Sound — 4
Hello everyone, as some of you may know, I'm the same guy who reviewed Escape The Fate's latest album. That aside, I bring you Sleeping With Sirens junior effort, titled "Feel." While Sleeping With Sirens may be a band that's not your cup of tea on first listen, I still think that everyone can agree that this band has the talent, and skill needed to craft up a well thought out album. If you've never heard this band before, then most likely you don't listen to much post-hardcore, or follow what's going on with the new. Now, if you're listening to this album without listening to their previous works, I suggest that you listen to those first just to get an idea. That being said, I think as though this album is much like Kellin taking over, and I say that in a bad way. I'm not going to judge the dude. I think he's very talented, but it was only a matter of time for this to happen. I saw it coming. With the way their highly acclaimed EP turned out to be, (which came out last year) I just knew that Kellin had that side of him, where the band was a lot about him. And I'm saying this because I feel like that EP was mainly where the band decided to focus in on Kellin, and to me that just made me uninterested. It's not a bad EP at all, but it definitely lacks something. Much like that EP, this album nearly follows that same pattern where the left off, only to make a few somewhat heavier songs with distortion. That being said, I think this album was over produced and was definitely missing a lot of the depth in Kellin's voice, especially on "Here We Go." The chorus in "Deja Vu" also seems to act the same way, where Kellin's voice seems a bit lost in the mix, and the instruments overtake the song. Speaking of the instruments, I think that guitar-wise, this was where the album fell flat. I wanted to hear more killer riffs, and more of guitar solos like they did in "Congratulations," which was actually not bad, and to be honest, that was one of the highlights on this album, in my opinion. I think a lot of the riffage came from the influence of (and I'm going to take a guess here) Breaking Benjamin. Hell, this song featuring Matty Mullins practically rips off the opening riff of BB's "Follow." I was highly disappointed once I realized this, and I couldn't listen to the song again. The song structure, and layout is much like The Used's "Pretty Handsome Awkward." The heavier side of Sleeping With Sirens was sadly on songs like those, and "The Best There Ever Was" (featuring Fronz). Sadly, a lot of these short collaborations didn't really help any of the songs much at all. I'm not a fan of Attila at all, but the dude did help make the song at least somewhat interesting. It's just the lyrics I was mostly cringing at. "Alone" has definitely the most random collaboration, though. If you thought that part with Matty on "Congratulations" was random, well listen to MGK's part on this song. It's not bad, but I think it came out of nowhere. As for Shayley Bourget's part in "I'll Take You There", I was highly disappointed. I had to really open my ears to tell that Shayley's part was up (you can blame that on the mixing). A lot of these collabs were just not needed. A huge disappointment in this section. Overall, I think I'm mostly impressed by the drumming on this album, like always with any SWS release. I just wish the mixing was better.
Lyrics — 5
The lyrics on this album I guess you can say are the high point, compared to the other sections, but in the end, it's just average for the most part. Songs like "Feel," I feel like I've heard before. The chorus is: "And I feel I feel so alive again Yeah, oh I feel I feel so alive again." I think the most standout song would have to be, "Free Now." I chose this song in particular not only because there isn't a short guest vocal, but because this song actually has some great meaning and went fairly in depth. I can relate to this song mainly because it's about family, and staying together. I don't know if Kellin has the same type of perspective as me, but my parents are not close to each other anymore. In fact, they broke up fairly recently, so this song really helped me think about family in general. My favorite lines in this song would have to be: "And we dream of the day, when our kids can play In the streets with no fear of them being taken away Fathers raise their sons with respect and love Handle anger and pain with no need for no guns If we hope to be free it takes you and me To start over here and now 'Cause this world is, the way it is, it's how we raise our kids. I wrote this song for my mother, wrote this song for our father So hopefully we can come together And hopefully make things a little better." Now, I'm not sure where Kellin got his arrogance from, maybe by how big of a fanbase he's gotten over the years? Yeah... fangirls... well I won't judge, but clearly, lines like: "Don't f--k with us - BOW! You're a hypocrite You're so full of sh-t You want everyone to just think and look and act just like you do But we're over it We're not giving in And now it's time to beg forgiveness for the selfish things you do," really show how much he's taking advantage of his popularity to a whole new level. And that's not a good thing. I've barely heard this guy swear on previous albums. This time around, with a song like this, "The Best There Ever Was," you think to yourself how far these guys have come, and then you think to yourself how utterly awful it is for Kellin to half-a-s lyrics such as those lines. Whenever I read those lines without the music, it reminds me of Danny Worsnop of Asking Alexandria. He writes those types of lines, and hopefully... just hopefully, Kellin doesn't turn into something like that. Kellin just needs to learn how to be himself on some songs, and he'll be fine. Going back to the song, "Congratulations," I think this is also a very meaningless song. Matty's part really does the song no good. I was honestly disgusted by his part. This is a guy that has talent, singing soulfully, and screams that could break through glass. I could say almost the same thing to Kellin. Matty's part, though...it just doesn't make much sense. Kellin, for some reason randomly says "(Get 'em Matty)." As though, this is a live stage performance with the two exchanging parts. I don't know, it's catchy, but when Matty says stuff like: "They try to do it like me But they do it all wrong I'll pass the torch when someone better comes along Congratulations to every label that ever turned me down Me and my top 20 record aren't too worried about it now I hope this lesson taught is a lesson learned Now go and bury your head while me and Kell rule the world!" I feel like they were just trying to have fun with this song. Here I am stoked to hear his part because the beginning voicemail clearly makes the person listening feel that way!
Overall Impression — 4
This album, while a few ups, definitely has a lot of downs. I wish they knew more about what they were doing when making this album. There's a lot of flaws from the guitar parts, and a lot of other general flaws. Lyrically, this could've been much better, and also vocally. This falls a bit under average, but I don't think it's as bad as most people have been saying. Nevertheless, I hope that these guys keep making music, and remember to be themselves. This album clearly was all over the place concerning what type of music it is. Post-popcore? Lol. Anyways, good luck to you guys in the near future, and the next album release.