AFI
Crash Love


4.5
superb

Review

by Taylor Jermolajew USER (39 Reviews)
September 28th, 2009 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: AFI heed the criticism of their fans and drop the elements that supposedly ruined their previous outing. The end result is one of AFI's most impressive records to date.

In my life there are two things that mean the most to me. Film and Psychology, fun fact I major in both. The first of my passions gives me symbolic meaning, commentary on the world and an understanding of the messages we convey. The other teaches me how to tell who’s talking shit and who’s being honest. In regards to AFI’s album Decemberunderground the former occurs a lot and the latter not so much. DU wasn’t by any means a perfect album, but the consistent abuse it receives is ridiculous.

Nevertheless people were unhappy with Decemberunderground and with that in mind AFI decided to drop the electronica that filled DU (interestingly there’s much more dominant synth passages found on STS but apparently those are the “good synths”). In their place AFI have refocused on a more traditional strucutre revolving around guitars, drums and bass.

Essentially Crash Love is AFI’s take on arena rock, however, they still maintain enough of their pop-punk sound. Of course the first thing to get out of the way is; no, this is not like Black Sails, Shut your Mouth or Very Proud of Ya. Crash Love presents the listener with something new but something that still sounds like AFI. The lack of harsh vocals lets us know that AFI have left their hardcore origins where they belong (the past).

For some this may be a negative, but considering the atrocity that was "Kill Caustic", the less harsh vocals the better. The band continues to remain as catchy as ever, with tracks like Medicate, I Am Trying Very Hard To Be Here and Torch Song providing an enjoyable and memorable listen. Whilst “Ok I Feel Better Now”, presents us with AFI embracing alt-rock giving one of their best performances, the musical output on this track specifically allows every member to shine.

With this in mind it should be no surprise that the band seem to be as equals in regard to their musical output. Havok has made further steps forward vocally making use of a noticeably wider range of technicques. Notably Jade Puget has also stepped up his game, the guitar work throughout the album reminds everyone that Puget is still a master at creating both energetic and catchy riffs to ensnare the listener.

Hunter Burgan and Adam Carson also maintain the rhythm section well. Adam Carson continues his trend of being the most consistent member of AFI providing enough interesting fills to demonstrate his skill without taking the spotlight from the other members. Similarly Hunter Burgan continues his trend of being the underutilised member of the band. Still, his bass lines are both audible and interesting and if anything it’s a credit to his modesty that a bassist of his skill level (See: Hunter Revenge) is willing to play second fiddle to Puget whilst still contributing a top notch performance.

Crash Love is everything Decemeberunderground wasn’t; it’s upbeat (musically) and it’s energetic . With that in mind the album is still AFI and if a comparison were to be made Crash Love is Sing the Sorrow’s Alt-rock oriented brother. Crash Love is an excellent effort and is arguably the best work put forth by AFI since joining a major label (Can’t wait for the argument against that statement). All in all AFI have heeded the criticism of fans and provided an entirely different perspective with which to view their music.



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user ratings (694)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
rasputin
September 28th 2009


14555 Comments


not making any challenges to what you said but i'll tell you that the review is not very well written - plenty of awkward sentences, information nobody cares about, and a general uninteresting style. definitely not one of your better write ups.

but i didnt neg

Eclectic
September 28th 2009


3302 Comments


With the edits I enjoyed it, pos'd

redsparrow
September 28th 2009


431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pos'ed. But I'm almost falling asleep here, very good points, Reddannhilation. I'll comeback tomorrow and comment the review more.

rasputin
September 28th 2009


14555 Comments


In their place AFI have released what could be considered the brother of Sing The Sorrow representing a path that could have been taken after The Art of Drowning opting to maintain their original focus on guitar, bass and drums.

punctuate this
Of course the first thing to get out of the way is; no, this is not like Black Sails, Shut your Mouth or Very Proud of Ya and if you were dumb enough to think it would be then I suggest you go back to holding that stop sign.

: not ; yes there is a difference

For some this may be a negative, but, considering the atrocity that

it's a stretch putting commas either side 'however', but please don't do it for 'but'
Whilst “Ok I Feel Better Now”, presents us with AFI embracing alt-rock giving one of their best performances, the musical output on this track specifically allows every member to shine.

comma after the track name
Havok’s vocals continue to impress with an even wider range than he previously made use of.

reword so to not end with 'of'
Notably Jade Puget has also stepped his game up the guitar work throughout the album is excellent, reminding us that Puget is still a master at creating both energetic and catchy riffs to ensnare the listener (See: Medicate’s intro riff) Another notable change is the inclusion of more guitar centric passages, prior to Crash Love Puget’s number of recorded solo’s could be counted on a single hand.

this whole part is just terrible, read over it carefully
Carson’s contribution continues his trend of being the most consistent member

this is awkward
and it has such a lack of synths one could argue it might be better if they added a few.

this is dumb

and yah

LisbonGirls
September 28th 2009


832 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album

Bfhurricane
September 28th 2009


6197 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You're a fan of A Clockwork Orange I take it? Good review, I regret to say that I still haven't listened to this.

interestingly there’s much more dominant synth passages found on STS but apparently those are the “good synths


Thought a while about this, still don't know what you're talking about. I've listened to both STS and DU thoroughly, synth seems way more dominant on DU.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 28th 2009


20858 Comments


Good review Taylor and some interesting points raised. I'm unsure if I have a strong opinion either way, but DU did get too much crap. And hey, if they learnt from it and made a great album here, then it may have been worth it anyway.

McDiggitz
September 28th 2009


76 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love this album, and I like the review. You know people are going to challenge you on the Decemberunderground views. I agree. I have loved almost everything AFI has done in the latter part of their career, and I always thought they got entirely too much shit for their work on DU and STS. If you know the band, they listen to a TON of synth laiden trance, industrial, dance, etc. I'm surprised they don't inindate their music with synth to be honest. But I am exceptionally pleased with this effort. It's their most straight-forward pop album to date, yet it's their best pop effort. Not a lot of frills and nonsense. I, unfortunately because the album hasn't officially dropped yet, have an awful rip of it until I can buy it tomorrow, and the sound quality sucks because of aliasing and mp3 compression. I hate 128kbps. So i can comment on the production quite yet, but as far as the straight song writing, fantastic effort. 4.5/5

cookiesarethebword
September 30th 2009


87 Comments


is this worth it? shoot straight with me.

fireaboveicebelow
September 30th 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

yeah I guess, just put it at the back of your to-get list

redsparrow
September 30th 2009


431 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

One of the best records out this month

JesusWasWrong
January 23rd 2010


106 Comments


COOL STORY BRO



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