The Dismemberment Plan
Change


4.0
excellent

Review

by robin EMERITUS
April 1st, 2010 | 73 replies


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Travis Morrison should play the lottery if he's such a know-it-all.

I don’t like for things to be uncanny, but then again there is something uncanny about the way Change walks which both baffles and contents me. It's an album abundantly removed from the isolating, apocalyptic themes of their Indie masterpiece Emergency & I but somehow creeping and crawling with the same paranoid feelings it sends out. Okay, some of the songs have colossal scope – “Pay for the Piano” is typically high-stakes for the band and all the speedy drumming and grungy guitars could easily call for political reforms (“Somebody’s got to pay for the piano/Somebody’s got to make sure we honor everyone” ) – but this isn’t end of the world stuff. So why exactly does every song on Change make me anxious that Travis Morrison is coming to town?

Such a question isn’t really answered in the absolutes its predecessor was because in 2001, The Dismemberment Plan isn’t really driving towards a specific and devastating ending, let alone a revolution. Even if “Pay for the Piano” is eerie and universal, the band lets that very same tone loose for the remainder of ten songs, no matter how diverse they are for subject matter. “Come Home” takes the album’s mood and makes a loner of Morrison, recycling what spoke to our generation just a song ago and instead putting listeners through the frontman’s dearth of personal experience. On the face of it, he’s relatable, but in actual fact the only person that matters in this moment is Morrison and Morrison alone: “Made myself some coffee and listened to the rain rattle the leaves/I told myself nothing is wrong and stared through the paper for a long long time”. And enough cannot be said of how stricken with paranoia he is – the song explodes from its sparse dynamic into something explosive and jittery with much credit to Joe Easley’s drumming prowess – his fragmented smattering of percussion can only say as much as Morrison does himself though, which is quite simply “I don’t know”. Two songs into the future and the Plan have reinvented their own wheel again, but even as the band twist and turn heads with “Automatic” – which is as good as an acoustic lullaby, especially for a band this proud and prone to freak outs – they still can’t calculate anything but the cold and nerve-wracking, and Morrison’s lyrical outlook oozes bleakness; where verses stand in this man’s way, he will simply overflow with words.

Enough can be said of that restraining and dark album mood, though, because this album lives and dies by its absolutely gorgeous instrumentation. And there is definitely no schedule to this aspect of the album – Change defines sporadic, and in the best way possible too. “The Other Side”, for a best example, has no structure to speak of and sounds the sums of its parts in some unexplainable and excellent way – the drums sound sliced out of the song and then in again, the guitars have no place that isn’t for their own sake and Morrison’s vocals sound as if they’re going a’capella when they aren’t – as if that isn’t enough, it actually all fits perfectly. Nearly every song does its best to meander into known and unknown territory in the same stroke, with “Superpowers”, “The Face of The Earth” the most obvious (from their synth foundations to their guitar rock implosions), and “Ellen and Ben” the grooviest, laying down the most monotonous tale possible with glitchy and geeky musical interplay not shy of the experimental storytelling The Velvet Underground would go in for – a modern “The Gift”, minus the majority of its creepy aftertaste.

So basically, Change is a lot of change happening both within the band and out of it - and no, Travis Morrison isn’t best pleased.



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user ratings (145)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
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Ben Thornburgh CONTRIBUTOR (5)
"Contact your doctor if Xanax seems to stop working as well in treating your panic or anxiety sympto...


Comments:Add a Comment 
robin
Emeritus
April 1st 2010


4249 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

none of the above makes any sense, i apologise.

klap
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2010


10510 Comments


who is robin smith

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

robin
Emeritus
April 1st 2010


4249 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

who is ryan loomba?

Athom
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2010


17224 Comments


who is ryan loomba?
this

klap
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2010


10510 Comments


wow guys my personal relationship is PERSONAL

SeaAnemone
April 1st 2010


20587 Comments


I need this? I need this. ps this review is fantastic, you knew that already though.

Digging: Dirty Beaches - Stateless

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2010


15053 Comments


holy fuck yes reading brb

Ponton
Emeritus
April 1st 2010


5806 Comments


listening to this today, actually

great review

Digging: Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were

robin
Emeritus
April 1st 2010


4249 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

klap4tabloids

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2010


15053 Comments


"An album abundantly removed from the isolating, apocalyptic themes of their Indie masterpiece Emergency & I but somehow creeping and crawling with the same paranoid feelings it sends out."

kind of a sentence frag, i guess? idk

"and Morrison’s lyrical outlook literally oozes bleakness"

sorry but why 'literally' haha i dont think it's -literally- oozing bleakness?

"“The Face of The Earth” the must obvious"

most = must*?


overall fantabulous review and i LOVE this album

Ponton
Emeritus
April 1st 2010


5806 Comments


so these guys still together?

robin
Emeritus
April 1st 2010


4249 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

lol at those grammatical failures. thankyou for the helpful wurds.

i think morrison retired from music, observer.

Ponton
Emeritus
April 1st 2010


5806 Comments


shame, this and emergency are great so far.

review for this was very needed

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
April 1st 2010


862 Comments


i was totally gonna review this you bitch. woah that lie was so transparent it hurt. thank god you're here to actually review the things that i need to review, and review them better.

also, just to check with you, at the end of the latest lost, is that desmond? keepin' on topic guys.

robin
Emeritus
April 1st 2010


4249 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

youre lucky i just wrapped up watching it an hour ago you bitch. it was totally des, but i still have a sneaking suspicion they just wont come back to him for another 8 episodes or so. was it just me or was that episode just one big banter session? p.s. < 3

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
April 1st 2010


862 Comments


haha i hope i spoil it for someone who hasn't seen it yet. but yeah, whole episode was a bit of a dissapointment. the ones with the jin and sun usually are, despite how fucking awesome jin is and strangely hot sun is (that scene in the hotel - jackpot). i guess they can't reveal shit every episode though (though they really should cos I'M GETTING ANGRY).

more on topic, has anyone heard travis morrison's solo record, travistan? i actually haven't but pitchfork gave it a 0.0(!) so, through the power of fantastically negative press, i've been curious to check it out.

robin
Emeritus
April 1st 2010


4249 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i actually dug the whole banterous aspect of it, esp the ben illana scene. basically, lockes camp is boring as shit and illana's camp is where the party is at. but yeah, sun is pretty cute. i wish they would make claires character more like she was in season 4 (which was when she was better looking than all those others in that she didn't sweat as much as them), and also that they'd stop INTRODUCING NEW CHARACTERS. ugh. also i miss juliet going back to the claire/sun line of thought

also yeah i saw that and was hmm i guess i should like that album to prove a point.

Minus The Flair
Emeritus
April 1st 2010


862 Comments


claire (pre-sweaty crazy bitch)=hot
sun=cute
juliet=come back ily
that girl with glasses=GET THE FUCK OFF MY LOST

robin
Emeritus
April 1st 2010


4249 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

we share the same dream, matt.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
April 1st 2010


15053 Comments


drusm for otherside are so sick



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