Sound — 6
My first impression when hearing of a rumored album by The Bravery was, Yes! I gotta make sure I nab myself a copy! It turns out that I had no reason to feel overexcited about it. Unfortunately, the band that once produced catchy and electrifying hits like Time Won't Let Me Go and An Honest Mistake are, let's just say, Tragedy Bound in Stir The Blood. In place of the fun and power-packed songs that we've come to expect from the band are poor replacements that prove to be mediocre at best. With an exception of a slight handful (a rather small handful) of decent songs, Stir The Blood features the worst work by The Bravery. What singer Sam Endicott and fellow band members have left us with is a juvenile record that doesn't come close to the success of their former albums. The Bravery still retains their post-punk revival sound in Stir The Blood, though there isn't much of the record that adds to the band's credibility. Listeners will find that almost all the songs are lacking and eventually become too unbearable to listen to. It wouldn't be a surprise if some fans find themselves giving up on the overly boring and monotonous tracks. I found that after forcing myself to finish the album (what a good time that was), the only thing that kept me from burning my stereo was the song Slow Poison. I was moderately satisfied with the song, but even Slow Poison wasn't enough to save me from the torture of the album as a whole. The elements of synthesizer and guitar effects often on the former records are all there, although the band fails to establish any sort of spark that would sway listeners. The usual captivating lyrics and musicianship is also lacking from the record. For some odd reason, The Bravery didn't produce any true crowd-pleasing songs this time, offering only a slew of boring guitar and choppy vocals. Listeners will find that through the barrage of instruments and vocals is an unfinished product. What The Bravery gives to the music community simply feels like a repeating jam session of the same song!
Lyrics — 7
Any fan of The Bravery knows not to expect too much from the band's lyrics. In this case, however, they've gone too far. The lyrics were poorly put together and seemed neglected from the piecing of the record. Listeners won't find many catchy hooks or phrases. The unimpressive lyrics are generic and don't do anything to make the tracks better. It appears that this time around, the band favors the common theme of sweet/harsh love and obsession. The lyrics from the song Slow Poison (Burn, burn the house on fire I'm so sick and tired I can still remember your sound It's cut cut cutting me Down I'm locked and loaded You're so milk and roses And I am just a letdown of your hound It's cut cut cutting me down Like slow poison Cut down, like slow poison Sing me one more ... I have found my angel Ah-ah-oh She walks upon the ground It's cut cut cutting me Down on the empty can I'm a stranger in a strange, strange land Gone, gone, just gone without a sound It's cut cut cutting me down Like slow poison Cut down, like slow poison) can easily speak for the blandness of the whole album.
Overall Impression — 6
Stir The Blood leaves fans like me praying that this downward spiral will awaken the talented members of The Bravery, returning them to their former state. After finishing the album, the only song that strikes me as appealing is Slow Poison. The single alone doesn't make this album significantly better, although I would consider it a decent iTunes purchase. Songs on the record generally feel incomplete with an absence of spirit and emotion. Initially, I was really anxious for a good launching point on the record but gave up hope after the sixth track (She's So Bendable would've been a good song if the band actually completed it). This record is one that looks better on store shelves than on your iPod. I hate to say it but halfway through the album bored me to the point where even the Hannah Montana episode on my kid sister's TV became more enticing than Stir The Blood. In all seriousness, Stir The Blood had potential but was cut short. The production seemed rushed which resulted in unpolished songs.