and orgianlity. // 7