The Bedlam In Goliath review by The Mars Volta

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  • Released: Jan 29, 2008
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (195 votes)
The Mars Volta: The Bedlam In Goliath

Sound — 10
The Bedlam In Goliath is The Mars Volta's follow up to 2006's 'Amputechture'. Hyped by it's fans, and criticized by skeptics as another TMV album coming too, is finally here. This album takes out a lot of the excess random ambient noise from past records, giving you a more meaty, full record. This album is apparently based off of the experiences the band had with an object similar to a Ouija board. And yes, you would be correct by that description, it is a trippy record. It has the franticness and salsa-influenced sounds you've come to expect, but instead of it being a few "busy" songs, every song is consistently active. If you were sick of all the ambient wankery in past albums, you'll probably be in for a joy with this album. This isn't an album for the close-minded, it's aggressive, progressive, trippy, all you would come to expect from The Mars Volta.

Lyrics — 10
I like Cedric's vocals, I've grown on them since I first heard "The Widow" back a few years ago on TV. He has a good voice for the music, it really matches the frantic guitar parts and up tempo drumming. The vocals, much like past TMV efforts, don't make much sense when taken on literally. It's catchy, much less "annoying" as some past songs, if you want to call it that. It's a lot like Deloused at the Comatorium in a sense, except without the slower, more calm songs like Televaors. If you liked his vocals before, you'll like him just as much if not more on this record. If you're critical of his vocals, you'll probably still dislike him, but this album really shortens up the list of complaints you could possibly have. His vocals in a word are "funky", the sound itself is pretty similar to Amputechture, which was probably one of my only likes about the album. This album brings the sweetness of Cedric, but this time over a better soundscape, and overall a better album.

Overall Impression — 9
I've only given it a couple listens, so the "OMG new Mars Volta" shock is still setting in. I've tried to adjust my review accordingly. It's a step forward after the misstep of Amputechture (even though many loyal TMV fans liked it). The album feels like one long journey of a song, considering it's a concept album. Because of this, it's hard to really pick a favorite song. They're all mostly catchy, dynamic, all that progressive good stuff you saw from them years ago. I love the up tempo salsa drumming, great guitar work, and the more polished vocals of Ceddy. My dislike is also one of my likes, the fact that it feels like one huge song. While this is great for a concept album, it makes it harder to pick out any real album-defining songs, and it also takes of some of the dynamics they have had in the first few albums, going from fast songs to slow. If I lost it, I'd probably be pissed considering I just got it, but I'd re-buy it not only because I'm a TMV fan, but because it's a great modern progressive rock album, that brings that TMV sound that is really missing from every other mainstream band today, as well as in recent years.

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