Common Dreads review by Enter Shikari

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  • Released: Jun 15, 2009
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.5 (76 votes)
Enter Shikari: Common Dreads

Sound — 8
Shikari are back! And this time they've got a message to put out. Having the songs written around a half a mile from me (Shikari are from my home town) I've followed this album as its progressed, and I have mixed feelings about its result. Clearly, what has been such a basis for Shikari's success was its cross-genre, hybrid mix of Club/Trance with Heavy Rock. Apart from a couple of tunes sadly, I feel this vibe has been a lost a little, as Shikari sell themselves out to the currently more popular form of Dubstep. However, the St. Albans Mob pull off this mix well. The album blasts straight into Solidarity, which for me, is the standout track of the album by far. The song has it all, trance riffs, heavy breakdowns, a dubstep pattern and a choir chorus to finish off the tune. The only thing that will frustrate a lot of fans, and this has been well documented, is that Shikari do not deny this to be a highly political album. Shikari are known for their energetic, fun and care-free live shows where they border on complete insanity, but this is an image lost for a more serious political message. This will inevitably lose them a lot of fans I feel.

Lyrics — 8
Again, politics take a huge forefront in the lyrical make-up of Shikari's new album (We Must Unite, The idea of community, will be something displayed in a museum). That being said, singing political lyrics over dubstep basslines is not something that's been done before, and in the relevant tracks they pull it off very well. Rou's voice will hardly inspire you to take up singing any time soon, but one of the big differences I've noticed on this album is the improvement of Bassist Chris Batten's vocals. Chris plays a huge role live vocally, and its only fair that he has a larger inclusion in this album. Listen out for Batten in Hectic and 2nd Single Juggernauts.

Overall Impression — 7
In such a difficult year for music, and such a difficult economic climate, I'm not entirely sure how well this risky piece of art will be received by fans. I respect Shikari for taking the risk but only time will tell successful it will become. Compared to albums of the last month, I would definitely prefer to listen to Taking Back Sunday's New Again or The Blackou's The Best in Town. Standout tracks have to be Common Dreads (Intro) / Solidarity, Hectic and Wall, as well as singles Juggernauts, Antwerpen and No Sleep Tonight. The rest of the tracks aren't really worth much of a listen I'm afraid. If the album were stolen I would not purchase it again.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    its a big step in the right direction. alienating the scenies that made them popular on TTTS. very original. listen to more than just juggernauts- which i feel is the weakest track on the album.
    THIS IS THE BEST ALBUM EVER!!!!! Zzzonked is the best song ever, enter shikari are extremely talented, i cant believe they lost fans, im a bigger fan after this album, they knocked slipknot off my favourite bands seat with this blinder! p.s. THE LIONS ARE AT THE DOOR
    This is honestly really good. I disliked it at first, but as an album as a whole, it's much better.
    There Are Some Good Reviews On Here. I got this album 1 week before it was released due to pre-ordering, the DVD kinda sucks, however very good album! Both Albums Are Good in different ways, they seem to have gotten more experimental on this album. Good To See Them Get Rid Of The Scene Kid Background, not many of them like ES now cuz they don't scream as much on this album. Lose Douchebag Fans, Gain Respectable Ones! Woo Hoo!
    AND NOW THE FLOODGATES WILL OPEN... Just about sums it up for me! This is a spectacular follow up to Take to the Skies! A mature advance on the sound of their first album! One whinge though not a major fan of the spoken word vox!
    I'm glad i've found people on here who share my view that TTTs was a better album mainly 'cos of the heavier metal elements. I do like the Jester though...
    I really love this album! I liked TTTS a lot but this album is a much bigger joy to listen to. They have really gotten a lot more influences and all songs are different, most of the songs are really different and thats just really awesome. They are still the same Enter Shikari in a lot of ways but they have really matured and its more technical and sometimes its even a little proggy which i really love because it makes it a lot more interesting. For me its old Enter Shikari + Alternative rock + a bit of prog rock and mooooore! They have always been experimental but every single song on this album is unique! This album is just Awesome from start to finish! And i will hopefully be able to listen to it a lot of times before i get tired of it (unlike most albums). They get a 11 from me because of their awesomeness! I hope i will get my friends to like it as much as i do so they can come see them with me on Jan 11!!!