Circa Survive
Blue Sky Noise


2.5
average

Review

by Plutonio USER (18 Reviews)
April 23rd, 2010 | 41 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It's crystal-clear that Circa Survive are excelling, but cheesiness and tepid tracks are notable hindrances.

Before Blue Sky Noise, unassuming would never be a word that one would apply to Circa Survive. Their previous two albums were essentially faux-progressive bombast that ran like indie and played like ambient. Juturna, the band's debut album, was a rather tedious and pathetic attempt at experimental rock, only toying with the occasional sonic texture or metallic riff. Yet, it was under a dismal shroud of pretense and, let's face it, meandering ideas. This transferred over to Juturna's successor, thus leading Circa Survive's sophmoric effort a more spacious and inefficient take on Circa Survive's debut. As homogenous and dynamically defunct as Juturna, On Letting Go was a record comprised of poor songwriting, underwhelming musicianship, and haphazard genre juxtaposition. This particular album never was quite sure of itself. Rather than powerful, the ideas on this sophomore album were meanderous, and their execution exuded stagnancy. Circa Survive's pretentious and "intricate" style seemed to be the band's trademark, which is why it's so surprising that Circa Survive took the route to simplicity on their third full-length album.

On Blue Sky Noise Circa Survive's sinuous melodies have been replaced with a refreshingly frank style of pop. Of course Green and company simply couldn't refuse to include traits of electronic, acoustic, and alternative, but they're placed effectively, and Blue Sky Noise is all the better for it. "Spirit for the Stairwell" is a morose and acoustic take on pop-punk (a successful one at that), but "Strange Terrain" balances a minimal electronic influence with a jaunty pop theme. In the same vein as the opener is its immediate predecessor "Get Out", which is essentially the album's downfall, and the personification of one of its biggest flaws: tawdriness. When Blue Sky Noise strikes a jovial chord, the result is often a hackneyed and cheap version of pop-punk, as shown on "Imaginary Enemy". Here, Circa Survive go back to their roots, incorporating unfocused verses and lackluster pop choruses. The shameful part is that Circa Surive show that they tithe heaps of potential, but let it disappate. Fortunately, "Frozen Creek" shows Circa Survive fulfilling their potential. The song, which is a perfect marriage of pathos and pop sensibilities, uses simplicity and Green's improved songwriting as its only crutch. With its aid being one of the most refreshing of Circa Survive's many changes, Circa Survive can and do succeed (on occasion).

Yes, indeed Circa Survive have put off their much needed improvements far too long, but Blue Sky Noise is a documentation of a notable and desired transformation. On "Through The Desert Alone", the change from spacious indie to coherent and somewhat fascinating pop is evident. Climaxes are apposite, and crescendos are effective rather than dull. However, the jocular and tawdry additions of tracks like "Get Out" (easily one of Circa Survive's worst songs to date) take away from tracks like "Dyed In Wool". Sure it's crystal-clear that Circa Survive are excelling, but cheesiness and tepid tracks are notable hindrances.

"I put it off for so long; I put it off."




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user ratings (1629)
Chart.
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excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Plutonio
April 23rd 2010


474 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I rather like the last line, does anyone else?

EmptyWithoutYou
April 23rd 2010


100 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thank you very much good sir. a pretty fluent review too.

TheWayfarerElectric
April 23rd 2010


154 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pos' pos' pos'.

Edwin
April 23rd 2010


1399 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I see what you did with the last line! Good one.
Pretty much agree with this, good job.

tombits
April 23rd 2010


3470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Interesting review, but I don't agree with you. The animosity you show towards their earlier albums (and the band in general) makes me want to disregard your opinion from the opening paragraph.

Ire
April 24th 2010


41780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yay

JWT155
April 24th 2010


9259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The animosity you show towards their earlier albums (and the band in general) makes me want to disregard your opinion from the opening paragraph.

This.

Digging: Death From Above 1979 - The Physical World

Plutonio
April 24th 2010


474 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well, several other people stated they disliked the band and they like this, why can I not like their old material and call this average?

Plutonio
April 24th 2010


474 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

In fact it's only the four bad tracks and the ridiculously cheesy moments that make this less than a 3.5

AtavanHalen
April 24th 2010


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

On Letting Go was a record comprised of poor songwriting, underwhelming musicianship, and haphazard genre juxtaposition


No.

EmptyWithoutYou
April 24th 2010


100 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

On Letting Go is fucking awesome, something is wrong with this site.

Plutonio
April 24th 2010


474 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I cannot see how anyone could ever enjoy On Letting Go. It was basically comprised of really tedious and poorly-structured verses and haphazard choruses, genre-juxtaposition, and a nasty case of faux-exoticism.

EmptyWithoutYou
April 24th 2010


100 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I enjoyed On Letting Go like I enjoy hearing birds sing in the early dawn..



Plutonio
April 24th 2010


474 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This actually has potential to be something decent if not great.

JWT155
April 24th 2010


9259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You can have your opinions that's fine, your intro just makes it sound like your not even gonna give it a chance. BTW I found their first 2 average-ish as well and really like this.

AtavanHalen
April 24th 2010


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I cannot see how anyone could ever enjoy On Letting Go. It was basically comprised of really tedious and poorly-structured verses and haphazard choruses, genre-juxtaposition, and a nasty case of faux-exoticism.


No.

Plutonio
April 24th 2010


474 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Well, I say that the only reason I don't think this is decent is because of the cheesiness and the filler.

po0ty
April 24th 2010


488 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"
I cannot see how anyone could ever enjoy On Letting Go. It was basically comprised of really tedious and poorly-structured verses and haphazard choruses, genre-juxtaposition, and a nasty case of faux-exoticism.
"

you're trying too hard


good review, though i really digg this album.

JWT155
April 24th 2010


9259 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

...tracks like "Get Out" (easily one of Circa Survive's worst songs to date)


You must be high, track rules.

tombits
April 24th 2010


3470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

On Letting Go does suck. Juturna was cool though.



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