Silverchair
Young Modern


3.5
great

Review

by Tyler Fisher EMERITUS
April 1st, 2007 | 99 replies | 35,884 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A revitalized Silverchair releases an album more symphonic and dramatic than anything they've ever done with plenty of accessibility.

The buildup to Silverchair’s release of Young Modern was epic, more epic than the album itself. After Diorama, it seemed that Silverchair had broken up, especially with Daniel John’s reactive arthritis, overcoming anorexia, and various illnesses that crippled him and put him out of performing and playing guitar for over a year. He went to work with Paul Mac on a side project called The Dissociatives and they released an album. From there, Johns began working on a solo album. It was then that he realized how much he needed his band. Although living in England as a socialite married to Natalie Imbruglia, Johns quickly returned to his long time bandmates to return to the stage and the studio with arguably the most famous band ever from Australia, Silverchair. In early 2005, the band played their first show in about 2 ½ years. After playing a few shows and rediscovering how to be a band, Silverchair went to the studio and took their sweet time creating Young Modern. With all kinds of press publicizing the album (including one of the best articles from Rolling Stone), it seemed that Young Modern would be a glorious comeback for the Australian superstars.

Where Young Modern would lead the band, however, remained a mystery. Had Daniel Johns gotten all of the obscure pop out of his system with Paul Mac, or did he still have some left in him? Would they retrogress to Frogstomp with a grunge sound? Or would it be something completely new, a further evolution into the band’s sound. Johns describes Young Modern as being about “acceptance”. It sounds as if Silverchair have finally accepted their past, needing time to themselves to understand what they had together and what they had done. In a way, Silverchair’s latest album combines their previous sounds and pushes further into a twisted blend of symphonic electronic rock.

With Young Modern, Silverchair no longer sounds like a Daniel Johns project, shown by Johns gleefully stating in the opening track Young Modern Station, “the band is back together.” In a blend of uptempo rock with pulsating keyboard chords and feedback, Young Modern Station fits perfectly as an album opener. It displays the album’s core sound and possesses the most energy of any track on the album. Johns highlights the full range of his voice, jumping from his natural voice to falsetto with ease. His lyrics refer to the healing consequences of coming back to Silverchair. They are not, however, the showcase on this track or the entire album. Instead, his vocal quality and shifting melodies are the highlight of the album for Johns. His diverse range allows for songs like Reflections of a Sound. Although it begins terribly cheesy, with a short acoustic introduction followed by a generic electric drumbeat that sounds ripped out of a McDonald’s commercial, the song bursts into the cheeriest Silverchair chorus ever. Before it gets too happy-go-lucky, a minor chord settles in as John’s changes the tone of his voice and lyrics masterfully.

The spastic tonality of the music plays a big role in the album but hardly ever comes from the core three members of Silverchair. Instead, Paul Mac, the band’s perennial keyboardist, and famous string arranger Van Dyke Parks become the musical stars on the album. Mac might as well be a permanent member of the band as he plays on every track on the album, while Van Dyke Parks adds tons of musicality to all the songs his orchestra plays. The tracks Those Thieving Birds (Part 1)-Those Thieving Birds (Part 2) are one epic track split into three, full of Parks’ best work. Beginning with great guitar work and deep piano and fluttering pizzicato strings, it feels like a waltz from the romantic period. Johns performs perfectly on the opening of the track, only playing as a part of the music instead of trying to overpower the whole band. Strange Behaviour, the middle section and the bulk of the epic settles into a groove of catchy melodies. The strings continue to play excellently, but become accompaniment to the core band. Unfortunately, the final section of the song fails in justifying the rest of the epic. Johns struggles with his melodies, as most of it is in his falsetto. It gets better when the guitar and strings return from the first section, but it is easily the weakest of the three sections.

Young Modern has one major flaw- its ambiguous sound as an overall album. Very few moments stick out after a full listen of the album. Instead, a strange blend of orchestra and rock with even stranger tonality comes away with the listener. The album also ends anti-climatic with All Across the World. It features more strings, but the production of the song allows even the strings swells and crescendos to lose much of their effect. When listened to in short intervals, there is a lot to grasp from a band with a huge mainstream status. It is not as good as the ARIA awards will undoubtedly make it out to be but still one of the better mainstream listens of the year. Although the airwaves will blast nearly every song from this song repeatedly, especially in Australia, Silverchair provided plenty of music for people to enjoy.

Recommended Tracks:
Young Modern Station
Reflections of a Sound
Those Thieving Birds (Part 1)/Strange Behaviour/Those Thieving Birds (Part 2)
Insomnia



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Elmo89m
April 1st 2007



1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Amazing Album, especially Those Thieving Birds. But how can you fail to mention If You Keep Losing Sleep. Its probably the second best song on the album

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
April 1st 2007



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh, btw, the album can be heard on their MySpace (www.myspace.com/silverchair) or their website (www.chairpage.com)This Message Edited On 04.01.07

Neoteric
April 1st 2007



3243 Comments


I'm going to go listen to it. I like Silverchair.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
April 1st 2007



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No, I changed it to simply rock. They need a broader term to describe their sound. Now a mod needs to approve it.

RandyfromPennywise
April 1st 2007



752 Comments


Meh I think it'll be hard to beat what they did when they were 15, or 14, or whatever. They really disappointed me on New Year's Eve when I saw them, they weren't very good at all. But yeah, they're not bad, but I won't get this soon, maybe after hearing a few more songs. Good reevyoo.

Neoteric
April 1st 2007



3243 Comments


Listened to some of it.

Kinda lame and boring.

EDIT: And Daniel looked cool with long blond hair, he looks stupid now.This Message Edited On 04.01.07

samthebassman
April 1st 2007



2164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is the type of album that you need to listen to a few times to get into, but it is worth it.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
April 1st 2007



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have an English teacher right now that's like "NO PASSIVE VOICE NO TO BE VERBS ARGH" so that's making me really paranoid right now.

MrKite
April 1st 2007



5020 Comments


Pfft, excuses.
Nice review. I'm not too fond of this band, though.

The Sludge
April 1st 2007



2169 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Neon Ballroom ftw


This by far isn't my bag, baby.

RandyfromPennywise
April 2nd 2007



752 Comments


Passive verbs are just a no-no in journalism, but they can be used in normal prose, even if they do sound messy. "The review was written by Tyler Fisher" or "Tyler Fisher wrote the review"? Of course the second one sounds better.

[QUOTE=Spat Out Plath]Kids these days. No patriotism[/QUOTE]Ay! I've actually been getting more into Aus music this last year than ever before, and - honestly - the Chair aren't as good as a lot of other Aussie bands who don't get the kudos these guys do. Bands like The John Butler Trio, Blue King Brown, Xavier Rudd, The Beautiful Girls, Pete Murray. I'd say Wolfmother as well but they do get the kudos. Plus, these guys have enough money so I'm not going to buy this; download at the most. If you check this out, make sure you at least get some Pete Murray and Xavier Rudd as well. :thumb:

Brohedia
April 2nd 2007



23 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hey his album is awesome in my eyes the diversity is awesome and yes how couldnt u not mention if you keep losing sleep that song is so groovy. You either love or hate this album but Hey man I love it! At least his singing about happiness and not about depression so yeah. I wonder how trippy the next album is.

steadyeddie
April 2nd 2007



159 Comments


i've never really been into silverchair, but ive liked a couple of their songs, like freak, israel's son and wait til tomorrow (i think its called?) and i was lookin forward to this album. i think ill try and download those recommended tracks before i pick it up, since im low on cash. im po'! i was hopin it would be a bit heavy, some of that good ol grunge. but ill still check this out.

RandyfromPennywise - the beautiful girls, xavier rudd (listenin to him now) and john butler trio are all awesome. i haven't listened to any pete murray but yea, some good music's coming out of australia.

RandyfromPennywise
April 2nd 2007



752 Comments


Yes there certainly is, I would recommend Pete Murray very highly, he's my favourite Aussie artist/band right now. If you can get his newer album, See The Sun, it's great. Regurgitator are back too, a new album is on the cards I hear.

sgrevs
April 2nd 2007



698 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This album is alright, but compared to previous Johns albums like Frogstomp, Diorama, and his Dissociatives stuff, it falls horribly short. Good review nonetheless.

Oblivioncry
April 2nd 2007



601 Comments


i really like the review, good job

but : with arguably the most famous band ever from Australia

arent acdc wihout a doubt the most famous band from australia, but bless you wrote arguably, well hang me, just nutpicking here^^

RandyfromPennywise
April 2nd 2007



752 Comments


Meh don't know their stuff, that's Angry Anderson init, yeah, nah.

History - useless profession in comparison to journalism? Journalism's really quite sh*t, you should be glad you didn't choose that. Trust me, I know :upset:



JumpTheF**kUp
April 2nd 2007



2708 Comments


Xavier Rudd and Powderfinger rule all over Silverchair.

They've been going downhill ever since Neon Ballroom, and I can't stand them anymore.

Oblivioncry
April 2nd 2007



601 Comments


just listened to the album the first time, all i can say so far i that i don't like the voice much but everything else is K E W L

RandyfromPennywise
April 2nd 2007



752 Comments


Yeah Powderfinger are awesome, one of the best Aussie bands without doubt.



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