Sound — 8
The Black Box Revelation is one of the few non-disappointing duo's which do contain power and dynamics. I was quite sceptical of their simplistic line-up (guitarist/singer and drummer/singer) but I was surprised to hear what a full and rich sound they have. Set Your Head On Fire produces an Artic Monkeys-ish sound but more powerful, add the reincarnation of Mick Jagger and voila, here's The Black Box Revelation. The downsides of this bands are that there is a similarity in all songs you can't deny and that their music starts to get boring due to the lack of extra riffs and arrangements. Overall though, for two people in their debut album it's a terrific effort.
Lyrics — 6
The lyrics tend to be, like most Arctic Monkeys songs, about love. Not in the sense of: "violets are blue, I love you", but they tell how exciting and awesome love can be. I do miss some deeper message but there are moments when you just want to listen to simple music. And that is definetely what this is. The singing skills of the Belgian Jan Paternoster are incredible, however. His voice tends to be in a complaining tone, but you just have to get used to that. It's really perfect for this kind of up-tempo garage rock. But he also manages to do great on acoustic songs. The soft-ballad "Never Alone/Always Together" about schizophrenia shows that this band is capable of a whole lot more than just rocking hard. The undeniable twang in his voice and guitar is amazing, and that song is one of those that will have your iPod stuck on replay when in the mood. Overall the lyrics are extremely catchy in songs like "Love, Love Is On My Mind" and "Gravity Blues" but they lack depth.
Overall Impression — 8
As I've said before, it's a lot like Arctic Monkeys. The peculiar thing is, however, that I'm not much of a Monkeys fan but I love The Black Box Revelation. I have downloaded this (shame on me) but I'm going to buy their new album, Silver Threats, and I hope they will have taken my advice and be slightly more versatile. I also hope that they will grow slightly more balls in the sense of experimenting because their sound is quite unoriginal and bores you after a while. But for a debut album, it's a tremendous effort!