Alter Bridge
Blackbird


4.0
excellent

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
September 8th, 2010 | 225 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An album of new beginnings.

One of the most rewarding experiences in life is having the opportunity to start over again. A white sheet of paper, a sunrise, a new relationship…whatever metaphor comes to mind, the common denominator is always a sense of euphoria born out of the belief that, by leaving the past behind, anything is attainable. In a way, this is the aura surrounding Alter Bridge’s sophomore release, Blackbird. After years of making successful but safe music with Scott Stapp under the name Creed, One Day Remains showed Alter Bridge beginning to peak their heads out of their shell. It wasn’t until their second album that they fully realized their calling. Blackbird is the rebirth of four musicians who established their own identity and acquired a fresh slate on which to write their story.

Blackbird exudes all of the energy and excitement that rightfully should accompany an album of such importance. It commences with an absurdly high-powered, vibrant rocker in “Ties That Bind.” The song showcases Tremonti’s shredding ability overtop of Phillips’ fast-paced and diverse drumming techniques. Kennedy’s vocals are also spot on, hitting each high note during one of the album’s most telling choruses, “One last hope to rise and break away, above the faded line, way beyond the ties that bind.” Tracks like “Come to Life” and “Brand New Start”, while not quite as memorable, also possess sentiments of freedom and opportunity. Even Blackbird’s more somber tracks ring with an echo of hope. The title track, while clearly a tribute to the death of a close relative or loved one, ends with an optimistic twist:

Beyond the suffering you've known
I hope you find your way
May you never be broken again

The combination of emotionally overwhelming lyrics and Kennedy’s powerful delivery create one of the album’s brightest shining moments. “Rise Today” and “Watch Over You” are also notable highlights, representing Blackbird’s catchiest song and its best ballad, respectively. In all of these songs, especially the more upbeat tracks, Tremonti seems to really benefit from the guitar presence of Miles Kennedy. Having Kennedy man the rhythm guitar duties (and occasionally even the lead guitar) allows Tremonti to explore his creative boundaries, which results in some of Blackbird’s biggest and best sounding solos. By the end of this record, it is clear that Blackbird is not only a creative masterpiece, but also sound from an instrumental standpoint.

The only real issues on this album can be attributed to the innate weaknesses of hard rock as a genre, along with Alter Bridge’s bid for anthemic production on every track. Blackbird is advanced technically for an album that treads the line of mainstream rock, but it does not experiment beyond the expectations of their specific field of music. The majority of the songs follow the same general structure, often even utilizing the same chord progression. As a result, many of the songs end up sounding just similar enough to make the listener grow weary. After all, Blackbird is fifty-nine minutes long, making the aforementioned results inevitable without a considerable amount of change-up. For all intents and purposes, however, each song is near-perfectly executed for what it is. Alter Bridge just may have gone over the top with the album’s length and grasps at making every song into an anthem.

In the end, Blackbird is a surprisingly good album with the potential to carry an unbelievable amount of personal meaning. The band shows that they have grown out of the shadow of Creed’s influence, and have been, in a sense, born again. If Blackbird is any indication, this is one band that not be held back. They will continue to mature and evolve…way beyond the ties that bind.



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user ratings (857)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Austin (5)
    Alter Bridge ditch the Creed influence and create one of the best rock albums of the moder...

    Maxwell Harkness (3.5)
    A great rock effort that opens up in a plain amazing way, and then just plateaus into an a...

    Skippert (4.5)
    Alter Bridge brings an album that's a worthy followup of One Day Remains. The standard win...

    Cain (4)
    ...

  • 02dufant (4)
    After the brilliant One Day Remains could Alter Birdge possibly produce another great albu...


Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
September 9th 2010


16785 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

In b4 ties.

also, i don't care how cheesy that last sentence is. it had to be done.

Digging: Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy

fr33convict
September 9th 2010


11697 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

lol I love that last sentence. good review as always. pawz.

iamnotchan
September 9th 2010


669 Comments


wtf! 43 reviews and you still don't understand that you should wait 'til you last review is off the front page?
neg'd

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
September 9th 2010


16785 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

haha i just realized that; i thought for sure that my anberlin review would have been bumped off by now :/

iamnotchan
September 9th 2010


669 Comments


k it's all good bro
changed my neg to a pos
btw that last line is sooo corny

bailar12
September 9th 2010


1766 Comments


gonna have to neg troll now

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
September 9th 2010


16785 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

corny? or necessary?

and thanks i appreciate it

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 9th 2010


31475 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice SS

Digging: Hyperdub - Hyperdub 10.4

bailar12
September 9th 2010


1766 Comments


your comment makes it looks like youre happy im gonna neg troll you js

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
September 9th 2010


16785 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

what happy comment? and what is a neg troll? it sounds unpleasant...

iamnotchan
September 9th 2010


669 Comments


how about corny AND necessary?

bailar12
September 9th 2010


1766 Comments


means i go through and neg every single one of your reviews

thought youd catch on to this stuff by now sowing

cmon now

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
September 9th 2010


16785 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

i think that is the best description, notchan. yeah, let's go with that.

sorry bailar, please accept my sincerist apologies. i never meant to offend you or anyone else in the sputnik community with my rash and premature reviewing technique. i think i have learned a valuable lesson today, one that i will carry with me always.

pizzamachine
September 9th 2010


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This is a stupidly well-written review.

bailar12
September 9th 2010


1766 Comments


bailamos sowing

but i was just kidding with that. besides you can just go talk to the meds if someone does that to you. worry not

as a token of my appreciation please have this

[img]http://lyricsfever.net/images/e/enrique-iglesias--img-m3e1f130a8556acd95e1886038affe302.jpg[/img]

tiesthatbind
September 9th 2010


7380 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Woah, didn't expect this. Good job, man, I'd pos this 10 times if I could.

Also an alternate last line could be:

Alter Bridge have made a brand new start after being buried alive by the negative press they got during the Creed days. They have truly come to life.


Digging: Poets of the Fall - Twilight Theater

fr33convict
September 9th 2010


11697 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I see wut u did tehr.

tiesthatbind
September 9th 2010


7380 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I've had plenty of time to think of those little zingers.

fromtheinside
September 9th 2010


19029 Comments


title tracks rules.

Digging: Ibex Throne - Ibex Throne

THIEF
September 9th 2010


237 Comments


eww Creed. Are they much better now under a new band name?



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