Sound — 10
So this is Days of The New's second album, aptly titled Days of The New II, or 'the Green album' as it has known to be called. Released in 1999, at which by that time Days of The New had dissolved from being a group endeavor into largely a solo output of singer/guitar Travis Meeks. The band's sound, at it's core, can be described as an onslaught of somewhat technical and haunting acoustic guitar riffs and solos, simple but effective drums and pounding groove-oriented basslines; all rounded out by seemingly troubled and heartfelt vocals. Occasional orchestrations and woodwind instruments all add to the atmosphere of what some consider 'post-grunge', a label given to the band on their first album, but that's totally transcended on this sophomore release. Again, by this time the band was more or less Travis Meeks featuring session musicians, but an interesting note is that the are several tracks featuring back-up vocals by Nicole Scherzinger, who later rose to fame in the following decade as a member of The Pussycat Dolls. This is a great album productions wise, although there are certain spots that crave the acoustic rhythms being a little bit louder. I personally don't listen to much acoustic based music, but regardless, I've never heard any other acoustical music like this, at least not with the same droning, dark atmosphere. It's a fairly unique and attention grabbing sound.
Lyrics — 9
Now, when it comes to Travis Meeks' lyrics, they can somewhat be hard to decipher, particularly on this album and with the previous. But what you can immediately feel is that they all go on a personal level and delve into his psyche. They can tend to be slightly apathetic and even somewhat self-depreciating, but also focus on intersocial issues and personal relationships and even the mind's relationship with one's self. With a little research, you can discover that Meeks' hasn't had quite the happiest life, be it his childhood, teenage years, adulthood, the latter of which have been largely affected by his own personal decisions. Lyrics are dark in nature, but sometimes have an uplifting quality to them. I believe they can mostly be open to one's own interpretation, a special quality I appreciate. My favorite lyrics from this album is the first verse for 'Phobics of Tragedy': 'I'm afraid of what I see and what I see is everything Shelter with me my own hands and with my hands I will defend God, I don't know what to say, everything is in my way Get up and deal with the pain, drowning your mind in the way'
Overall Impression — 10
For me, this album is a truly unique creation. It seems to be molded from an attempt to express and rectify one's personal problems, something no human is void of. It's a work of art. A painting of Meek's soul, with each stroke of the brush breaking the foundation of that brooding soul. As with most Days of The New music, it's an immediate transition into a troubled mind. The songs that stand out to me the most, in terms of either musicianship or feel, are Weapon & the Wound (truly a beautiful song), Take Me Back Then (a piece that seems to yearn for a simpler time), I Think (probably one of the heaviest acoustic songs I've ever heard), Phobics of Tragedy (simply for it's lyrics), and Not The Same (haunting and beautiful). There's nothing I really dislike about this album, save for the song 'Enemy', a good song, but features a laughable club beat theme throughout. Another irritant would be '(Untitled)', while no doubt an 'interesting' listen, consists of nothing more than odd sounds and talking. But overall, this is one of my favorite albums of all time. Most of the general population are/were unaware of Days of The New's existence, other than the single from their previous album 'Touch, Peel, and Stand' which was and still is popular, but for most it's like trying to match a voice to a face, which most can't do. If you're interested in listening to something new, check this record out.