Thursday
A City By the Light Divided


3.5
great

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
July 19th, 2008 | 48 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The poster boys of post-hardcore mature and progress admirably resulting in a consistent and ultimately very good 4th album.

Following the slight disappointment of Thursday's 3rd album 'War All The Time', it was always going to be interesting what the band served up next. Expectations were high as back in the 'Full Collapse' (their 2nd album) era, it is arguable that this is one of the musical groups who brought the post-hardcore genre to the forefront and caused many other bands to follow suit.

The easy way out would have been to ditch the ideas that resulted in the relatively poor crossover appeal of 'War All The Time' and take a step back in time to literally scream their way to further success. Fortunately, Thursday did not take the easy way out. With 'A City by the Light Divided', Thursday show further progression and a clear sense of maturity that is admirable even when it doesn't quite come off. Their 4th album is also a more consistent effort than its predecessor with few, if any, tracks completely worthless.

Opening up this album is an interesting track that does indeed take us back to 'Full Collapse' as 'The Other Side of the Crash/Over and Out of Control' is an alternate take on the past album's terrific opener 'Understanding in a Car Crash'. It is a nice little shout-out of sorts that suggests to their fans that while their music may have changed, they definitely do not forget their past accomplishments. And the song itself is a tell-tale sign with its blend of aggression & smoothness working rather well. It's not perfect, as the emotion of the earlier track is not replicated as well here and it is a little overlong for an opener, but it is still a fine song in its own right.

1st single 'Counting 5-4-3-2-1' follows and there is much to like about this song as it is impressive and memorable in achieving its aim of being a sing-along anthem. Not only is it rather catchy and quite intense, but it does an excellent job of effectively showcasing lead vocalist Geoff Rickly's trademark voice that includes traits from an indie-rock style. That was one thing too often missing on 'War All The Time'.

Another song which reminds of earlier releases is track 4, the 2nd single 'At This Velocity'. It in fact would have made for a good opener as it is predominantly up-tempo, loud and aggressive (similarly to the more straight-forward rocker of penultimate track 'Into the Blinding Light'), but is still able to showcase the band's trademark switches in pace, vocals and structure that made 'Full Collapse' so unpredictable and effective. But if we were only to see slight signs of progression from these 4 songs, the maturity I spoke about in the introduction takes over the album elsewhere.

Track 3 'Sugar in the Sacrament' is ultimately nothing more than a decent album track, but its ambition is there aplenty. A slow-burning 5+ minute ballad that climaxes well, it is at least fascinating to listen to in a similar fashion to the near 7 minute closer 'Autumn Leaves Revisited'. However, it is the middle section of this album which is most rewarding. Excluding an instrumental of sorts, 'We Will Overcome', 'Running From The Rain', 'Telegraph Avenue Kiss' and 'The Lovesong Writer' either sound smooth, melodic, lush and/or epic. One contains choir-like backing vocals, another is piano-driven, but they all are sound musically, effective vocally and have the ability to hook in a listener successfully.

It is these tracks used in conjunction with the opening hard-hitters that ultimately make 'A City by the Light Divided' a very good album at the end of the day. Not everything comes off perfectly, but nothing bombs either. It is simply satisfying to see Thursday mature and progress in such a way that will hopefully, with the help of the album's standout 'Counting 5-4-3-2-1', impress enough newcomers to build on their fanbase.

Recommended Tracks: Counting 5-4-3-2-1, We Will Overcome, The Lovesong Writer & Running From The Rain.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
brandtweathers
July 19th 2008


2007 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

should've recommended at this velocity. has the most lasting value of any track here. solid review tho. keep it up

Athom
Staff Reviewer
July 19th 2008


17231 Comments


^really? Autumn Leaves Revisited was my favorite off of this (even though it kinda sucks live)

brandtweathers
July 19th 2008


2007 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

that may be the breaker. live, at this velocity is one of their best (sans jet black new year).
don't get me wrong, there's a lot of creativity here and a lot to be enjoyed but so many of these tracks get skipped on my itunes playlists not bc they aren't awesome but bc they don't have the impact that thursday is known to dish out.

cbmartinez
July 19th 2008


2525 Comments


this album blows at first. at first I was all like "oh yeah, they change their sound, that's cool I can dig it," but god, it's pretty bad. "We Will Overcome" and "Running From The Rain" are two of their best songs but the rest of the album is pretty terrible. They went from all that beautiful complex dual guitar interplay to this? Every song is just like fuzzy pounding 8th note rhythms. It is better than War All The Time though.



Shoot Them
July 19th 2008


81 Comments


Good review bro.

DaveBum69
July 19th 2008


699 Comments


last time I checked war all the time was far from a dissapointment it was alot better that this album

brandtweathers
July 19th 2008


2007 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^i agree in a sense.
full collapse > waiting > war all the time > five stories falling > city by the light divided

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2008


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think what the feedback here does tell us is that a number of different listeners approach this album in different ways. And whichever way you do, it will determine what the highlight tracks are.
Old-school fans of Thursday are more likely to prefer the opener and 'At This Velocity' (a'la brandtweathers), while many others will prefer the newer direction the band have moved into such as 'We Will Overcome', 'Running From The Rain' and the long closer.
Personally, I feel Thursday did ok in combining the best of both worlds here, but I suppose that is arguable in crafting a full-length and winning all kinds of fans over. I definitely disagree that it is the worst of their albums though.

AtavanHalen
July 20th 2008


17927 Comments


Y'know, Champ, I think I'm going to check this out. I regret not seeing them at Soundwave earlier this year.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2008


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah Brick, I'm with you there. I was a little suss on the organisation of the event, so I passed at the time. But by all reports, it went off without too much of a hitch & Thursday were indeed great.
I'm still awaiting your next review so Brick can talk to me!

KritikalMotion
July 20th 2008


2262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love this. Every song is great, although i have some issues with We will overcome and Sugar in the sacrament.

Autumn Leaves Revisited is so amazing.

They were good at Soundwave and prob my second fav i saw their, vocals weren't loud enough.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 20th 2008


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good to see some love for this album KritikalMotion, although I obviously didn't go as far as a 4.5 rating.
Yeah, I heard about some sound problems at SoundWave. Hopefully they were just 1st year teething problems.

brandtweathers
July 20th 2008


2007 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0


'I think what the feedback here does tell us is that a number of different listeners approach this album in different ways. And whichever way you do, it will determine what the highlight tracks are.
Old-school fans of Thursday are more likely to prefer the opener and 'At This Velocity' (a'la brandtweathers), while many others will prefer the newer direction the band have moved into such as 'We Will Overcome', 'Running From The Rain' and the long closer.
Personally, I feel Thursday did ok in combining the best of both worlds here, but I suppose that is arguable in crafting a full-length and winning all kinds of fans over. I definitely disagree that it is the worst of their albums though.'

very, very well put davey

cbmartinez
July 21st 2008


2525 Comments


nothing on here sounds remotely close to their old stuff imo, so no pleasing there

brandtweathers
July 21st 2008


2007 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^disagree. at this velocity.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2009


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Definitely 'At This Velocity' at least.

Cesar
October 8th 2009


2732 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Aside from Counting and Running From Rain, I don't like this album that much.

Captain Civic
October 8th 2009


280 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah this was a real disappointment for me. Only a couple of songs stop it from being a lower rating.

EDIT: And I don't think WATT was a disappointment. I don't know if I like WATT or FC more, I think
they're both great albums.

KritikalMotion
October 8th 2009


2262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Can still play this back and it means a lot to me. I got this as i got into music properly though so i guess that makes sense.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2009


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Put it this way, I really like their newie 'Common Existence' & I don't think they would have been able to make that album so good if they hadn't done what they did here.

As for 'WATT', I know I am in the minority on that one. I don't think it's anyway bad btw, but it's just neither here nor there. I still rate 'Full Collapse' as their best, just ahead of their newie.

And yeah Kritikal Motion, this album sounds personal to you. That's fair enough. We all have such LPs.



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