Porcelain Review

artist: Sparta date: 10/25/2005 category: compact discs
Sparta: Porcelain
Released: Jul 13, 2004
Genre: Rock
Styles: Alternative Metal
Number Of Tracks: 14
Porcelain shatters the notion that musical thoughtfulness needs to include weeping and flugelhorns.
 Sound: 8.3
 Lyrics: 7
 Overall Impression: 9
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 Users rating:
reviews (3) 3 comments vote for this album:
overall: 6.7
Porcelain Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 22, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The whole of the album sounds caustic and chaotic at first listen. Some of the tracks ("Hiss The Villain" and "splinters") sound like Disney versions of rejected "At The Drive-In" songs and don't mesh with Sparta's dreary art-rock image. The singer's singing often feels forced and out-of-place. However, upon multiple listens we are able to see the Sparta beyond the sometimes annoying outer shell. Tracks like "Breaking The Broken" and "While Oceana Sleeps" show how good sparta can be when they are good. The multiple guitar lines are inspiring to guitarists and humbling to song-writers everywhere. Maybe they need better production or maybe just better guitar effects. // 6

Lyrics: The Lyrics are by far the most disappointing part of the album. Past Sparta songs were lush with compelling and creative phrases. Now we are left with non-senseical mumbling as the singer stagers his way through verses that don't mean anything and choruses that mean much less. The lyrics do comply with the music but they could comply with any type of music. They don't even go deep or smart enough to rule out them apearing in a pop song. Sparta does have a gift for sublty but this album is way too sublte. The lyrics don't evoke any emotion or inspiration beyond the listener thinking to themself that they could do a better job. The singer has a vocal range high enough to keep most of these songs off the "parking lot behind the skate-shop" kareoke list and reserve sing-a-longs for concerts where no one can hear your voice break. However, he has a tone that only a mother (or punk fan) could love. // 4

Overall Impression: The most impresive song on the album is "While Oceana Sleeps", which is bound to be an indie Ipod mainstay for years to come. The least impressive are the instumental tracks that feel contrived and like they are just there to eat up time. Overall I liked the album and can't stop listening to it. Maybe that's all that matters. Maybe our standards of "good" music are warped. Maybe the fact that I'm enjoying the album is all that matters. If it got lost or stolen I would definetly buy another, and I would recomend that you buy it also. // 10

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overall: 8.7
Porcelain Reviewed by: punkman_123, on may 30, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: When you listen to Porcelain after Wiretap Scars, you'll notice the constrast between both albums. In Wiretap Scars, Sparta showed us what it is to be rebellious with a disc full of angst-driven havoc. Porcelain is the mature side of Sparta, but the side that needs to be heard. At times Porcelain is grungy, and at times it is even soothing. It is definatley closer to mainstream rock than punk, but nonetheless brilliant. // 10

Lyrics: Sparta's themes can be somewhat repetitive and predictable but enjoyable all the same. But with the absolute incredibility of the instrumentation used, vocals is not a big issue. The vocalist could get a little dull in other genres but he fits the job perfectly with Sparta. // 8

Overall Impression: Porcelain is the slowest rock album I own, but it's up there with my favourites. "Tensioning" is my favourite track on the album, but the rest closely follow. If it were stolen, I would probably buy it again. // 8

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overall: 9
Porcelain Reviewed by: Neon D-von, on october 25, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Sparta has a very unique sound. You can draw similarities from At the Drive-In and The Mars Volta, for obvious reasons, but they still manage to define themselves. I love the guitars in this album and drumming is killer. Their bassist is also very good. The thing that takes away from this album the most, for me, would be the vocals. However they have greatly improved from Wiretap Scars. // 9

Lyrics: I've read some reviews with people dissing the lyrics but I think they're very good. At times the lyrics can be a little to straight forward but their is some goodness to be found. I especially like the lyrics to "End Moraine." I found myself thinking over the lyrics to multiple tracks and was impressed by their depth. As far as vocals go, I've definitely heard better. Give the guy some credit though, he's improved vastly since Wiretap Scars. Not to mention he started out screaming in At the Drive-In. // 9

Overall Impression: If you're going to get a Sparta album, buy Porcelain. The music is good in Wiretap Scars but the vocals are horrible. Porcelain features improved vocals and solid work from all band members. Porcelain truly has something to offer and finds its way back into my CD player semi-frequently. If someone stole this album or I lost it, I probably wouldn't buy it again initially, but after awhile I would probably miss it to much and crack. // 9

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