Silversun Pickups
Swoon


4.5
superb

Review

by red0 USER (14 Reviews)
April 10th, 2009 | 46 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Silversun Pickups go big, ambitious, and come out on top.

Is it surprising that in today’s musical climate that an indie band would have the most anticipated album of 2009? Really, it shouldn’t be. When Carnavas sent the music world into a tizzy with nasty tags of “90s revival” and “Smashing Pumpkins copycats” being thrown around like a baseball at a Yankees game, Silversun Pickups stood taught and delivered one of the most promising debut albums and best live performances from any “indie” band, period. After essentially disappearing through 2008, scraggly looking Brian Aubert came out and said they were recording a new album, with all kind of wild accusations about how awesome the album would actually be. So, it’s here. And is it any good?

From the start, Swoon introduces the new and improved Silversun Pickups, with a newfound fetish with infusing the infectious melodies of Lazy Eye with the frantic pace of Well Thought Out Twinkles. Look no further than lead single Panic Switch to get the new, fuzzier, dynamical version of Silversun Pickups. Crazed, tortured, and seemingly somehow, refined, Swoon sets a solemn, “grooving” mood that’ll challenge you to stand up and dance. And best part about the new and improved Silversun Pickups? They’ve matured, and have already made their “get huge” album. That album is, by far, Swoon. Best part? They never had to sell out.

But why is this album their defining album? Because, simply it’s such an ambitious record. Mystical, confusing, and perfectly refined with a bit of orchestra, less overused distortion, and better rhythms makes Swoon that much more matured and extravagant than their debut. Despite it’s attempts to end the 90s revival tag, the album throws back to that decade, filled with overly-ambitious albums like The Fragile, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, In Utero, and OK Computer. Silversun Pickups’ sophomore album tries to make all their misgivings from the debut history, eliminating their over usage of distortion, repetitive structures and chords, and boring songs. Brian Aubert and the gang pack rhythm, soul, and inspiration into each of these songs, nothing being slapped together in a lazy or haphazard manner. From the little dreamy bit at the end of There’s No Secrets This Year to the strings and wild dynamics of The Royal We and the vapid emotion of Draining it’s all very heartfelt and moving. They’re a very special band, one of the only ones who dare to stretch outside of the indie hole built by Modest Mouse and Interpol, and it seems that they’ve stretched the boundaries of their genre with all of this inspiration and soul. Which is something other bands don’t have.

But of course we can sit here and talk about how it has soul and is inspirational and is ambitious. What does it sound like? Mix the surprisingly shallow layers of Carnavas with some orchestral arraignments, and that jazz-fusion, rhythm-based drumming. And, of course, Brian Aubert’s unisex vocals. The songs are all lengthy, and change rhythms and sections quickly, sticking to no structure, and leaving the album seeming unpredictable but not haphazard, like perhaps The Mars Volta. The songs switch from a riff-laden chorus with Aubert’s vocals soaring at skyscraper heights (that could totally play in a music video with Aubert singing with wind blasting in his hair), to a quick guitar solo that expands into just a simple picked outro. But what makes Swoon a little surprising is songs like Substitution which mix the indie folk Death Cab for Cutie sound with traditional Silversun Pickups aggression. But the album’s highlight by and far is The Royal We, an intense, swift-moving track with an orchestra, subtle electronics, and rapid dynamic changes. The guitars are much more distorted than normal, and ricket away at your speaker’s drivers. But don’t fear, the song’s quick-moving dynamics keep that distorted guitar addicting in the chorus. In the whole album, you'll consistently find hidden little noises and samples designated to set the mood. That's how deep Swoon is.

The songs don’t just sit unhappily together on a track listing, either. The transitions are seamless, and all carry the album’s solemn, sad, and emotional tone. There’s an echoing vivacity in all the tracks that simply makes them instantly memorable. There isn’t a huge radio smash on the record, but likely the quality of all the songs will slowly chip away at the radio until the masses realize how truly awesome Swoon is. It has the potential to be the huge album of our decade, and I’m not exaggerating. Aubert’s vocals are not for everyone, but in a decade where Smashing Pumpkins refuse to give alt fans their dose of fuzz, Silversun Pickups fill that gap damn well.



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user ratings (858)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Mike Stagno EMERITUS (4)
An impressive record from an impressive up and coming band....

Guy Smiley (2.5)
The Silversun Pickups follow their solid debut album Carnavas with a slightly lesser effort in Swoon...

Rationalist (4)
Nostalgic Indie at its almost-best....


Comments:Add a Comment 
shindip
April 10th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review. Going to get this album 2day hopefully

gaslightanthem
April 10th 2009


5209 Comments


ya this is a pretty cool album

mynameischan
Emeritus
April 10th 2009


17966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

good review, this will most likely be in my top 5 at the end of the year



panic switch is the best song ever

ziroth
April 10th 2009


1260 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sounds good, I need to give this a listen. This Message Edited On 04.10.09

Waior
April 10th 2009


11618 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Impressively impressive review. Determines me to take a listen.

AtavanHalen
April 10th 2009


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Some strange analogies/comparisons, but I liked the review over all.

Cannot wait to hear this.

mynameischan
Emeritus
April 10th 2009


17966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

rly good

red0
April 10th 2009


248 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

fucking good

ant4tbc
April 10th 2009


373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

what's up with all The Office avatars?

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
April 10th 2009


3891 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ill tell you a secret, Ill make it perfectly clear, theres no secrets this year.

Digging: Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory

ziroth
April 10th 2009


1260 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This IS great... can't decide on 4 or 4.5



"what's up with all The Office avatars?"



the office owns

ant4tbc
April 11th 2009


373 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i diggggggggg

rotterdog
April 11th 2009


489 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album gives me the shivers... it's so damn good. They seem to have done away with the over-repetitive drum beats from Carnavas. The strings are awesome too.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
April 11th 2009


3891 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yea, the strings are so well done - Im pretty much always worried when a band ends up using them 'cause they tend to be gimmicky and all, but the arrangements here fit so damn well.

Kiran
Emeritus
April 11th 2009


6021 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I never bothered to look into the hype around Carnavas because I'm generally really lazy but I got this and am totally blown away.

Tyler
Emeritus
April 11th 2009


7925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

is this even out yet? wherz ur stream?

Waior
April 11th 2009


11618 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

what's up with all The Office avatars?




Oh shoot, I started a trend.



And WTF. I depend on Chan's old avatar. This can't be true.

Kiran
Emeritus
April 11th 2009


6021 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

coke: http://www.mtv.com/music/the_leak/silversun_pickups/swoon/



also, arrested development pretty much kicks the offices ass

Athom
Emeritus
April 11th 2009


17241 Comments


arrested development pretty much kicks the offices ass

123123123123

Tyler
Emeritus
April 11th 2009


7925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

*kicks most shows asses

*all but star trekThis Message Edited On 04.11.09



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