Norma Jean
The Anti Mother


4.5
superb

Review

by SteveRogers USER (7 Reviews)
August 8th, 2008 | 92 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Norma Jean Grows Up...

I'm sort of surprised by the number of comments claiming that both this new album and Redeemer are not good records. *shrugs* I suppose it's truly a matter of opinion and preference. But I enjoy melody in with my chaos. And I think that Norma Jean's first release (Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child) with Josh Scogin is a chaotic mess and a poor example of any kind of music. I just can't find any reason to get into it.

I believe that the band progressed quite well and evolved with the release of O God, the Aftermath. With the new vocalist (who I like better), the band was struggling to find balance and their own sound. They borrowed from their influences quite heavily but released an impressive blast of metal music. For me, things didn't pick up till Redeemer. The songwriting (once again, in my opinion) improved by leaps and bounds. The lyrics were far superior to previous releases. The album released angry headbanging chaos next to subtle melodies that had been only hinted at on the previous record. I enjoyed each track as a separate entity. But my favorite song off the record is probably "The End of All Things Will Be Televised."

I approached this new album hopeful and skeptical. Keeping in mind that I should listen to it as a new, stand-alone work rather than trying to compare it to past releases. Ultimately, I enjoyed it a lot. The band experiments much more effectively with melody. And integrates it beautifully with the heavier parts of the album. I think Cory Brandan's vocals improved. I think the lyrics are again stellar. And the record is very diverse. Though, I would have liked to have seen more tracks with just Norma Jean. I do think the guest spots are used effectively.

I think the new record is a natural progression of their sound. It's equal parts their older work and a new sound. It retains elements of hardcore sensibility while also tossing in dashes (musically) of Rage Against the Machine (to my ear), Soundgarden, and sometimes even the progressive and psychedelic flashes of Pink Floyd rear their head. Which is a delightful surprise. I eagerly anticipate the band's next record. Because I think they have yet to decide on a sound. Which means, they have yet to hit their stride. I think they continue to improve as a band. And, they are not afraid to experiment even when so-called fans start tossing around the term "sell-out" without providing the album a proper chance to grow on them. It's grown on me.

They didn't sell out. They evolved. They expanded. They improved their range. It's like the transition from black and white TV to color. Some people are hesitant and don't think the change is necessary. Eventually, it becomes obvious that the change was a well needed improvement.

DISCLAIMER: This review started at as a comment that got too long. I didn't go too far in depth. But I felt it needed to be said for people's consideration. It's basically a glamour piece plastered with straight opinion all over the place. Forgive me. You can give this bad boy negative ratings all you want. I just ask you consider the album independently of what other people have said. And outside of what other Norma Jean records have sounded like.



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user ratings (736)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
ninjuice
August 8th 2008


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Review is way too personal and not descriptive enough.

SteveRogers
August 8th 2008


190 Comments


Note the disclaimer at the end of the review. It started as a comment, but it got too long. And I'd spent the time writing the darn thing, so I was going to post one way or another.

I definitely wasn't going for professional with this one. Believe me.

ninjuice
August 8th 2008


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

You could have just shortened it up a bit for a soundoff.....

SteveRogers
August 8th 2008


190 Comments


I tried. But I couldn't cut enough of it to fit and have it still make sense.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
August 8th 2008


2712 Comments


I think it's a fair mix of analysis and personal opinion. If you want to read more 'professional' reviews, just click on one of the other reviews.

BlindWriting
August 8th 2008


102 Comments


"Too personal" doesn't automatically make a bad review. There are instances where it
works, and I think this is one of them.

Take this blurb from a Robert Christgau review on King Crimson's Lizard, for
example: "Just as I was learning to hear past the bullshit they upped the ante, so fuck
'em. When I feel the need for contemporary chamber music or sexist japes, jazz libre
or vers ordinaire, I'll go to the source(s)." His bias is unhidden. Not that I'm
comparing sputnik reviewer x to Christgau, but you get the point.

Not a Norma Jean fan so I can't offer any other comments.This Message Edited On 08.08.08

SnackaryBinx
August 8th 2008


2309 Comments


And I think that Norma Jean's first release (Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child) with Josh Scogin is a chaotic mess and a poor example of any kind of music


I stopped reading right around there. "Chaotic" music is not a mess or a poor example of any kind of music.

SteveRogers
August 8th 2008


190 Comments


I'm fully aware of that. I listen to the Dillinger Escape Plan and The Fall of Troy. I was referring solely to that album.

beans
August 9th 2008


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I think it's a fair mix of analysis and personal opinion. If you want to read more 'professional' reviews, just click on one of the other reviews.

like mine

rasputin
August 9th 2008


14555 Comments


Norma Jean more like Mormon Jean

beans
August 9th 2008


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

:lol: touche

DWittisarockstar
August 9th 2008


1501 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

[quote=rasputin]Norma Jean more like Mormon Jean[/quote]
what?

And this review is fine, you just need to stop saying that its your opinion. You shouldn't say "I believe" and "to me...". We already know its your opinion.

botb
August 9th 2008


9780 Comments


Norma Jean more like Mormon Jean


LOLOLOLOLOLOL. except for the one tiny fact that... they aren't.... mormon.....

fail.

cleary21
August 10th 2008


671 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yo lay off him like seriously its his review its well written it doesnt matter if it has vote obama in it the mods havent taken it off so stfu if u want something more objective read my or one of the other reviews. keep it in ur pants like seriously

bluesngunners
August 12th 2008


1 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

good review but maybe too optimistic IMO a 4.5 is given to an album that is probably the band's best album and no1 can say this is norma's best...and you cant talk about norma jean and diss scogin and bless the martyr it is norma's most loved album with their most loved song (memphis will be laid to waste) so that kind of comment can kind of turn off norma jean fans to this review...this album is disappointing. i understand the concept of music "growing on you" but im sure this will never grow on me...bless the martyr is the best, redeemer 2nd, aftermath 3rd, anti mother a distant 4th

dearantarctica
August 16th 2008


3 Comments


too subjective

beans
August 16th 2008


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this review is bad

204409
Emeritus
August 16th 2008


3996 Comments


Norma Jean is one of my least favorite bands ever. Need to check out how bad this likely is.

beans
August 16th 2008


2332 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

its bad, i will tell you up front

but i've liked this band up until this

cbmartinez
August 16th 2008


2525 Comments


yah i liked this band too but redeemer was so fucking bad that im not even going to bother with this one



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