Go review by Vertical Horizon

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  • Released: Sep 23, 2003
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 9.5 (12 votes)
Vertical Horizon: Go

Sound — 7
Vertical Horizon first started out as a band in 1991 I believe (I might be a year off) when Matt Scannell and Keith Kane met at Georgetown University. The contrast of this "band" as opposed to highly acclaimed Everything You Want was the difference in genre mainly. For each album, Vertical Horizon seems to change. Their very first album was folk, second: adult alternative, third: live jam band, and fourth, back to adult alternative. The difference in this album as opposed to any other one previously done is the fact there is pretty much no relation to the sound of this album as opposed to others, as it was almost completely alternative. Even though Everything You Want was mainstream, it still held elements of first album There And Back Again with every song being heavily acoustic driven, however, Go has nearly no acoustic driven songs, displaying the fact that Vertical Horizon knows that folk is very very out. An even more interesting part about Go is how many songs don't even have conventional means of playing music. The track "Underwater" is heavily synthesized, displaying a want to try things in a more experimental manner. While this wasn't a complete failure in terms of quality, it is one if you do like Vertical Horizon's earlier music, as this album is a HUGE adjustment. Vertical Horizon was heavily disputed to sell out with Everything You Want, and anyone who believed this fact before will feel extremely justified when they listen to Go. Last year's re-release with Go 2.0 only further justifies this statement. Although Vertical Horizon could almost certainly be viewed as sell outs on this album, the experimental stuff of theris is great for dire collectors/completists who are fans of the band, therefore it's really only worth buying if you enjoy all sorts of music. If you've never listened to Vertical Horizon, or hated Everything You Want however, I strongly suggest not buying the album.

Lyrics — 9
As aforementioned, Vertical Horizon started out as a folk band, and therefore their lyrics are well-crafted and still meaningful even if the music doesn't sometimes seem that way. As juxtaposed to Everything You Want, and even more-so There and Back Again, Keith doesn't sing lead at all on this album, and it seems that even the songs he does sing backup in our lessened as opposed to all previous albums. Keith, in my opinion, is just as talented a vocalist as Matt, if not more-so, and it further vindicates the idea of "selling out." However, in terms of lyrics, this is the only flaw on the album, and if you greatly prefer Matt anyway, this section is flawless.

Overall Impression — 6
This album is not Everything You Want, as a great way to start this section. If you loved Everything You Want, it could go either way for this album, if you hated it, do not buy it. Vertical Horizon seems to appeal to a different fan base than their standard one. While the lyrics are similar to all of their other albums, the music is so hard that they try so hard to be mainstream it seems it's too easy to tell their covering up their actual music style. As the second version of this album is already a year old, and no memorable singles to know from it, it's easy to see the album was a commercial failure. Unlike their other albums however, it wasn't because of lack of initiative, it was excess of it. Some of the most impressive songs are "I'm Still Here", which greatly follows the method of EYW's "You're A God," as well as "Underwater" and "Sunshine". I do love the fact that Vertical Horizon put themselves out and tried something different from anything else, it ironically signifies they were sticking with the general reputation of their careers, trying new things. However, as Machiovelli so eloquently said, "The ends justify the means," and in this case, it's as fitting as ever. Less than half the album is good, a third is decent, and the rest of the album is sub-par by my standards.The album is probably appealing to 14 yr old girls as music fans, not seasoned musicians, because of the all the synthesized music and at times "puppy dog lyrics." If you're looking for a new album on a whim, this might be worth it, but otherwise, it's nothing as opposed to its predecessor. If I lost this album I probably would buy it again, but there would be no sense of urgency, it's just because I'm a completist and I love the band, not for this album itself.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    good album, just as good as EYW standout songs are: Forever, Its over, Inside, Better when you're not here and Underwater.
    Vertical Horizon really rocks. When I first heard the song "One of You", I was frightened of the heavy, huge distortion in the intro. I thought it was just acoustic, but darn, it will knock your socks off with this genre. I like all of the songs in this album. I like this more than the Everything YOu Want album.
    ... i don't think VH had "unregistered" in mind when they wrote, rehearsed, recorded and even toured making thousands of dollars from the album GO. If "unregistered" had any ballz, "unregistered" would register here on UG. Come out of your hole se we can beat you...
    sustain66 wrote: ... i don't think VH had "unregistered" in mind when they wrote, rehearsed, recorded and even toured making thousands of dollars from the album GO. If "unregistered" had any ballz, "unregistered" would register here on UG. Come out of your hole so we can beat you...
    John Shanks' production on this record is absolutely superb. This is their best album. I don't know what the hell the unregistered review is/was talking about. He spent the whole "sound" section explaining to us how this is different than their previous albums instead of telling us about THIS album's sound. The best song for me is Better when you're not here and Won't Go Away. Great album. I can tell you 14 year old girls won't be listening to this. These lyric subjects are too mature.