A City By The Light Divided review by Thursday

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  • Released: May 2, 2006
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (34 votes)
Thursday: A City By The Light Divided
1

Sound — 8
Thursday is like the worst day of the week -- you already got tired of working three days straight and there are two more to come till Friday night -- you can get an unhappy feel just thinking of this. The band that named themselves Thursday knows what it's like, producing albums full of post-hardcore pain, desperation and feeling pity for themselves one after another. The new compilation of sorrowful susceptibilities is called after a poem by Octavio Paz "City By The Light Divided" and is the band's fourth album since 1999. According to the new material (with lyrics like "Can anyone hear me now... and no one hears at all"), the guys are still struggling through life with enormous intensity. With help from Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mogwai, Sleater-Kinney) they produced this emo energy into music that would sell once again. The first part of the album is gloomy and hash -- like highly infectious first single "Counting 5-4-3-2-1." A lot of songs follow the same structure -- they start peaceful and quiet, then bit by bit then it gets louder as the band adds one layer after another. "Sugar In The Sacrament" would be the best example -- at one point the instruments and vocals mess into a furious agony, burn in ecstasy, getting to crescendo peak and suddenly explodes with silence, leaving your ears chiming. After such an intense ear attack, they refuse to accept sounds and everything merge into noise. If you're not into noise, you might get a headache after listening to the record, feeling yourself like one of those old ladies who happen to hear a rock band at a family holiday. Some tracks balance between yelling and whispering, facing the battle between the light and darkness. There are a lot of sonic quiet sound and acoustic guitars (for light) in verses and clashing electric guitars (for darkness) in choruses. Heavy bass lines make the sound of a super bass effect on your stereo. Drums are loud, especially in choruses and there are and lot of crash. A whole lot of crash! The second part surprisingly reveals some optimism. Like "At This Velocity" which has a nice breakdown with drum solo and screamo, and suddenly turns into a major key half-way though. Some tracks sound like they're overloaded; it's often more noise, than music. But noise as a part of music. After the ferocity of the tracks, the record slowly dies with "Autumn Leaves Revisited" in the end.

Lyrics — 8
The lyrics have different interesting plots and are thrilling. Singer Geoff Rickly makes up songs of beautiful phrases that draws vivid images in your head. There are no cheesy popularity-oriented hooks or rubber stamps. In his songs Rickly calls for help with "Please someone help me, take away my loneliness/Please someone fill me, take out my emptiness," using music as a place to put his minor feelings to. Unlike Thursday's previous records, here Rickly uses much less of the not-very-popular-now screamo, replacing it with blasting guitars and pounding drums. Though now there's even more passion and yearning in vocals.

Overall Impression — 8
It's obvious Thursday are skilled and experienced at what they do and "City By The Light Divided" is their best record up-to-date. It's great that after 9 years of existing the guys still find strength to expand musically and produce powerful records. Their refined songwriting makes you get exactly each emotion that they put into a song. They experience with song structures and textures, making them to express a whole profusion of feeling. But still there's something they need to archive. Or maybe it's already too late to archive it? The band's sound feels a bit stuck in early 2000. The album would probably be a huge success back in the days of Linkin Park, but now it carries that old-fashioned emo that doesn't really fit today's standards.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    nopoleon779467
    Thania wrote: bands grow up. you wouldnt want to listen to the same old band over and over again. the new cd is great. good for them.
    thats why i hate simple plan i mean come on the singers 27 and still sings about the pain of breaking up
    SL!!!
    ok. 1. thursday is not an emo band. their music isn't supposed to be about cutting and crap like that. its melodramatic but not supposed to be a struggle 2. they had keyboard on WATT but it was much less promenant, they had the keyboardist touring with them, so they just added him. he is great layer to the music 3. its recorded the way it is because they wanted everything to have equal parts, the whole sound is everything blending together to create dynamics. 4. they didn't sell out. true, they are on island, and that is where the promotion comes from, but they are the same as day one, their musical taste and abilities are growing and changing. they still hang with people after shows, and talk on the message boards. personally, i thought this review was stupid. the guy made it sound like for a band to be good they have to be doing the same thing everyone else is. i dont think thursday sounds like any other band out there. and this cd, while influenced from old music, is a step forward, while at the same time, the rythms were more back to basics and the music was more in unison when it came to melodies. i think it is stupid to think that an album is bad because its not sounding like current music. this cd is just different. but thats what makes it good. bad review. good cd. either you like or you dont i guess. depends on your musical taste.
    crash_course
    I heard 'running from the rain' in a saturn commercial a week ago. Yeah Thursday has "changed", but if you listen to some of there really early songs i.e. 'This Side of Brightness', you will see that it makes sense on their "change". 'This Side of Brightness' is an archaic form of the present-day Thursday sound. Just read the articles and it will make sense. It made sense to me after I read and then listened to Waiting, Full Collapse, Five Stories Falling, War All The Time, and ACBTLD in that order.
    pacoxxxtaco
    theyve had a lot of cd's, it wouldnt make sense for them not to change eventually. bashers suck.
    jussterr
    I have to say, I wasn'y disappointed in their new stuff per say, I just didn't like it as much as their old stuff. It's not like they're worse as a band, they're progressing and that's what bands do as time passes. Just because they've changed doesn't mean that they sold out. You want sold out? Fall Out Boy and Lostprophets are good places to start. And bands are only ever emo if they're labled emo by the general public. And of course, the emo kids that music is associated with. There are check lists for what makes a band emo and besides, emo is no longer really music related, it's more of a fashion thing because scenesters have no life. And I'm debating. I never thought there was anything special about Thursday, but just because there's nothing special or different about them doesn't mean that they're crap. The simple truth is that if you're into this type of music, you'll go for it and if you're not, you won't.
    IamAMachine
    shit how could you even think thursday would stay the same on this new CD...they changed so much fro mFull Collapse to War All the Time. Their music is always so intricate and well put together. And Geoff's lyrics are not about dying he uses those lines about dying as a metaphor or similie because thats what Geoff likes to do. shit remember in For The Workforce lol he sang about desks but you think he was actually saying the he was anchored down to a desk no he was talking about the slavery to the workforce and how tied down you get by your jobs. i read an interview wiht him where he was talkign about how he wrote a lot about the pain of losing your innocence as you grow up through your teenage years. and i think when he tals about dying hes talking about the downward spiral into confusion (darkness or death) as to how to deal with all your teenage emotions.
    TheIinLive
    I'm not sure I trust...well, any of the reviews on this site. All CDs (even the horrendous once, i.e. Godsmack) seem get 9's everytime. Then they review a CD that deserves true attention and it gets a 7. oh well. this album is a 10. If you're a thursday fan, buy it.