Sound — 8
Six years after their latest CD (2006's "The Mother, The Mechanic, And The Path") and their indefinite hiatus, New Jersey's The Early November comes back on the scene with their newest release, "In Currents". A slight departure from their usual alternative/pop punk styled music, The Early November's most recent album displays definite influences from frontman Ace Enders' various side projects over the years (I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody's Business; Ace Enders And A Million Different People) while still maintain the same atmosphere The Early November has always portrayed in their music. With a drawn out, climactic start, the album quickly jumps into a familiar airy, esoteric vibe a little on the heavy side. Easily the most different of all of their albums, The Early November's "In Currents" is easily the band's most intriguing album to date. The only reason why I cannot give this album a 10/10 for sound lies in the two acoustic tracks off the record, "Digital Age" and "That's Not Your Real Name". I'm a sucker for acoustic tracks and in my opinion both as a listener and a musician is less than favorable for the engineering on these two tracks. I have nothing bad to say about them, I just believe they could have been mixed in a more appealing way. While an interesting change up from past albums, "In Currents" still retains the atmosphere and vibe The Early November has been well praised for over the years.
Lyrics — 8
Compared to earlier releases, Singer Ace Enders' lyrics on In currents have a more mature nature to them. Not that earlier albums were immature, there's just an air of a now well seasoned writer about the lyrics from the newest CD. Some may consider this a good thing; some might say otherwise. Personally, I find that the lyrics on "In Currents" are nothing less than what I would expect from the band, albeit more mature. Singer Ace Enders returns with his trademark vocals and brings a new array of vocal abilities to the table. Fresh vocal melodies are accompanied by well placed screams and well thought out harmonies. Newer listeners might be more interested in "In Currents" than older albums, as the vocals take on much more of an adult and serious (not saying older material isn't serious) air to them. Tracks like "Like A Kid" talk rather obviously about topics related to growing up and getting older. A more adult album, The Early November's "In Currents" features lyrics both today's youth and adult listeners can appreciate.
Overall Impression — 8
Buy this album if you've ever been a fan of The Early November or have just discovered them and find them tickling your fancy. After a seemingly never ending hiatus, "In Currents" is a wonderful return that deserves nothing but praise and thanks. Being one of the last of the few functioning bands from the Drive Thru Records era of pop punk, The Early November's newest release is nothing less than expected of the band. I know some (as I did myself) might have been apprehensive about a new release from the band, as more often than not releases years after a break up tend to be a lackluster and rather pathetic effort. The second track "Frayed In Doubt" launches the album into a familiar vein, with traditional heaviness and airiness, while the title track has a more of modern feel to it, while still retaining the band's trademark feel. Tracks like "Guilt & Swell" remind the listener that, while a pop punk band, These guys are no mediocre guitarists. All way through the outro track "Call Off The Bells", this album feels like an album by The Early November. For fans old and new alike, "In Currents" is a definite recommended buy. Good job and welcome back the guys from The Early November.