Between the Trees
Spain


3.0
good

Review

by Brandon E.L. Magnuson USER (4 Reviews)
October 24th, 2009 | 36 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Switchfoot slightly digress, and create an album full of piano driven pop rock.. what? This isn't Switchfoot?

With today’s pop music, finding a decent band is much like looking for a pet in a ***ty animal shelter. All of the animals are pretty terrible, whether it is their looks, behavior, or the fact that they keep pissing on your leg, but if you lower your standards on what you consider to be “good” or even, sometimes, just redefine in the word all together, you can almost always find a dog that is reasonable. Not to say the mutt is amazing, or even good compared to the perfectly bred pet store kind, but its cute bark puts it ahead of the other puppies of choice, even if it does rubs it’s ass on the carpet.

Ok, so that metaphor didn’t quite work for you? I’ll try to put it into easier terms; pop rock, within the last five years, generally speaking, has been a skid in the road of musical evolution. Hundreds, or even thousands (I’ve lost track) of these happy-go-lucky teens use the three cords they know to make a fun loving sound that has been done death, but is sure to be loved by the mass populous of teens thus feeding the cycle. A handful of these typical bands get attention with a catchy single then quickly fade, and then there’s the very few (with the cute lead singer) that stick. Every so often there is a release that garners hype for their actual talent; an example is Between The Trees’ debut The Story and The Song. Not to say I’m ignorant enough to know that their sound wasn’t marketable, nor am I saying that the lead singer isn’t an absolute babe, instead, with The Story.. they proved they had enough skill and passion not to have to rely on youthful aesthetic and poppy hooks alone.


Now we have Spain, the band’s follow up to their critically acclaimed debut, and I am disappointed to say that have not completely avoided the sophomore slump that plagues so many bands of the genre. Not to say that Spain is necessarily terrible, it’s just that with this release they seem to have lost a lot of their colour. It’s the classic case of a band attempting to mature, but instead just come off sounding pretty uninspired and boring. This record is basically Between The Trees’ attempt to break away from the “pop punk” scene and establish themselves as a respected alternative pop rock band, but unconsciously become Switchfoot “emulators.”

Like stated before, they are very capable musicians, and it shows throughout the record. While, like also noted before, Between The Trees aren’t the most original band out there, they do have a very solid knack for writing a good pop song will throwing in little guitar solos and other goodies that fit without taking away from the melody. A notable fact is also Ryan Kirkland’s voice. If you heard The Story And The Song you know he has quite a bit of talent when it comes to his vocal ability and when he doesn’t attempt to impersonate John Foreman, like on the single and the album’s best track, We Can Try, improvement is easy to see. It also should be stated that between this and their debut they dropped from a five piece to a trio the most noticeable lose is the keyboard, thus, the whole electronic factor of The Story.. is no longer existed. This creates a much more traditional sound, which I think is a positive.

So is this good or not? I guess it’s really how you look at it. If you’re looking for something progressive, experimental and fresh, then this isn’t the album for you. Nor is Spain going to fulfill your need for a pop rock classic. But if you’re looking for some decent, easy listening, piano driven rock, then give Between The Tree’s sophomore record Spain a listen. ‘Cause it might not be the freshest dog at the animal shelter, but it doesn’t piss on your leg, and it’s pretty cute. Metaphor still not working for you? Damn.


user ratings (22)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
YouAreMySilence
October 24th 2009


3727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Meh.

DiceMan
October 25th 2009


7068 Comments


I liked their first album. It was actually really good. A Time For Yohe was AMAZING.

YouAreMySilence
October 25th 2009


3727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

True, I wouldn't say amazing, but really good.
Have you heard anything from this?

klap
Staff Reviewer
October 25th 2009


10421 Comments


my girlfriend took vocal lessons with this singer, i'm pretty sure this entire band went to my high school. haven't heard this yet though i sort of enjoyed the first one

Digging: Tennis - Ritual In Repeat

YouAreMySilence
October 25th 2009


3727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh really? He's a pretty talented singer I see why.
Well to both you guys I suggest reading the review haha
and check out We Can Try, if that does nothing for you you won't enjoy this.

DiceMan
October 25th 2009


7068 Comments


No not yet. I actually thought it was a really good song. I guess it does kind of drag towards the end but the intro was like... Holy shit rewind... Thats a TON of emotion. I saw them with Anberlin and the guy has pipes live too.

YouAreMySilence
October 25th 2009


3727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's definatly a great song.

klap
Staff Reviewer
October 25th 2009


10421 Comments


no i meant she took vocal lessons with the same teacher he had, not from him haha. i'll have to get this though

YouAreMySilence
October 25th 2009


3727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha oh, oops.
Damn just made myself look stupid infront of a contributer, need something to redeem myself....
I gave Jeff Buckley a 5?

DiceMan
October 25th 2009


7068 Comments


Lol you probably haven't even listened to it.

YouAreMySilence
October 25th 2009


3727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha I did. I bought Grace like 6 months ago listened to it like a month straight, lent it to a friend because I thought he would enjoy some amazing music. I lent him that and ( ) and he hasn't given them back and he's like a druggie now so idk haha.

klap
Staff Reviewer
October 25th 2009


10421 Comments


great record, props haha

DiceMan
October 25th 2009


7068 Comments


Druggies like music too. And they are pretty chill. Just tell him to give it or you'll call the cops on him.

DiceMan
October 25th 2009


7068 Comments


Actually you have Come Now Sleep as a 5. So I think that we can be good good good good x 10 to the power of (F# A#) infinity friends.

YouAreMySilence
October 25th 2009


3727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha good idea.
And bro I just looked at your ratings, and if you bump up Lift Your Skinny Fists abit I think we should be bffs!

DiceMan
October 25th 2009


7068 Comments


Actually, I can probably do that. I listened to it last night. The piano part I think it is, in the first song.. At the VERY END of the track... Is absolutely beautiful. Also I don't really like to give a band too many ratings on the same level because I like to judge some albums in relativity to other albums of theirs. I know it's wierd but I just do it without thinking. Thrice is the exception cause none of their stuff is 5worthy really but it still is mostly really good.

ziroth
October 25th 2009


1252 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I agree with you fully. Decent album, good review

it does rubs it’s *** on the carpet.

rub its
sometimes, just redefine in the word all together

?

Come Now Sleep is most definitely a 5. Top 3 albums of all time for me

Douglas
October 25th 2009


9104 Comments


Very good review. I enjoyed the intro para very much. pos'd. : )

Can't say I've heard of these guys though.

YouAreMySilence
October 25th 2009


3727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

True that with 5.
And I have F#A# and Lift Your Skinny Fists.. at 5s cause the F#A# is so epic you can't really give it anything less and the latter because it's my fav record of all time.
I have two Mono records at 5. I juts moved You Are There up because it doesn't deserve anything less.
And two Sigur Ros records but I'm prob gonna lower Takk right now.

DiceMan
October 25th 2009


7068 Comments


I save my 5's for albums that are like... Defining to me as a person. Music that I realize is very unique and good but something that I could consider "the soundtrack to my life" at a certain given point in time. Mono is really good, Hymn is one of my favorites of 2009. I need to get more Sigur Ros cause all i have is ( ) and Agaetis Brousdoeruwaeous8obgusr. F# A# is ridiculously epic. I just thought F# A# > Slow Riot > LYSF so I gave it 5, 4.5, and 4 but LYSF really does deserve at least 4.5... and Riot kind of deserves a 5 I'm just hesitant to give it one.



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