Sound: Easily one of the best 2009 albums, Common Existence finds Thursday in relative obscurity. For whatever reason Thursday appears to have been written off by most... which is too bad because Common Existence is anything but common. The driving beats and superb dual attack on guitars combined with soaring vocals create an album that is exciting and complex. No longer scream-o, Rickly has perfected his timing of when to use the scream... His dynamic delivery pushes Common Existence to heights not attained in previous albums.
Production-wise it is very similar to War All The Time, but with a few more vocal, guitar and keyboard embellishments. Within the mix, each sound has its own sonic space, all of which are beautifully blended to create an epic soundscape. In fact most all of the songs possess an 'epic' quality about them... marrying the best of Counting 5-4-3-2-1 with (the title track itself) War All The Time.
The melodies themselves are more readily gratifying as compared to A City, but they are also more interesting. The guitars really 'speak' on this album... The interchange of lines from Full Collapse that first got me into Thursday is more readily apparent than on any album since. Listen to the song "As He Climbed the Dark Mountain" and just enjoy the awesome musicianship. Or listen to Circuits of Fever, Subway Funeral, or Love Has Led and you'll hear what I am talking about. All of the songs are great but along with the above mentioned song, Time's Arrow readily displays Thursday's ability to craft sonic epics. // 9
Lyrics: Lyrically, you can google the topics or infer for yourself... The style though - Rickly has improved tremendously. His timing and stylings are perfectly suited; letting the emotion speak first and his words second. Restraint... Rickly shows restraints in the use of his powerful voice, choosing to enhance the songs as opposed to overwhelming the musical mix. By far Rickly's best performance. // 9
Overall Impression: Thursday is not timeless in the sense that you can't just push play and enjoy... there is an element of "I need to be in the mood for this." With that said, this is THE BEST Thursday album to date, because the "I need to be in the mood" feeling isn't as apparent as in previous albums. This is just good, quality music... the mix, the textured guitars, the bombastic drumming, and most of all the pitch-perfect singing make Common Existence a must buy for any hard rock fan. // 9