Appeal to Reason review by Rise Against

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  • Released: Oct 7, 2008
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (180 votes)
Rise Against: Appeal to Reason
1

Sound — 9
The latest release by Rise Against is a big winner in my book. Although this is another step away from their original fast-paced, aggressive sound that was The Unraveling, it still is a musical powerhouse. When I first listened to it, I was surprised to say the least. The sound is more mainstream and mellow than old-school Rise Against. However, they sure as hell can write music. Even though the sound has been taken down some notches in terms of pure energy and speed (the drums aren't as break-neck fast as they used to be), quite possibly to appeal to more people, the band's liberal messages stay the same. The first track "Collapse (Post-Amerika)" is the pure Rise Against sound that is most reminiscent of Siren Song and Sufferer and the Witness. There's one song named "The Dirt Whispered," which to me was the most unusual thing to hear Rise Against play. The song, to me at least, sounded like Blink-182 grown up. Tim sings a lot better than Mark and Tom, especially Tom. Tim's voice is most impressive on "Kotov Syndrome" and "The Strength to Go On." My three favorite tracks on this album come in a row, with "Entertainment,"(the circus 'bum-DUN-DUN, bum-DUN-DUN' was a stroke of genius) "Hero of War,"(showcases McIlrath's ability to shove the song concept in your face lyrically, because he doesn't beat around the bush) and my favortie track on the whole album, and one of my new favorite Risa Against songs, "Savior." "Savior" to me is a perfect song, that captures the sound of the new album perfectly. If you are wondering if you should get this album or not, listen to "Savior" on YouTube or something, and make your decision from there. I don't think you'll be disappointed with that song. I'm giving this category a 9 because I would give Siren Song a 10, and I personally believe that's their best album to date. This is a damn good album.

Lyrics — 10
Tim McIlrath's lyrics are always great. He has a way with words that in several songs today cannot be matched. He can make a song so poetic it's make your head spin, while writing a song with a message so straightforward that it just punches you in the face. "Hero of War" is a great example of his lyrical ability. Even though it's a simple story, the emotion that it brings out is rarely found in other music today. "Entertainment" is practically a bitch-slap to Hollywood. Also, Tim's voice is one of the best I've ever heard. He has a very unique voice that fits the music perfectly, to the point that if he left, there would be no more Rise Against. Even if they got a new singer, it wouldn't be the same. Unless they do what Journey did and find some guy who actually sounds just like him, but what are the odds for that happening to another band?

Overall Impression — 9
I believe that this is Rise Against's 2nd best album. It's tied right now with Sufferer and the Witness. The main thing to take away from this review is that the sound on this album is slightly more alternative than previous, and there are more 'slower' songs, in the sense of the drums. This album still has a lot of energy behind it, just not the "bounce off the walls" energy that was on the first two albums, and on a few songs from Siren Song. I love how Tim's voice seems to have gotten stronger as time has gone on, and the new guitarist fits the bill for Rise Against. The one thing that I don't like about the album is it shows the decline of power and energy from album to album. I don't think they'll ever become a pop-punk band, but I can see in a few more years where their sound has completely departed from The Unraveling. If it were stolen, and my hard drive was wiped, hell yeah I would buy this agsin. The album was a great listen from start to finish, and I recommend it for the hardcore fans of the band, and also those who just heard "Re-Education (Through Labor)" to pick it up.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    eoiniscool
    it took a few days of me thinkin it was too similar to Sufferer and the Witness but eventually got into it, love it now. the lyrics are the high point. excellent album.
    matty_jay
    Am a huge fan, but after 5 or so listens this album still hasnt clicked with me. And it bothers me how often Tim uses the word 'we' in his lyrics. It seems he start every sentence with 'we'.
    Agony098
    My favorite rock band, without question. You can just feel the emotion so well in Tim's voice. It's so easy to see that this is music made from the heart, that's something they've been consistent with their whole career. I saw them a week ago for the second time...there is no concert as intense and energetic as a Rise Against concert. I also met Tim after the show, really cool guy. He's really grateful of his fans. Btw, nice reviews.
    Kolanski
    When i first heard it I thought it sounded too processed and cookie cutter. But once i started listening to it more it is an amazing album. Deep lyrics combined with multiple guitar layers and killer vocals. Great album
    Gollum15
    I LOVE this band,I can't wait for then to become a super popular band and I pre-ordered this album and I love it all!!!
    GiveItAll
    and at the 2nd reviewer, this album actually took much from The Unraveling, the "southern" sound was first introduced in it, and The Dirt Whispered would fit perfectly in it. This is basically the refined version of the light sides of Unraveling (and face it, there was a lot, this was my favorite album it though as it had the most instrumentation... Appeal to Reason less so)
    Aakepaake
    Agony098 wrote: My favorite rock band, without question. You can just feel the emotion so well in Tim's voice. It's so easy to see that this is music made from the heart, that's something they've been consistent with their whole career. I saw them a week ago for the second time...there is no concert as intense and energetic as a Rise Against concert. I also met Tim after the show, really cool guy. He's really grateful of his fans. Btw, nice reviews.
    WOW. My biggest dream is to see Sum 41's show and after that is to see Rise Against's show. But never seen =/
    Bamitchell
    I don't think this album is quite as good as their past albums, mainly "The Siren Song Of The Counter Culture". It's not bad, but none of the tracks, save Hero Of war, The Dirt whispered and maybe one other, are typical Rise Against, which isn't bad, just I like too be able to see the changes in a band from one album to the next.
    cosmic_fool3791
    Also, some places the lyrics seem kind of thin, like in the first track when you hear the lyrics for the entire first verse and take it apart, you think "what exactly is he talking about?"
    I don't claim to know too much about lyrics, but what I took the first verse to be talking about was the current state of the world (global warming, war in Iraq, etc.), especially given the chorus lyrics that follow. Yeah, it's a cliche interpretation, but then again, Rise Against seem to sing about this sort of thing a lot. Maybe it's not what Tim wanted to say, but I don't think the lyrics were thin if people can come up with some interpretation. =)
    GiveItAll
    bah i liked sufferer but EVERYONE who knows music should know his was a step backwards. I mean i don't hold anything against them for taking screaming away, as thats the direction they wanted to go, but they still should, most importantly, MAKE GOOD MUSIC, some of their worst songs EVER came from this album, and there were only handful of good ones though there were several ok ones. One HORRIBLE song was audience of one