Be Human Review

artist: Fightstar date: 04/23/2009 category: compact discs
Fightstar: Be Human
Released: Apr 20, 2009
Genre: Alternative Rock, Post-Hardcore
Label: Search And Destroy
Number Of Tracks: 12
The band has certainly spread their wings creatively for third album, Be Human. They introduce a full 16-piece orchestra and two vocal choirs which in many ways was a risk, but it has succeeded without doubt.
 Sound: 9.5
 Lyrics: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 9
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reviews (2) 27 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9
Be Human Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 23, 2009
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: The band has certainly spread their wings creatively for third album, Be Human. They introduce a full 16-piece orchestra and two vocal choirs which in many ways was a risk, but it has succeeded without doubt. Overall the record has a very cinematic and soundtrack-like feel to it with all the new elements found here, but crucially they don't abandon the root of their original sound.

Efforts range from mid-paced rockers (Calling On All Stations, The English Way), epic builders which use the orchestration to magnificent effect (War Machine, Give Me The Sky, Follow Me Into The Darknes), high octane heaviness (Colours Bleed To Red, Chemical Blood, Damocles) and some of their lighter efforts to date (Never Change, Mercury Summer, Tonight We Burn). They also experiment with the Muse-esq mid-album track, Whisperer, which has a foot tapping beat and hooky guitars. All the styles covered mean that while as a full listen it isn't quite as coherent as previous efforts, it never strays into a bland or formulaic experience. Full credit must be given for the sheer ambition and execution of the ideas put forward here. // 10

Lyrics: Lyrically, the album is perhaps the bands most positive and uplifting set of tracks thus far in their short career. "The English Way" is an optimistic take on trying to reclaim national pride and traditions. "Mercury Summer", "Give Me The Sky" and "Tonight We Burn" are all about being happy in love. However, things are nicely mixed up as the band also dip into subject's such as anti-war ("War Machine"), knife crime in the UK ("Damocles") and anti-establishment with "Calling On All Stations". Main vocal duties are once again performed by Simpson, with Westaway only taking over main duties on the electronic "Tonight We Burn". The double harmonies work best on tracks like "Colours Bleed To Red" and "Mercury Summer". Simpson's deep and husky voice clashes against Westaway's softer tones extremely well. However, it would have been nice to hear the latter a bit more throughout the whole album. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall, this album is an extremely impressive effort from the London four-piece. They keep expanding and pushing the boundaries with their song writing and with all the different styles attempted throughout the 12 tracks, it provides a compelling listen. The orchestra plays a huge part throughout and adds a new dimension all together, it makes the whole album feel like a big journey from start to finish. This is definitely a new direction for the band as they successfully combine the heavy, the soft and the epic all into 46 minutes. // 9

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overall: 9
Be Human Reviewed by: AwesomeDrummer, on april 28, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Over the past few years, the infamous post-hardcore/alternative rock band Fightstar, have battled with speculation of their sound, and the occasional poser comment, thrown mostly at lead singer and guitarist, Charlie Simpson, for his multiple year stint in the teen pop band "Busted". Yet, instead of retreating and hiding away, the 4 british blokes have fought, much like their name, and developed respect amongst their peers. On the latest record, "Be Human", they've managed to produce their most creative and diverse album to date, with powerful choirs and a 16-piece orchestra which sets the mood in many pieces, such as "War Machine" and the album opener, "Calling All stations". Yet, the Fightstar that fans have always known is by far still apparent, with the Rhythm section of Omar and Dan as solid as ever on tracks such as "The English Way". // 9

Lyrics: The Two Vocalists of Fightstar, Charlie and Alex, are two men with completely opposite voices, which in turn sets for great harmonies and melodies. Charlie, the main lead vocalist, has a masculine voice which has been compared to that of Kurt Cobain', and a falsetto which could almost compare to that of muse singer, Matt Bellamy. Whereas Alex has a far higher voice, used excellently in the softer songs on the album. The album's lyrics (as commented by the band themselves) talks about issues of humanity, yet has a positive message to it, unlike previous albums "Grand Unification" and "One day son, this will all be yours". Excellent melodies can be heard on the tracks "War Machine" and "Follow me into the darkness". // 9

Overall Impression: Although some may say that this latest effort from fightstar is heading in the direction of the mainstream with tracks such as "Mercury Summer", "Never Change" and "Tonight we burn", it is clear, that the quartet are on the brink of a creative explosion. Although the originality hasn't shown itself completely yet, moments of it can be heard in tracks such as "Give me the sky" and "Follow me into the darkness". The group are exceptionally talented at their instruments, and have enabled an album that has the right balance of creativity and normality to it. Key tracks to the album are "Colours Bleed to red", "War Machine", "Follow me into the darkness", and "Mercury Summer". // 9

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