Every time a band announces they're working on a new album, we can't help but wonder if they'll keep their same sound and release a recycled version of their previous works, mature and craft a better album, or devolve and create something sub par to the rest of their work. It was no different when Brand New announced they were putting out a new album, leaving everyone to wonder just how much they would change this time. This is, of course, what I can infer considering Daisy is the album that practically introduced me to the band. Embarrassing to admit it took me so long to hear about Brand New, but at the same time, it removed any bias I may have had when I first listened to the album.
I downloaded Daisy and I liked the band's sound, so I decided to check out their previous work, starting with "Jesus" off The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me. Much to my surprise, they sounded nothing like they do now. So what happened? Brand New evolved once again, sure, but was it really for the better? Sputnik's readers and critics seem to think so. I used to think so too, but it turned out I simply hadn't paid much attention to the lyrics in any of the songs. When I listen to a band, the instrumentation is what I pay attention to first. It is, after all, the first thing people most likely notice when they first listen to a band; lyrics come later. Brand New's forte in previous albums lied mostly on the lyrics and the appropriate atmosphere the instruments gave the songs for the lyrics to shine. With Daisy, that changed. The band progressed musically despite their lyrics not being as strong as they could have been, which has been blamed on Jesse Lacey's diminished or nonexistent role in writing the lyrics on Daisy, a right conceded to Vin instead. No one seems to deny that, but in the end, what exactly is the point of an album filled with mediocre (and at times atrocious) lyrics when the band was known mainly for its incredible lyrics?
It seems to me that most of the reviewers place emphasis on the atmosphere the album as a whole has. It's darker, more sinister, almost depressing, but it doesn't compare to previous albums. Forget the emotional singing in "Degausser", the energetic screaming in "The Quiet Things No One Ever Knows", the personal and lonely singing in "Jesus". None of that here. The love themes are gone. The wonderful buildups ala "Limousine" are virtually nonexistent here. What we have instead is Jesse screaming at the top of his lungs about God-knows-what on the chorus of "In A Jar". It's beautiful, it's angry, it's desperate, it's undecipherable, it's effective. We also have the depressing delivery of songs like "Bed" and "You Stole", the former being a very laid back and easily digestible track and the latter trying really hard but ultimately failing to pull off an interesting clean-distorted-clean dynamic. There's also a relatively interesting filler in the album, "Be Gone". Somewhere in between, "Bought A Bride" features instrumentation that manages to be interesting, but the lyrics are as boring as every other track on the album. The album closer, one of the better tracks on the album, makes Jesse sound borderline cynical as he sings in his higher range "I'm on my way to hell (because God knows that I try)". Every track has a certain charm to it, but none compare to anything from their previous albums. There really is no point in evolving instrumentally and setting tones for songs when the lyrics devolved.
Begs the question though: How bad are the lyrics and why haven't any (with the exception of "Noro") been posted as an example? They range from mediocre to atrocious, and that's exactly why it is unnecessary to bring them up. Nothing on this album compares to anything on the previous ones, and that's why the album seems so overrated to me. I consider TDAGARIM a classic given the fact that there's absolutely no filler in the album and every track shines on its own. Deja Entendu was excellent as well and if we were going by ratings, I'd give it a 4. Giving Daisy a comparable rating to these two previous albums would be a sin. The band undeniably progressed in terms of instrumentation and evolved to create a darker, less accessible album, but when weighed against how much worse the lyrics got, it stops mattering. Daisy doesn't deserve the praise it got and it's certainly far from anything resembling an excellent album. Instead, it's simply the most overrated album of the year.
I don't like how this review turned out. Wrote it over the course of two days, lost my train of thoughts, ADD, etc. Feels like a mess to me unfortunately, but I still wanted to write a review for this.
I can actually enjoy Beggars though. MPP is just like, mind numbingly impossible to listen to that much. It strikes me as more average than Beggars. Although I would agree that there are a couple bad songs on Beggars.
The descriptions and analysis of the music are awkward and anything but insightful. A review should be
somewhat like a three-paragraph essay, and you attacked that fairly well, but your writing needs
significant improvement. I suggest reading your reviews out loud several times before posting them.