Sound — 9
Brand New. A band that has 'so much hype, their hype has hype'. Building up a cult following unlike any other in music, Brand New have previously released 3 stellar albums, each one completely different in sound from the other. 2006's critically acclaimed The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me established a darker, louder sound for Brand New, while maintaining their fantastic lyrics. Brand New then almost completely disappeared off the face of the earth for nearly 3 years. Besides the occasional show, the band was gone. When Brand New announced that there was a new album in the works, they worked up a flurry of news, rumors and controversy. The announced album name was 'and one head can never die'. Before the dust had time to settle, they had changed the name to 'Daisy'. After the release of the masterpiece, Deja Entendu, fans had declared that Brand New had hit their peak, and their next album could not possibly top it. Brand New surprised people. Vastly different from their previous works, the Devil and God was declared a masterpiece, and fans said that their next album could not possibly top it. Then came Daisy. Polarising isn't the right word. This album could be declared as being the opposite of accessible. Brand New have once again rejected fame, and unleashed an album that is completely different from their others. At around 40 minutes in length, it's shorter than their previous works. It aims to hit hard and fast. And it does. On first listen, your face will be ripped off and shredded to little pieces. Opening with Vices, the most aggressive song they have ever written, Brand New will blow you away with another fantastic album. Vices is the first indication of what the album will sound like. Raw, atmospheric, and crazy. Despite some great tracks in the beginning, the album really picks up after the bizarre interlude, Be Gone. The next few songs are some of the best Brand New have ever written. Linking together beautifully, and establishing a flow to the tracks not seen since their Deja days, the album will proceed to blow you away. The bass is heard strongly throughout the album, and guitars and vocals are layered and many. The album closer, Noro, marks a change for the band. It serves as an example: do not go into this album with expectations. As long term fans will have noticed, it does not open with Jesse counting. It is not acoustic/semi-acoustic. This goes for the entire album. Do not expect anything of the old Brand New.
Lyrics — 9
Brand New's brilliantly touching and clever lyrics are originally what drew fans in, and never let them go. However, things are different this time. The most marked change is the fact that it is guitarist Vin Accardi who has written most of the songs on the album. However, his writing style, despite being simpler than vocalist Jesse Lacey's, is no less effective. Fans who were complaining about Vin's arguably weak songwriting in Handcuffs from The Devil and God will have nothing to say. Try and tell which songs were written by Vin and which by Jesse. It is impossible. Another thing fans will notice is that without a lyrics sheet, it is incredibly difficult interpreting what Jesse Lacey is saying. Oh yeah, I hadn't said. When I said 'aggressive' before, I meant it. Jesse spends most of the album shrieking his lungs out. However, beneath his screams, are some truly beautiful lyrics. If The Devil and God had sounded like the work of someone who was truly depressed as all hell, then Daisy is the work of someone on the verge of breaking down. The lyrics are fantastically dark. Even darker than before, and that's saying something. The biblical references are layered harder than before, and there are constant references to fires, forests, and beds. It is clear that this album has had great thought put into it, and is a multi-faceted work of art. Take some time to think about it. You won't be able to absorb it in one, two, or three sittings. It'll take alot of listening. However, the lyrics are not perfect, some lines just fall flat. Luckily, there are usually some beautiful insights just around the bend.
Overall Impression — 10
Daisy cannot be compared to other indie albums out there on the scene. It is something other bands cannot reproduce, if for no other reason than an album as polarizing as this could never be released by a band without the following Brand New commands. The second half of the album is extremely impressive, both lyrically and sonically. This album will alienate people. There can be no argument from that. The casual listener will be thrown off track. Even the long term Brand New fan could easily be disenchanted by this album. But for those with an open ear, it cannot be argued that Brand New have continued their streak of making genre defying/defining albums.