Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray Review

artist: Seether date: 05/20/2011 category: compact discs
Seether: Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray
Released: May 17, 2011
Genre: Post-Grunge, Alternative Metal
Label: Wind-Up Records
Number Of Tracks: 12
Seether's newest album release showcases Shaun Morgan's songwriting chops and brings a new producer into the fold Brendan O'Brien of AC/DC and Rage Against The Machine fame.
 Sound: 8
 Lyrics: 8.2
 Overall Impression: 8.4
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (5) 20 comments vote for this album:
overall: 6.7
Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray Featured review by: UG Team, on may 20, 2011
1 of 7 people found this review helpful

Sound: At first I was really disappointed with this album, and then I decided I was letting the low points dictate how I felt about the entire album. At its worst this album has weak hooks and breakdowns and the vocal delivery is bland. When distorted the guitar is over-compressed and lifeless. Any time throughout the album there are lead guitar parts they are mixed too low and just sound like noise under the rhythm guitar.

The first track, "Fur Cue", was intriguing until I got to the chorus and it was weak. I felt like it ruined the entire track. "Country Song" is a really good song, and to me it is the strongest song on the album. The lyrics are well written, well delivered and the song is musically interesting. "Tonight" is more a pop song than any other song on the album, but it has the most engaging melodic theme than any other song on the album. "Fade Out" I think could be very popular played live. It is interesting lyrically and rhythmically but never seems to come in as heavy as I'm waiting for it to get. Interestingly enough, the opening melody of "Roses" makes me think of Megadeth, and that may be my favorite part of the album - but I don't care for the rest of the song. "Down" has an interesting intro. "Desire For Need" is another song that was wrecked by the guitars being too compressed. "Forsaken" was an all around weak song to me.

On "Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray", Seether has recruited the talents of produce Brendan O'Brien who has also worked with Rage Against The Machine, Pearl Jam and AC/DC. While Brendan O'Brien's previous work seems to be really outstanding, it really just wasn't on the mark throughout this entire album. // 6

Lyrics: Shaun Morgan opted to try to stick to primarily clean vocals during the recording of "Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray" and there are very few screamed lyrics on this album. I feel like Shaun's vocals were lent strength and vitality by his screaming, and I wasn't especially interested in how prettily he can sing. In addition, I wasn't really impressed at how prettily he can sing. On several tracks, however, the vocal cadence is interesting.

The lyrics seem to be powerful and very personal throughout and it is a shame that the vocal delivery robs the album of the kick it should have. Going only off of the poetry of the lyrics, this is a very strong album lyrically although the themes are almost exclusive depressive. I have to think that the songs on this album may be better when performed live due to a tendency of Seether to have a more powerful screaming vocal delivery when in concert. // 7

Overall Impression: I'm not the biggest Seether fan, but I have enjoyed some of the music they've created in the past. There are 2 or 3 songs that are "mp3 player worthy" on "Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray" but there are several songs that feel like weak efforts, they don't seem to be mixed very well and still somehow come across sounding over-produced. After listening to the album I felt let down with about half of the material.

The album did not seem edgy, which is what I'm personally looking for in the sound of a Seether album. For the most part, the songs, individually and collectively, are forgettable. Again, I liked maybe 1/3 of this album, and the rest ranged from mediocre to forgettable. The title of the album seems to describe most of the album fairly well, however holding onto strings better left to fray. // 7

- Brandon East (c) 2011

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray Reviewed by: SkylarK12, on may 25, 2011
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: Seether's latest effort, "Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray", brings a unique assortment of songs. The song "Country Song", being the single, proves that Seether is able to blend genres and create music that is original. The album beings in the best way it could, with a hard rocking song, "Fur Cue". It pumps adrenaline through your entire body! "Master Of Disaster" and "Roses" prove the uncanny ability for Shaun and the band to write songs that are sonically amazing and dynamically pefect. The music is very good, in fact amazing, considering the fact that Troy left the band. Shaun Morgan has proven time and time again that he is a force in the music world and this latest record proves even more of that he is a musical genius. // 10

Lyrics: Shaun's lyrics are, as always, deep and heartfelt. He paints pictures with words, as well as his music. Morgan should be recognized in the same level of amazing song writting ability as Kurt Cobain, which ironically was one of Shaun's idols. Shaun Morgan is more of a poet in this record, though. In "Pass Slowly", Morgan shows his ability to to paint pictures through words. // 10

Overall Impression: Once again Seether proves that they are force to be reckoned with in the music industry and will time and time again make music that touches musicians as well as inspires. I love how the album was produced. I would definitley buy this record again if I lost it or it was stolen. In fact, the record might be stolen due to it's amazing songs. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 8.3
Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray Reviewed by: AC0RN, on may 23, 2011
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Seether had a very strong guitarist on this album who, along with their new producer, has changed their sound quite a bit. The album starts off with "Fur Cue" which is one of my favorite songs of the album because of its power. The opening guitar sounds excellent. Shaun Morgan has some good old screams that are, surprisingly, not seen throughout the entire album. The next song, "No Resolution", is another solid song with an interesting chorus, "Yeah and I need retribution, you don't get in man, I'm your pollution..." "Here And Now" is one of the better tracks on the album that really display Morgan's vocal change. It is a lot crisper. I'd say it is the equivalent of "Rise Above This" from "FBINS", "The Gift" from "Karma And Effect", or "Fine Again" from "Disclaimer II". It is very catchy and melodic. The message is very relatable - don't dwell on memories but the here and now. "Country Song" is the first single but does not accurately describe the entire album at all. It remains a wonderful track that is different from the usual Seether formula. Another standout track is "Tonight", which is a pop rock song which seems destined for the radio. The song was actually written two days before their studio time ended and is one of Morgan's favorite tracks on this album. The opening of "Roses" is a Muse tribute and is very cool but the rest of the song isn't all that great. The fact that they CAN write like that and aren't afraid to do is good to know. Bottomline is there are some fantastic songs on here and some okay songs - none of which are outright bad or hard to listen to, but I will not have them stuck in my head. // 8

Lyrics: You can tell Shaun Morgan has changed his style and isn't doing his "thing". This is because of their more open minded producer, Brendan O' Brien. If you look at all the lyrics from this album, you realize that a vast majority of the songs are written about dealing with a person whom you don't like (maybe Amy Lee). Despite this, all of the lyrics are pretty varied from "There's no resolution" to "your so excited to bread" on "Desire For Need", "let me heal on my own, with those empty cruel promises" on "Master Of Disaster". The colorful vocabulary of Seether as always helps sets them apart from say "Three Days Grace" with phrases like "whimisical lie" and "burned out on your etiquette". Personally, I like the vocal change although it can be bland at times, it is a breath of fresh air for me after being a huge Seether fan for years. // 8

Overall Impression: With heavy guitars, a new vocal style, and a crisper and more polished sound, Seether have certainly made a lasting impression on me. Don't expect anything all that creative for the post-grunge / alt. metal genre overall, but you certainly can expect catchy melodic choruses and an awesome guitar. The only let down for me is that not all the songs are not as good as "Fur Cue" or "Country Song". There seems to be some fillers which you can find out for yourself which I'm talking about. Despite some weak songs, I like this album better than their previous one where there seemed to be a lot more weak songs. The last twenty minutes of that album was painful to listen to (not counting "Careless Whisper"). With "Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray", real Seether fans will not be disappointed. They should be happy the band is evolving away from that false Nirvana angst (gradually) and changing their style. But most of all, that they are still alive and kicking. // 9

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 8
Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray Reviewed by: KrisBcream, on march 15, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Not gonna lie, the album didn't feel that great when I first got it. The songs just didn't sound like I should care about them putting aside "Fur Cure", "Country Song", "Down", and "Desire For Need". But, after running through the whole album a few times, I began to take a much better liking for it. The CD starts off with "Fur Cue". A great tune that reminds you who this band is. Next is "No Resolution". The intro is phenomenal as it shows great guitar skills held by Shaun Morgan himself. The rest of the song also shows a good sound as we get to the third track, "Here And Now". A good song to cool off with after listening to a couple of pretty hefty sounding tunes. After which, comes the song of the album, in my opinion, "Country Song". Excellent song to jam out with it's great solos, smooth chorus and in the words of Shaun Morgan "it's swampy verse riff." The CD goes backs down with the ballad "Master Of Disaster". The song is nothing more than simply catchy. Next on the list is "Tonight". This is the song that hardcore Seether fans love to hate. Saying it's too "mainstream" and the band sold out with this song and all that crap. But off of the album "Finding Buety" in "Negative Spaces" they released the song "Rise Above This" with a much similar sound, but I don't remember anyone complaining about that song. Anyway, I really enjoy the sound of it. It shows a more easy side of the band without making it a ballad. "Pass Slowly" comes next a real sad-like sound about the death of Shaun's brother. Good track by the way. Now we come to "Fade Out". A more chilled out sound that makes me wish it would pick up to more a hardcore sound. "Roses" is up next. Nothing I can say about this one, since it doesn't do anything for me. Just another chilled out song that needed to be replaced with one of the b-sides like "Effigy" or something. At this point, we come to "Down". Interesting intro and solid chorus as well as the solo. I actually really like this one. As the song ends, we get to "Desire For Need". Real heavy and distorted song that really shows Shaun's screams stand out. Even though he only screams in that song and a little in "Fur Cue". The last song "Forsaken" approaches. Real sad song with a cool piano going on. There, every songs sound listed out. Overall, the sound was good. I would just like to have one or more sped up songs (like having Effigy replaced for Roses). I would give this rating a 7. // 7

Lyrics: The lyrics of the CD are superb to say the least. Great rhymes in place like in "No Resolution", "Country Song", and "Fade Out". And of course, you can't listen to a Seether album without hearing the words "break" or any other things Shaun sings that are familiar in previous songs. Overall, I would say that this is probably the best written album out of all of them. I'll be giving this a 9. // 9

Overall Impression: The biggest thing people will complain about is how Shaun doesn't scream as much. But come on now, It's still a great album with real good songs from beginning to end. If it was stolen or lost, I would re-buy within a a few weeks. My overall impression is an 8. // 8

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 8
Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray Reviewed by: Shawn1379, on may 20, 2011
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The South African native band, Seether, is back with their latest effort, "Holding Onto Strings Better Left To Fray", and possibly better than ever before. Musically, in my opinion, this is the most substance they've ever had, and I don't just mean the inclusion of a bit more lead guitar than we usually hear from these guys. The tunes are just more interesting to me than before, and they took songs places I personally did not expect yet they remained recognizable as Seether's handiwork. It's apparent that they've musically matured into the best they can be. The opening track, comically titled "Fur Cue", starts off heavy and is a great way to start any album like this, and then transitions to a softer verse with mostly bass and percussion. About half of the album follows suit with the heavy parts combined with softer. There are also some full on softer songs like "Here And Now", "Tonight" and "Pass Slowly", and there are songs that are just in between like "Country Song" and "Master Of Disaster". // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are more or less what you would probably expect from Seether. As the title would suggest, the general theme of the album is seemingly having difficulty letting go of things that may be better left lost. For instance, the song "Roses" is a haunting track about being hurt by a loved one who you can't part with. However, despite the depressing theme, there are a few happier moments. In "Here And Now" Morgan proclaims "I'm not gonna waste this/This opportunity's mine/I'm sick of complaining/About a beautiful life". The singing itself is, like the lyrics, more of what you'd probably expect from Shaun Morgan. He occasionally screams where necessary, sings clean vocals with a bit of grit to it for most of the album, all while flexing a bit of a falsetto here and there. // 7

Overall Impression: If you're a fan of alternative rock music, I'd suggest giving this album a chance. As for fans of Seether, I really don't know what more you could ask of the band than what you'll find on this album. I truly feel that this is Seether at their best yet. Key tracks include "Fur Cue", "Roses", "Forsaken", and "Master Of Disaster". I hope this review was helpful. If you have any criticisms, opinions, or advice, please comment. Thanks in advance. // 8

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
Only "https" links are allowed for pictures,
otherwise they won't appear