Review Summary: While "Billy Talent II" is much poppier than their self-titled debut album, it was overlooked by many.
There are many things I liked about this album, but the thing that stood out to me the most was the vocals. Ben Kowalewicz has one of the most unique sounding voices out there, as well as very very
recognizable. His voice can be beautiful and haunting at the same time, which is probably why he is so different sounding. The sound of his voice on the classic Devil In A Midnight Mass
is a good example of this. Ben is one of the best vocalists around, but his sound may bother some people.
The songs were very well written, and I believe that the boys of Billy Talent are some of the best song writers since The Beatles and shant go unnoticed. The lyrics are pure genius! Check out this line from the song This Suffering
"Misery won't get the best of me, cause now I'm calling on your bluff. Throw down your cards I've had enough!"
...and this one from Burn The Evidence
"In a garage beside a house there is a luxury sedan and for it's next monthly installment is gonna go out with a bang. Boy who always did what he was told was promised to be king when he was old..."
The lyrics to This Suffering
, along with the overall catchiness of the song makes it my personal favourite on the album. Some of the softer tracks on this album are Pins And Needles
. Pins And Needles
is one of my personal favourites on here, because the guitar riff is quite possibly one of the best riffs ever written. These soft ones help the album seem less repetative.
Billy Talent's sound is purely pop-punk and simple sounding on this album, ut the music is actually quite complex in some songs (trust me, I've tried to play some of the chord progressions on the guitar, and can't do it). The band uses a wide variety of chords to hold the songs together.
Ian D'Sa's guitar playing is quite spectacular in my opinion. The sound of his guitar is a very clean sound, with some distortion used on most songs here. There are only a few solos on the album (the best one being the extremely catchy one on Fallen Leaves
), but are rarely needed. Nothing fancy, but interesting to hear in a Billy Talent song once in a while. The same goes for the bass guitarist Jon Gallant. While less melodic as the guitar, the bass comes through powerfully and holds the songs together quite nicely. Overall the guitar sound and playing is awesome!
On to the dislikes. Now, I don't really dislike too much on this album but a few things do bother me. The syncopated guitar patterns can sometimes be repetative because of the excessive use of it, but it does help define the band's sound. Also, I don't like The Navy Song
(aka In The Fall
) because I find it boring to listen to throughout the song, except for the chorus.
Every single chorus here is catchy, except for the one in Sympathy
for the lack of vocal range which makes it the weakest song on the album (next to The Navy Song
) or at least that's in my opinion.
For all punk, pop, and rock fans I urge you to check this album out if you haven't already.
Pins And Needles