Lostprophets
The Betrayed


4.0
excellent

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
January 19th, 2010 | 718 replies | 37,985 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A defiant, resolute and, most importantly, passionate middle finger to their doubters.

Following the effectiveness of lengthy high-octane openers on their previous two albums, it initially seems strange that Welsh sextet Lostprophets would kick off their fourth LP ‘The Betrayed’ with a two minute introductory piece. Initially under-whelming in isolation, ‘If It Wasn’t for Hate, We’d Be Dead by Now’ is unquestionably a statement of intent and a message to the naysayers… As is the defiant following line of “if it wasn’t for truth, we’d have taken our bow”. You cannot help but get the feeling that when Ian Watkins belts out “It’s Not the End of the World, But I Can See it from Here" on the album’s fantastic lead single, his world is his musical career. He even suggests it on penultimate track ‘Darkest Blue’ where he proclaims “I’m weightless without sound”.

So what has happened in the past half-decade to bring on such a tenacious and unyielding determination that suggests ‘The Betrayed’ is approaching a make-or-break release? The divisive ‘Liberation Transmission’ - which was criticized for its slickness and leaning towards mainstream accessible pop-rock – was only the beginning. In recording its follow-up, the band scrapped a number of recordings, as well as switching producers and record labels. After such adversity, it would not have surprised had ‘The Betrayed’ never seen the light of day. Yet, here it is, an accomplished middle finger to all of the band’s doubters.

Tellingly, fans of Lostprophets’ earlier releases should be pleased with the metallic traits exhibited by the energetic pseudo-opener ‘Dstryr/Dtsryr’, as the defiance theme continues with the line “every time you think you’ve stopped us, we’ll rise up stronger from the dust”, before Watkins emphatically screams ”Turn around motherf**ker, coz we ain’t done”. Later, ‘Next Stop, Atro City’ may not be as convincing, but its fun, rapid-fire approach is certain to win most over and undoubtedly be a live favorite. Another characteristic which resurfaces here are the instrumental song-end interludes which add variety and cohesiveness. As polarizing as these can be, they are not significantly harmful at approximately four minutes in total.

‘The Betrayed’ is by no means a complete return back to debut ‘The Fake Sound of Progress’ however, and what ultimately made second LP ‘Start Something’ a winner - its ability to find that near-perfect balance of everything to appeal to as wide an audience as possible – returns here. ‘Liberation Transmission’ clearly put vocals at the forefront, but musicianship is thankfully back on the agenda, as crunching guitar riffs and propulsive drumming shine throughout. Yet, the Welshmen (plus their now departed American drummer Ilan Rubin) have far from lost their mainstream sensibilities and nowhere can this be heard more than on the aforementioned lead single, which is a trademark anthemic sing-along of the highest quality.

Detractors will undoubtedly point to the The Betrayed’s occasional want to stray a little too far towards Liberation Transmission like mainstream poppiness. Uplifting second single ‘Where We Belong’ is one such example, yet its euphoric sing-along chorus provides a nice counter-balance to the album’s darker themes. Both this track and the infectious ‘Streets of Nowhere’ also highlight the terrific backing vocals contained within the band. Even these poppier cuts exhibit diversity on further listens. Take, for instance, the verging on ska vibe of the interesting ‘For He’s a Jolly Good Felon’ and the soaring guitars of ‘A Better Nothing’, which remind of ‘The Unforgettable Fire’ era U2.

And just when you think that Lostprophets have run out of tricks, along comes the epic ‘The Light That Shines Twice as Bright’. Both a fitting and telling way to bring the album to a close, it is a moody and methodically paced piece which displays controlled atmospherics hitherto unseen from the band… So much so that it is likely to be labeled as “the best thing they have ever recorded” by those after something much more left of center.

Adjectives such as “defiant”, “resolute”, “bitter” and “dark” are likely to be the most prevalent in describing this album, but quite possibly the most apt and all encompassing is “passionate”. While the direction of combining the positive attributes of all three of their prior releases may have been predictable, the delivery was not. It is flawed, as in trying to please all of their fans, they occasionally reach for too many targets. However, it is delivered with such a passion for their craft that makes it a winner when all is said and done. It is fitting then that what is likely to be the most divisive song of the LP delivers the lyric which best sums up ‘The Betrayed’; “Hold on hold on, where we belong, my heart my soul, we still belong”. They’re darn right they still belong, since Lostprophets have delivered an excellent album that is a reminder to all and sundry that this is a band with not only a storied past, but also a very bright future.

Recommended Tracks: It’s Not the End of the World But I Can See it from Here, Where We Belong, A Better Nothing & The Light That Shines Twice as Bright.



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user ratings (341)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
Peter K. Mark (4)
Easily one of the most honest records of the year so far, The Betrayed is both an anthemic and dark ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2010



20805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album of the year………………. so far.

Review is longer than I wanted it to be, but considering the amount of notes, ideas & lyrics I left out, it could have been a lot longer.

This was released in the U.K on Monday, is out in the U.S on the 26th & in Oz on the 29th.

While I have left the track ordering as is, it must be noted that ‘AC Ricochet’ & ‘Sunshine’ are technically bonus tracks as they are likely NOT to appear on all versions of the album. To those who will say that the 2nd half of this album is a bit samey & poppy, it’s nowhere near as bad if you take out those 2 tracks.

Also, just to clarify, Ilan Rubin did do the drumming for this album. He left for Nine Inch Nails as soon as he tracked all of them.

Finally, don’t read too much into my reco tracks as they seemingly change every day. I believe the lead single is the highlight, but any number of tracks could fill the other spots, especially ‘Destryr/Destryr’ & ‘For He’s A Jolly Good Felon’.

mutatedfreek
January 19th 2010



7351 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Looks like I win.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2010



20805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Remind me why... Did you guess my rating or something?

mutatedfreek
January 19th 2010



7351 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah just now in your Emery review.

Also this is probably your best review in a good three months or so. I'd pos if I could.

Knott-
Emeritus
January 19th 2010



10193 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"hitherto seen from the band…"

just one typo. excellent, excellent review. watkins' favourite track is the mid-tempo piano-opened one mid-album i seem to remember my brother saying. album is great; gonna stick it on again now.

PanasonicYouth
January 19th 2010



7410 Comments


destryr is pretty fantastic
but where we belong is just... awful
prolly a 3.5ish maybe

Ponton
Emeritus
January 19th 2010



5775 Comments


Excellent review, Davey.

Digging: Mimicking Birds - Mimicking Birds

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2010



20805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Also this is probably your best review in a good three months or so." That means a lot Ross. Don't expect me to go back to the longer format however.

"hitherto seen from the band…just one typo" I'm lost. You think it should be "heard" instead of "seen"?

"excellent, excellent review" Again; means a lot. Ta Adam.

"but where we belong is just... awful" It's me... I like an uplifting & melodic sing-along.

"Sorry to nitpick, but I figured you would like to know." No problems Mr. Microscope. Will change now.

Ponton
Emeritus
January 19th 2010



5775 Comments


Haha sorry, sir. Usually I wouldn't notice something small like that and most wouldn't for that matter.

This does make me want to reconsider trying out this album though. You have a way with words.

Knott-
Emeritus
January 19th 2010



10193 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nah mate, the way I read it, it should be 'unseen'? Am I wrong?

I like Where We Belong a LOT more than End Of The World... the latter I still maintain is the record's weakest cut.

TheStarclassicTreatment
January 19th 2010



2909 Comments


good review

but god I hate this album :/

Knott-
Emeritus
January 19th 2010



10193 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

GET IN THE CAR GET IN THE CAR

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2010



20805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Haha sorry, sir." No need to apologize Jared. I did appreciate it. I actually had to think which quotation mark I wanted.

"This does make me want to reconsider trying out this album though." Yeah, give it a go. As long as you go in with an open mind & a fun approach, you should like it to some extent.

"Nah mate, the way I read it, it should be 'unseen'? Am I wrong?" F**k me, I could have repeated that line 100 times and not realised that. Weird. And thanks.

"I like Where We Belong a LOT more than End Of The World... the latter I still maintain is the record's weakest cut." Oh righteo, when I saw that comment in the other review, I thought you were referring to 'Where We Belong'. Wow... That surprises me. Despite possibly opening up a can of worms, what don't you like about the lead single?

BTW, I probably would say that 'Dirty Little Heart' had the least effect on me.

Knott-
Emeritus
January 19th 2010



10193 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

drifts in 3rd quarter and... i dont know. it's not that i hate anything about it. there's just not very much i like.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2010



20805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"good review... but god I hate this album :/" Yay to the former & boo to the latter. Thanks.

"GET IN THE CAR GET IN THE CAR" haha. I think my favourite (insert sarcasm here) is the rhyming of the word "weak" with the line "My future is oblique".


DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2010



20805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"drifts in 3rd quarter and... i dont know. it's not that i hate anything about it. there's just not very much i like."

BS... I know what it is... It's the "woh woh wohs" at the start. You are scarred for life on "woh woh wohs" from Welshmen Adam.

JWT155
January 19th 2010



9183 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Very enjoyable album, nicely done as always Davey. *Tips hat

Digging: The Menzingers - Rented World

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2010



20805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks JWT. Glad you liked the album & the review.

CushMG15
January 19th 2010



1802 Comments


I listened to this last night. I'm not sure if it was the fact that I was so surprised that it didn't suck, but I think I kind of liked it. I'll give it another couple spins over the next week and we'll see what I settle on.

Haven't read the review yet, but I shall once I settle on what I think of this album. I can't have you influencing me a la your Emery review, haha. But that does actually rule. I'm rambling now.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2010



20805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh no Cush, always best to listen without influence. This isn't as good as Emery's newie however.



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