Review Summary: The original release is a mixed-bag, but the newly-remixed version feels less like a remix and more along the lines to what the original should have been.1 of 1 thought this review was well written
"The Sun and the Moon Complete" is an excellent double-disc album, featuring catchy beats and words filled with terrific angst from the lead vocalist - it's gonna be hard to hate if you enjoy what you hear from the very first track.
The Bravery is an American based rock band from New York City (see Emanuel and the Fear). They've currently been active for 7 years and have released 3 albums for Island Records within that time. The band consists of Sam Endicott on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Michael Zakarin on lead guitar and backing vocals, John Conway on keyboard and backing vocals, Mike Hindert on bass and backing vocals and Anthony Burulcich on drums and (you guessed it) backing vocals.
"The Sun and the Moon Complete" was released as a remix to the original '07 release of "The Sun and the Moon". While the album also features the original '07 release, it also holds the second disc - entitled the "Moon Version" (while the original has been labeled as the "Sun Version").
Both discs quickly open up with a less-than 30 second introduction - which immediately and quite nicely sets up both the album's overall atmosphere. After the introduction, we jump right into the first song, "Believe". Both Sun and Moon Versions shine, but the Sun Version of the song really takes the cake in being the better of the bunch. There's a 30 second difference between the Sun and the Moon Version. The Sun Version is 30 seconds longer and benefits largely from it, as it has a lot more time to breathe and grow. Being the first disc of the set, chances are you'll be listening to the Sun Version first. Unfortunately, that leads into worry when you pop in disc 2 and first here Moon Version's "Believe". Remix CDs are always being related to the originals in big ways, of course, which is unfortunate in this particular case because the Moon Version is by far the better of the two.
While the Sun Version is pretty average (at best), the Moon Version is far superior to it in every way shape and form. "The Sun and the Moon Complete" serves as the band's second shot at improvement upon first-crack with the "uncomplete" single-disc release - entitled simply "The Sun and the Moon". Here, the second disc (Moon Version) adds so much more to the playing field than the first-disc. The songs feel alive. The music's more layered, and the Moon Version simply feels a lot more "complete" than the Sun Version.
"The sun and the moon. An ocean of air. So many voices, but nothing is there. But the ghost of you asking me why... Why did I leave?..."
"Bad Sun (Moon Version)" opens up and gives you a wonderful sense of nighttime with it's electric energy that sounds like a spaghetti-Western theme which travels across the entire song. If "The Ocean" wasn't the closer to this album, "Bad Sun" would be. The ending fade is lovely, with the same whistles from the opening (of the song) letting you loose into the next track.
"Above And Below (Sun Version)" suffers from being Endicott's weakest vocal performance. The background strums sound reminiscent of old blaxploitation movies during cheesy car chase sequences. The vocals don't suit the music very well at all, whereas the music would've gone better with "Every Word Is A Knife In My Ear (Sun Version)" and the vocals would've been better left on the cutting room floor. Also, "Every Word Is A Knife In My Ear (Moon Version)" is an absolute funnel of bore. The song has annoying lyrics, ranging from "The life of the party and we pull up out skirt" to "Every thought in your head is like poison to hear". Ugh, thankful "Bad Sun" follows.
Both the CDs end on the beautiful song, entitled "The Ocean", which closes the album (and the individual discs) perfectly. The final spoken line "And I lose your hand through the waves" lingers along moments after the album's closer. A perfect ending to an average CD and an excellent one.
While the Sun Version is average enough to think about during any time and season, the Moon Version feels special in that it's truly confident about it's material. While some songs don't work ("Every Word Is A Knife In My Ear" is a horrendously written and executed song across both CDs), majority of the songs really do and they make for a great overall listen. Slowly let the words and music sink into your mind and you'll find yourself discovering something truly special. Still, the music itself is highly creative, various songs (especially on the Moon Version) pop with atmosphere. For example, "This Is Not The End (Moon Version)" gives you a great sense of surfing waves to outer space. As well, Endicott's vocals feel well-suited and natural within the played music.
A plethora of low-points come from the Sun Version (where the original release opened to mixed views from the masses). One thing's for sure, it sounds a lot more "pop" than "electric pop-rock". The problem with pop is that it sounds a little too mainstream for many known ears. Whereas the Moon Version wisely blends in a helping of various genres into the mix, the Sun Version is too scared to take risks with it's sound.
[For the individual discs:] The "Sun Version" receives a 2.5 out of 5. While the "Moon Version" receives a strong 4 out of 5. Overall, the album comes out with a score of 3.5 out of 5. The album as a whole is a easy listen, whereas the Moon Version is definitely the most pleasurable listen of the two discs. If you're curious about the album/band, try listening to a couple recommended tracks on-the-go. If you're interested in a purchase for this album, it should be quite easy to get it at the same price as any single disc CD from HMV or Sunrise.
1) "Bad Sun (Moon Version)"
2) "The Ocean (Moon Version)"
3) "Time Won't Let Me Go (Moon Version)"
4) "Believe (Sun Version)"
5) "The Ocean (Sun Version)"