Fightstar
Be Human


4.0
excellent

Review

by Cal Lewis USER (10 Reviews)
April 17th, 2009 | 91 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Fightstar experiment on latest offering and produce a grandiose, beautifully crafted record.

Following the implosion of former record label, Gut (via Institute Recordings) last year, Fightstar decided to form a joint venture with their management team (Search and Destroy Records) and self fund their third album. It was a risk, but much like Charlie Simpson's brave move to steer away from the manufactured pop word of Busted in search for respect and credibility with his new band, it appears to have paid off.

The quartet take a new, experimental step with Be Human whilst still maintaining their post-hardcore roots. You have to credit the four-piece for constantly trying to evolve their sound and clearly not wanting to be pigeon-holed into any particular genre. Co-produced with long term friend, Carl Bown, they drafted in a full 16-piece orchestra and school choir to create a diverse and ultimately huge sounding offering.

Opener, "Calling On All Stations", starts with slow orchestration under Simpson's soft vocals which leads into a powerful, guitar driven number. First single, "The English Way" introduces the choir to magnificent effect. The song is an anthemic sing-a-long with Dan Haigh showing off his talents with some buzzing bass lines. Latest single, "Mercury Summer" presents the band at their most melodic. A light and breezy number as a whole, it's perfectly executed with the duel harmonies of Simpson and Westaway.

"War Machine" is undoubtedly a stand out. The track has a distinctive, cinematic feel to it with the haunting strings and choir vocals to build a crescendo of noise. This could easily be the best track the band has ever written. Heavier moments can be found in tracks like "Colours Bleed To Red", "Chemical Blood" and "Damocles". The latter two combine the growling screams of Simpson with urgent strings whilst still showcasing powerful melodies.

One factor the band is often criticised for is the willingness to wear each member’s influences on their sleeves. Arguably, this factor remains on the record. "The Whisperer" has Muse written all over it with its foot-tapping beat and hooky choruses. "Never Change" has a middle section harmony reminiscent of Weezer, while "Give Me The Sky" could easily be mistaken as a tribute for The Cure with its versus. But ultimately, the tracks don't suffer for it. They merely present the diversity of sounds found on this 12-track album.

"Tonight We Burn" is the electronic moment of the record. Preliminary lead by Westaway's soft vocals, it rides on top of the drum beats of Omar Abidi to create a track which proves a huge grower upon repeat listens.

The band chose to end the 46 minutes of running time with the ambient and epic builder "Follow Me Into The Darkness". This is the albums post-rock moment with beautiful violin's preceding a wall of passion with guitars, strings and piano.

As a complete body of work, this record ebbs and flows wonderfully to create a diverse and fulfilling set of tracks. Whilst the influences taken to create these songs are laid bare, it's an ambitious attempt that pays off which will surely allow the band to shake off Simpson's past and stand proud in the British alternative scene.

4.5/5



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user ratings (252)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Adam Knott EMERITUS (4)
I'll give the world to you, and I mean it, but only if you give me the sky....


Comments:Add a Comment 
shindip
April 18th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A pretty damn good album. Forgot how much I used 2 like it.

shindip
April 18th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

A pretty damn good album. Forgot how much I used 2 like it.

shindip
April 18th 2009


3536 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wow my posts are retarded

Knott-
Emeritus
April 18th 2009


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

so gonna check this out

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
April 18th 2009


7375 Comments


Forgot how much I used 2 like it.


Err.. it's not even out yet

Good review but I doubt I'll look into this.

This Message Edited On 04.18.09

AtavanHalen
April 19th 2009


17927 Comments


Review is what I go to school for

OneDeadCop112
April 19th 2009


57 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm onto War Machine so far on my first listen.

I didn't really like English Way but it worked well with the first track.

Reckon this will be a grower maybe?

Knott-
Emeritus
April 19th 2009


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I really like this. Spinning it quite a bit at the moment. You might over-sell it a bit but it's definitely good.

Adders11
April 19th 2009


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is a superb effort. It further expands their sound with the orchestra and choirs working to full effect

There are certainly some different tracks on here that take a while to get used to but the epic ending to the album is so fitting

Knott-
Emeritus
April 19th 2009


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I'M NOT A WAR MACHIIIINE

OneDeadCop112
April 19th 2009


57 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think this may boost up to a 3.5, It's good but not THAT good. Over rating it a bit...

Whisperer has filler all over it....

Knott-
Emeritus
April 19th 2009


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

nah i really like it, as in, really. then again, i always was a fan. amethyst is one of the best things ever. his voice is great.

MusicinaBox
April 20th 2009


513 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

great review, i cant wait to pick up this album today. STOKED!!!!!!

NVNG
April 20th 2009


6 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not really loving it right now. It's alright but I think they've overused the strings a bit. Too much of it focuses too little of good riffage and a little too much on 'look what we've got! Isn't this weird!' Feels like a grower though. Loving Damocles.

CushMG15
April 21st 2009


1802 Comments


This ain't bad after first listen.

MusicinaBox
April 22nd 2009


513 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

hey does anyone know if there is a stream for this???? i havent picked it up yet and i want to listen to it before i spend 13 bucks or w/e on it.

picopunk
April 24th 2009


1 Comments


Whisperer...Muse? Seriously man listen to it properly ffs.

Knott-
Emeritus
April 24th 2009


10198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Give Me The Sky is SO good.

OneDeadCop112
April 25th 2009


57 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Boosting this up to a 4, been spinning it all week.

People have been raving the last track, but I think it's one of the weakest tracks on the album....

Should have been replaced with the Mercury Summer B side 'Athea'.

AmericnZero02
April 28th 2009


3353 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Based on everyone's comments I regret not having picked this up yet. How does this compare to their last record? The singles sound similar to it but this review makes it sound like the singles aren't all too representative of the album.



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