Beggars review by Thrice

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  • Released: Aug 11, 2009
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (85 votes)
Thrice: Beggars

Sound — 8
With each new release Thrice manage evolve their sound in unique ways attempting to please no one but themselves. With their previous release the 4 disc epic "The Alchemy Index" they found a way to split the many facets of their sound they started developing with "Vheissu" into 4 very stylistically different EPs. After branching out into so many directions you would think they would go for topping themselves by making the most progressive and experimental album they have done so far. I was picturing "Vheissu" kicked up several notches. Thrice took an unexpected left turn with Beggars. This is by no means a bad thing. Whereas "The Alchemy Index" songs were built from the ground up piece by piece often with the help of a laptop and often strayed away from the traditional "rock band" sound, "Beggars" is clearly a product of pure chemistry from a band that has played together for many years just getting together and jamming out. As a result "Beggars" is far more raw and straight forward but there are definitely little tidbits of the tricks they learned putting together "Vheissu" and "The Alchemy Index". One noticeable difference is that the roaring rhythm section of Ed and Riley Breckenridge is no longer as understated as they were on many of The Alchemy Index songs. They are loud and aggressive on this album but more in a groove oriented sort of way than a heavy sort of way. Dustin and Teppei's guitars seem a bit understated in terms of technical prowess albeit loud and gritty sounding in many areas. They seem to have gone for a more soulful feel. Teppei's keyboard work is prominently featured in a few tracks but overall many of the unique sounds and instruments used in the past are absent. This really contributes to the rock band feel of this album. Key words when describing the sound and feel of this album would be "groove" and "soul".

Lyrics — 9
Dustin Kensrue never fails to deliver with his vocals and lyrics. Vocally he seems to have taken a lot from the style he has developed from his solo efforts and the Earth Disc. A big change from past Thrice records is the absence of screaming. There is plenty of his well pitched yelling and even more of his soulful croons and softer singing. Lyrically "Beggars" is also a departure from previous albums. Rather the many literary references and somewhat cryptic religiously tinged lyrics he has done in the past he opts for more of a storytelling perspective. He sings from the perspectives of dying man realizing he wasted his life (At The Last), a wandering homeless man (In Exile), a man on deathrow (Wood and Wire), to criticisms of humanity's foolishness and evil (All the World is Mad, Circles, Beggars). Kensrue is definitely good at finding some sort of theme to link the songs together for each Thrice album. "Beggars" may not have the usual intellectual head games but the lyrics are great nonetheless.

Overall Impression — 8
Beggars may not have the huge grandiose sound Thrice has had on their latest albums but it still stands strong amongst the rest of their discography. Obviously anyone hoping for a return to the Illusion of Safety and Artist in the Ambulance days is going to be disappointed but I think many agree that with music and great bands evolution is better than stagnation. Thrice may have gone in an unexpected direction but they did it well and with amazing musicianship and humbleness. In the end Thrice have left themselves in a good spot after releasing this record. They can continue to do whatever they want in future efforts and it won't be so shocking or unexpected. Just hope they continue to use the good judgment they have used thus far.

11 comments sorted by best / new / date

    duuude, this album is ****ing sick, everything thrice does is sick, dustins vocals are the best part of this album
    Thrice is the best band alive so shut the bleep up already! serious, these four dudes are the best. so just shut up, buy the album whenever the bleep it comes out, and be thankful your ears have the pleasure to hear such amazing art... sad little 12 year old boys; that's what half of you sound like to me
    LOL the rest of you are awesome... I've only listened to this album twice but I think it's the best and it's probably going to be my favorite! I'm ****ing stoked ! I don't even think i finished reading this shitty review. The UG Team are douches. LOL
    I just heard it. It's ****ing awesome. It's as if Vheissu, Artist in the Ambulance, and the Earth EP had a 3 way and Beggars is the illegitimate lovechild.
    oth_17 wrote: this album is nonsense. just like alchemy and vheissu. this non screaming/experimental garbage just doesnt do it for me. this type of music isnt what caught my ear and got me interested in them. i dont understand this unbreakable allegiance that some people have with bands. the truth of the matter is that bands do change and when they want to "evolve", they should change their name to something else and start over. its misleading. your gonna tell me that their artist in the ambulance album is worse than alchemy and beggars? no its not, its uber awesome. afi did it with december underground, atreyu did it with that last piece of trash they released, and trivium did it with the crusade. therre are countless other bands that have "evolved" into garbage. if i wanted to hear garbage like this id listen to three o three!
    Has any one of you little closed minded children ever heard of the BEATLES? Bands that evolve every album are great. It's called creativity. If they sounded the same every album, they would get repetitive and stale. Look at Metallica! And how dare you compare 3OH!3 to Thrice! You ignorant ****!
    calm down children. dissent is what provokes interesting conversation. everyone is entitled to their own opinion even if it is uninformed, non-intelligent garbage.
    I was just going to bring up the Metallica point but here I go with another one... How have bands like Metallica and others been able to have a long career where they are still viable names in the music industry and not just a band who releases an under promoted album and goes on tour every summer just to play their old hits? Evolution. Bands that do not branch out from a screaming-style vocal delivery and songwriting that stays deeply rooted in one genre or playing stle will NOT HAVE LONG CAREERS! They will fizzle out sometime in their 30's and would not be a band worth seeing for the full effect anymore. Avenged Sevenfold is a prime, more recent example . M. Shadows did not wanting to scream on albums anymore (though he still does so live, with much more technique) what did they do? They began writing songs that could compliment has legitimate vocal talents as not a screamer, but a singer. Would Metallica be as enormous as they are today if they didn't release the Black album? IMO, the first real departure in sound that they had was on ...And Justice for All. Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets to me were both very similar albums (check the track listings and listen to the songs...both albums use virtually the same formula and have the same flow). During touring for the Black album, James does damage to his vocal chords. Not willing to risk further damage, what did the band do? They played a different hand and explored more melodic and harmonic vocal delivery. Results? They gained much more than they lost. Do any of you really think you will be listening to the same music you do now in your late teens-early 20's when you're in your 40's? 50's? As bands change, musical tastes change. That is why I'm with Thrice all the way. While I appreciate the broad spectrum of their work, you would hear me listening to more of Vheissu and beyond as opposed to anything before. Granted I love everything they've made (except the majority of Identity Crisis)...the reason why I listen to bands like Mute Math, As Tall as Lions, The Dear Hunter, etc. is because of the way Thrice has progressed. LET IT CONTINUE!!!!!
    p.s.... If you want screaming, go see Thrice live or listen to the older stuff. It doesn't matter because Dustin can still scream, better than ever before
    @ duncang, i disagree with your take on the lyrics in this album. i don't think they seem rushed. although they may not be as poetic as those in the alchemy index, they still are far more meaningful than what most other modern bands write and i believe that thrice has evolved to a point where they can tell a story through the lyrics in a song, then finish the story off with an instrumental piece (circles, in exile, beggars...) where dustin uses his voice as an instrument rather than singing lyrics to convey a mood. he has always been able to use his voice to convey a mood but i think something clicked into place for him in this album. superb vocal performance your (duncang) review is well thought out and written and i agree that in exile and the weight are standout tracks but i think you should give a couple of the mellower songs another chance. the vocals on tracks which seem lackluster at first (the great exchange, wood & wine) contain more harmony than a lot of thrice's work and while this seems like a compromise, because it probably is, these songs are more like mood pieces than exciting songs. i'll agree that i didn't like the mellower songs from this album until my fourth or fifth listen but i think this is a cohesive work that deserves more than a 7
    Soooo... Half of you want thrice to be godsmack, and release tge same album every other year, a fourth of you would like hearing them all spit on a microphone justbecause it's thrice, and a fourth of you are sane enough to have legitimate, honest opinions based on how the music feels to you. Nice. I personally have no problems with the first review. It's about as unbiased as you can get. I really like thrice personally. First two albums and ep are great. Artist was awesome. Vheissu had some brilliant moments, and some so-so. I was slightly disappointed with fire. I liked maybe half of it, as I did with water. Really liked earth and air. And am gonna pick up beggars today. I liked a couple songs I heard on first listen, and didn't like a couple on first listen on their myspace. That's my honest opinion. I've given up hoping for illusion and ambulance pt. 2, but can still enjoy some of their evolution. But I'm not going blindly follow everything they do. I have an open mind, but not everything they do isgoing to resonate with everyone, but the ability to have that open mind is important. And I think that is a what thrice would want.
    this album is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. one of the best i've heard in my life. ties vheissu for my favorite album of all time.