Saosin
In Search Of Solid Ground


2.5
average

Review

by Jared Ponton STAFF
September 15th, 2009 | 129 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Saosin create an album with an unknown audience in mind.

Saosin’s popular self-titled album was released back in September of 2006. The debut was respectable, partly due to the fact that it seemed to hint at a band that was secretly playing a deeper and more profound style of music under their seemingly typical post-hardcore disguise. Given the impact the band’s Translating The Name EP had on the underground music scene in 2003, many music fans expected Saosin to rise above the confines of their genre and create something new altogether; some even going as far as to say a revolution of some sort could take place. It is with that same expectation and anticipation that many will approach the band’s second major label album In Search of Solid Ground, and as it turns out, they may be slightly disappointed.

Saosin tailors to a radio-junkie’s brand of post-hardcore--that is, screamed sections that are glossed over with production and made “acceptable” to an everyday common listener with catchy hooks. Many songs contain some kind of hook via anthem-like chorus or a catchy rhythm within the accompanying verses, but these seem to be surprisingly weaker than those featured within the band’s self-titled. This turns out to be quite odd given the fact that a scale-back in aggression usually precedes an increase in catchier choruses for this type of band; yet very few are to be found here throughout the course of the album. For example, single "Changing" features a respectable verse delivery but suddenly takes a nosedive with the chorus as it tries, and subsequently fails, to take the song to a higher level. I’m not sure what went wrong songwriting-wise, but singer Cove Reber can’t seem to take off in the chorus as he did with the band’s last album--particularly evidenced in single "You’re Not Alone". In fact, many instances such as this fill the album where the singer and the band can’t seem to match up correctly--or do so instead with undesirable results.

"On My Own" continues in like manner to the aformentioned song. However, this time the song is too long for its own good, tapering off near the five minute mark with a random assortment of ambiance and background noise. Later in the album "The Worse of Me" and "It’s All Over Now" feature typical relationship issues that sound as if a Top 40 pop punk band could have easily written them. Once again, the hooks aren’t convincing enough to warrant a repressed sound and the results are dry. Aptly titled "Nothing is What it Seems" is a lovesick ballad where the band slows their sound down even more so than before. The song is decent and captures what I believe to be the general summary and impression listeners will receive from this album after listening to it. It is repressed--strictly written on a surface level--and ultimately harmless as can be.

Closer "Fireflies" is the beginning of the end, and it broods and simmers for well over eight minutes. While listening, I couldn’t help but wish that the band would suddenly break loose from their slow, progressive style for an epic ending to the album--in doing so, throwing all pretensions and boundaries aside in the process. Instead they opt for a few rises in tempo; only to be immediately followed by a slow delivery once again. After a quick rise the song closes the album with a retreat in the form of static ambiance.

I can’t help but wonder at what exactly Saosin’s agenda is with their release of In Search of Solid Ground. The album is not bad or terrible in any given way; it’s just disappointingly average. I also can’t seem to pinpoint which set of fans the band is trying to reach or write to here as well. Those that have followed the band since their 2003 EP will surely be disappointed, as will those that fell in love with their major label debut in 2006. New comers will also be turned off as the record is genuinely harmless and forgettable. The songs blend together with similar song structures and vocal lines; some tracks run for too long; and the hooks are not strong enough to gain them much commercial success--as far as singles go. Shame the band decided to tone down their post-hardcore element in their sound as this new direction was probably not the wisest course of action. Let’s just hope that in the future the band chooses to develop some of that rumored potential and talent the die-hard fans of Saosin seem to live and die by.



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user ratings (535)
Chart.
2.7
average
other reviews of this album
Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (2.5)
As the title implies, they are still searching for this "solid ground" that they speak of....

Waior (2)
The latest installment in Saosin's gradual decline....

kevin234 (2.5)
Saosin is search for something solid and original....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Ponton
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2009


6010 Comments


I realize that I am about to be sandwhiched by Brand New reviews, but i was so surprised this didn't have a review yet so I decided to post it before someone else does.

fireaboveicebelow
September 15th 2009


6837 Comments


the summary should've said KEEP SEARCHING HAHAHAHAHA man that was solid good review though

Waior
September 15th 2009


11516 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Chan was going to review this but never really did and this review is solid so... nice work.

fromtheinside
September 15th 2009


20195 Comments


solid review. absolute boring album.

Ponton
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2009


6010 Comments


Thanks.

the summary should've said KEEP SEARCHING HAHAHAHAHA man that was solid good review though

haha yeah, I should have thought of that.


Mordecai.
September 15th 2009


8296 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Good review. I slightly disagree though. I think that Cove has really improved vocally and lyrically. The drumming is still strong and there is plenty of variety in the songs. But yeh, the guitars just aren't as technical and the choruses lack the hooks that 'Voices', 'Bury Your Head' and 'Your'e Not Alone' possess.

Ponton
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2009


6010 Comments


Thanks, the drums are indeed good, and vocally he has progressed. How would you say its lyrically better though? Idk, some songs here seem pretty mediocre in terms of lyrical quality, but that's just me

Thompsonhunt
September 15th 2009


279 Comments


[b]Saosin’s[b]


I saw that as I was reading. Great review, I still wanna check this out though

pizzamachine
September 15th 2009


12632 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Saosin disappoints once again. Secret and Whisper is the same thing, except better.

Ponton
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2009


6010 Comments


Oh yeah, sometimes I miss those . . . thanks.

Yeah there is nothing terribly wrong with the album. People put way too much hype and pressure on the band I suppose

Mordecai.
September 15th 2009


8296 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

The lyrics on Love Maker or whatever it's called now are pretty damn good

Waior
September 15th 2009


11516 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

vocally he has progressed




Definitely disagree. Their self titled was better vocally but it might just be because they had have an all-mighty producer; Reber has always had trouble singing live.





xNintendoCorex
September 15th 2009


1272 Comments


totally not interested in this album, songs ive heard sucked.

ebay
September 16th 2009


501 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

good review, this album is a huge disappointment.... i guess that has been said enough already thought ha.

AmericnZero02
September 16th 2009


3454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely not as good as their first record but its not that bad.

Digging: Kingdom of Giants - Ground Culture

bloc
September 16th 2009


35427 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

there was a lot of production on the self titled but only because the producer was Howard Benson; he specializes in the vocal field.



still gotta listen to this, i wish it could have been as good as the self titled.

Ponton
Staff Reviewer
September 16th 2009


6010 Comments


You can find the album on their myspace player. I hate it when band's hype up their releases. A few interviews with the band said it would be really great and better.

bloc
September 16th 2009


35427 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

bands always say that shit before the release of their album; "it's the best we've ever done", "back to our roots", etc.

Ponton
Staff Reviewer
September 16th 2009


6010 Comments


Yeah, that seems to happen a lot i suppose.

However some amazing albums do come out of nowhere ocassionally as a band may be rather "vague" on what the actual album sounds like before release. Typically these are from indie or underground metal bands though...

bloc
September 16th 2009


35427 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

but if bands do that, then they generate absolutely zero hype about their album. so either we can have a great album unheard and dismissed, or a mediocre album overhyped and made popular because of the band's reputation and comments.



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