The Airborne Toxic Event
Khoa Do, on december 02, 2009 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Toxic Airborne Event (TATE) was spawned from the shoulders of Mikel Jollett after a series of emotionally crumbling events in his life. His actions following the events became songwriting, rather than the usual mixture of prose, novels, and short stories. The months following the Summer of 2006 led to the recruitment of the remaining members of The Airborne Toxic Event. Since then, TATE has had success over the release of numerous singles and videos as well as the support of a large and growing fan base.
The Airborne Toxic Event's self-titled debut album certainly has the music community stirring. Topping the charts on the U.S. Billboard Top Heatseekers, The Airborne Toxic Event has added to their resume a new-found respect from the fans of the post-punk revival scene as well as the recognition of being on par with similar sounding bands like The Rapture and The Strokes. Listeners will find that the album has an overall satisfying mixture of fiery emotion and crashing instrumentals. From the vocals to the drums, the band's mastery of piecing together an ideal record can appropriately be heard through the quality and near perfection featured in every track. Fortunately, the only thing missing from this record is filler.
What appealed to me was the album's almost endless intensity. The first track, Wishing Well starts off as a bubbly, laid-back song which quickly spirals into a ball of complete emotion. The album has a kind of snowball effect to it. Once it starts going, the intensity and energy doesn't slow down until Sometime Around Midnight, which doesn't really slow down much at all! Sometime Around Midnight is the album's most unique song, probably one of the more lyrically driven as well. I consider it an intermission, giving the listener some time to recuperate from the excitement of the album's first half (the string ensemble at the beginning softens things up for a little while). However, after about a quarter of the way through Sometime Around Midnight the ball of energy rises once again and follows the album to the end. // 8
Lyrics: When you get into the lyrics of this album, you can really tell that they weren't written just for the sake of being filler. Each song represents carefully thought out ideas, whether it'd be about a downed love bird or a Romeo and Juliet story gone wrong. Just about every bit on envy and heartache is thoroughly depicted through the graininess of Jollett's voice. Listeners will find that the lyrics are lined with enough details and imagery to almost fill a decent sized book! For example, Sometime Around Midnight includes a bit that goes like,
(And it starts...
Sometime around midnight
Or at least that's when
You lose yourself
For a minute or two
As you stand...
Under the bar lights
And the band plays some song
About forgetting yourself for a while
And the piano's this melancholy sound check
To her smile
And that white dress she's wearing
You haven't seen her
For a while ).
The lyrics by TATE are more detailed and colorful than most bands out today. Of course they might not compare to the cryptic language of the legendary Conor Oberst, but when did cryptic language become the standard for good lyrics anyway? The way Jollett pulls off the lyrics combined with the music is second to none and that itself becomes one of the best qualities of the album. // 9
Overall Impression: There isn't much to say that can't be better exemplified about TATE's debut record. What listeners will find is a familiarity true to the genre. A decent-at-best way to describe the band is that they aren't quite as flamboyant as The Killers. On the other hand, they stand noticeably distant to the dark and depressing vibes of She Wants Revenge. Keeping them in a category with a more emotionally/lyrically-conscious version of The Strokes would seemingly fit best. The problems, though not many, lie in the intensity that was formerly talked so highly of. It may be true that the high level of emotion adds to the songs, but the hype dies down quite a bit after a few listens. There are many albums that can be replayed continuously, however, unlike Michael Jackson's Thriller,for example, this album doesn't have that push that keeps people listening. The album also lacks diversity at certain points. All the songs are potentially single-caliber, but I'm sure listeners prefer a few more songs like Wishing Well and Sometime Around Midnight, songs that show a different aspect of the band's musical capabilities. In the end, the album is almost flawless and is well worth the money spent. // 8
The Airborne Toxic Event
Crackinskulls', on december 11, 2009 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The Airborne Toxic Event is a band from Los Angeles, California formed by Mike Jollett in 2006 and incorporates a wide variety of instruments such as violins, keyboards. Its sound is a well crafted and catchy melody; its riffs are also balanced and coordinated and in tempo with the drums giving the sound a not too hard rock sound but soft rock sound. My first thought of hearing the song Wishing Well was that I was listening to a new indie band with the same type of negligence to mainstream rock but its music somehow differed from Indie, just a little bit, but it was not close to the sound of mainstream music either so for that I give the band a thumbs up for this magnificent achievement of creating a balance of indie/alternative rock and a hint of mainstream rock. // 8
Lyrics: The lyrics of The Airborne Toxic Event's album are a mixture of emotion, life struggles, experiences and hardships. Most of the albums lyrical inspiration was made during the events of the time the band formed; its elements were events such as a disease he has that involves two skin conditions, his mother developing cancer, and a break up. But with Mike Jollett's singing that expresses feeling and emotion, it gives the songs a very dramatic feeling. The creativeness in structure of the lyrics combined with the overall image they convey to you make this album a huge achievement in their new balance of two genres of music. Furthermore the lyrics placing in the song give the song a catchy rhyme to sing along to. // 10
Overall Impression: Its music is commonly compared to such artists as The Strokes and The Arcade Fire but personally I find their music more like that of Carolina Liar, The Dandy Warhol's, and Interpol. Some of the albums best songs are Sometime around Midnight, for its structure and riffs combined with the simple melodies in the background, Something New for its fast tempo beat, Missy for its chord melody/chord progressions and Papillon for its fast intro and sing along lyrics. Some of its dislikes are that at times you might think you're listening to the same song but with different lyrics which gives it a repetitive song after song. However the band does a good job of keeping the music alive and full and certainly achieved making a good record with this album. // 9