La Dispute
Somewhere at the Bottom of the River...


5.0
classic

Review

by Wayne H. USER (14 Reviews)
October 19th, 2010 | 133 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: There’s no dispute. These guys are simply incredibly talented and put tremendous focus into their music, if you can call it simply music.

Ah, La Dispute. An album I reluctantly downloaded at the suggestion of some glorious and exalted user or another on this website we call sputnikmusic.com only a few weeks ago. Strange how it’s so quickly become one my favorites, if not the favorite album, breakdowns be damned. ...Or is it? Prepare yourselves, ladies and gentlemen. If you wanted a quick and concise idea about this album, I would go read another review. This review, my friends, is not for the faint of heart, nor for those leery of a long read (tl;dr kids, I’m looking at you).

Still with me? Very well then, you brave souls. But alas, I must first test your worthiness. Please first look over the lyrics for the first five songs on Somewhere at the Bottom of the River. Don’t have it? Can’ t be bothered searching? Well then, you have utterly and completely failed, and as such should abjure from this task immediately. As for those still with me at this point, I congratulate you. For you have now ascended above many of your fellow music listeners, and can now begin to learn how true ‘elite’ opinions are formed. No, I’m not talking about becoming like those silly, irrational, and altogether un-credible users who continually insist their music is better than yours simply because it is. This is about founded opinions grounded in fact. I know, shocking. I’ll give you a moment to take it in.

Ready? Okay. Still got those lyrics out? Good. We will now begin. You see, La Dispute’s Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair has certainly garnered some sort of a reputation on our great sputnik, hasn’t it? Well, that’s because it’s much more than just an album. And I mean it quite literally. It’s really not just a collection of sounds, nor is it a mere collection of a collection of thirteen groups of sounds. It’s an impressively cohesive, if not entirely accessible collection of communication styles. For those of you aspiring ‘elites’ who already know and love this album, have you ever wondered what that unperceivable power that this album seems to exude? That power, my friends, is the ability of this album to communicate and speak to you on a level far above that of all the Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Justin Bieber tunes combined, then multiplied, then squared, then fibona-you get the picture.

It’s simple, really. (Feel free, and in fact, please quote me on this) La Dispute have created the most intricate, thought out, and most powerful concept album of all time. Of all time! Stay with me here, folks. I know you have already been wading neck-high in this river of words I’ve written, but trust me, it’s worth it. For I am about to flood the river with an even greater torrent of ever larger words to prove this seemingly fervent claim. So hold your breath and try not to drown, because you’ve just now finished my introduction. Muahaha, Congratulations! And take a coffee break, use the restroom, picture my maniacal cackle, because nobody should have to read this in one straight sitting… Right?

Now, for you blessed few who are still with me, as I’m sure you realized half a tedious read ago, there is a specific reason why I asked you read the lyrics to only the first five songs. Ladies and gentlemen, you have just read a five-act Shakespearean play. Hidden cleverly within these words lie great meaning. There is a story to be told here, and it is one of star-crossed love not seen since the likes of your most spurned English class. You simply have to find it. And find it we shall! Well, maybe not all of us. And indeed, I’m sure some of you highly intelligent aspiring ‘elites’ may have already come to this discovery by your own means. However, that’s not the point. There’s more. Within these words, within this play, there is a stunning beauty in Dreyer’s grasp of love and loss. These words, these sounds, they speak to your heart, speaking its native tongue, bringing solace and comfort to some, meaning and exposition to others, but rest assured, it speaks to all.

Or does it? We must pause, here, my friends. For in our quest to confirm Somewhere at the Bottom of the River’s status as the greatest concept album of all time, we must be… ‘Elite’. We must understand that the greatness of this album, aye, even the greatness of Shakespeare himself is subjective. Why? Because some people simply don’t have a taste for it, or simply don’t want music that’s emotional. It can be for a myriad of reasons, from insecurity to inexperience. But we must understand; we must. We must understand that for each of us who find an inseparable companion in this album, there is another who finds it to be quite uninteresting, to say the least. But you already knew that, right?

But come, my friends, and swim further down this river of mine. What’s that? Confused, you say? How can I assert one moment that our beloved La Dispute has authored such a masterpiece one moment, and maintain that appreciation is subjective the next? That’s exactly it. You see, my friends, appreciation is all. The fact that this album is deep beyond measure and dynamic and timeless remains, regardless of whether or not your friends think you’re a pussy for listening to whiny emotional bull***. Because, my friends, they have not this river on their side, and if they attempt to create their own, they will father little more than a muddy estuary, paling in the presence of our great river. But again-I digress. We have a task at hand here, my friends, and I’ll be damned if I don’t prove my point.

So this album, this play, this collection of thirteen collections of sound, this bleeding heart of a masterpiece, from whence does it derive its power? How does it give us such solace? The answer is simple, my friends. Look no further than Shakespeare himself. The power, my friends, comes from the sheer depth of thought this album, nay, masterpiece commands. Within this collection of thirteen collections of sound lies a mastery of rhyme, verse, meter, poetry, and countless other lost arts too rarely displayed on a modern canvas. It is this rare mastery of arts that enchants us, that gives this album its power, and it is a humble grasp of the similar art of prose with which I write this review.

My friends, are you still there? Wonderful. For it is now that we ascend a level further, another echelon higher, into the rest of the album. Surprised? Had enough? That’s okay. At this point, you’ve already far surpassed simple opinion and risen high above into the great and coveted chamber of ‘elite’-ness. So take solace, pat yourself on the back, rub one out really quickly, I don’t care. So long as you learn the one golden rule of this great golden chamber: ‘Elites’ do not announce themselves as such. Know that while the path was arduous, this river I command can flow both ways. It is possible, my friends, though certainly disheartening. But fear not! This great golden chamber of ‘elite’ is not a place of lonely division. Indeed, every day, humble audiophiles brave the shivering cold torrent of words, just as you do now, in hopes of one day joining us. It is your duty, my dear ‘elite’ friends, to guide them lovingly, as a parent would their children; as a king would his kingdom. For this chamber will one day swell to a kingdom of ‘understanding’, and with each of us safely brought into this great kingdom, those frigid torrents, of words, and of life, will seem not so cold. So here’s to you, my newly inducted ‘elite’s. May you brave these waters with unwavering courage and perseverance with me, awaiting that day. Your quest may be finished here, but alas, mine continues, beckoning me forever onwards.

As for the rest of our review, and the rest of our album, dearest friends, I must depart. Contrary to appearances, my knowledge is but humble and limited, and like you, I discover more every day. I leave the rest of the album for you to decipher. But despair not, my dearest friends! For though our time together may have come to a momentary end, know that I will forever watch over you, my dearest friends. For this frigid river will warm come spring, you are forever my ‘elites’, and I forever your King.

Seriously though, thanks to anyone who reads this all the way through. This is my first review for Sputnik, and there’s a lot in it. Like I said, it’s for you to decipher.



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user ratings (1863)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
Winsomniac
October 19th 2010


7985 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

inb4 tl;dr, etc.

Also, how do I edit the various formatting fails?

BigTuna
October 19th 2010


5161 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

separate the paragraphs now

Digging: Yellowcard - Lift a Sail

pmmets07
October 19th 2010


5900 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i cant tell if the point was to not ACTUALLY address the contents of the album, or if you really just got so caught up the review process itself that you forgot.

interesting read, still.

crank
October 19th 2010


332 Comments


I don't understand, La Dispute are boring 8( .

Winsomniac
October 19th 2010


7985 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Oh, it's in there. Only a concept review for a concept album.

pmmets07
October 19th 2010


5900 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i like you winsomniac. i'm fairly positive you are the same person who rec'd me misery signals and the felix culpa. still haven't DLed them, but when i do, i will let you know.

Winsomniac
October 19th 2010


7985 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks, pmmets. And no worries, it takes time. And have you listened to Here, Hear? My review will
make more sense then. Again, it's almost purely concept.

SeaAnemone
October 19th 2010


20555 Comments


I like you man so I'll give you some review tips, is that ok? : )

Honestly, I'm pretty sure your content and your writing in this is fairly good, especially for a first review! Please please please don't make things like "I know, shocking. I’ll give you a moment to take it in." or "My friends, are you still there? Wonderful. For it is now that we ascend a level further, another echelon higher, into the rest of the album. Surprised? Had enough? That’s okay." or "stay with me here, folks." or the entire penultimate paragraph... it's just really pointless and cumbersome and makes the review difficult to read. And it takes up more space than I've ever seen in a review before : /

Your writing, when you talk about the music, is up to par, and a conversational tone can work fine in some reviews... but there's to take it to that extreme of an extent.

Anyway, I'd love to read more reviews from you! NIce work contributing a first, that one's the hardest!


Side note: album is excellent (ehhh thinking about lowering rating though) just weirdly overrated on Sputnik because it's often compared to shit ph, I think.

Digging: Dirty Beaches - Stateless

Winsomniac
October 19th 2010


7985 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

It's pretty fuckin' boss. I figured I'd lose some of you guys deep within my metaphors. Maybe they're
just not good. Hell, this is sadly the first piece of heavy writing I've done in over a year. I've
gotten rusty.

@Sea: I'm a bit of an English freak as well, and it's absolutely a concept review. I'm just hoping
people will figure it out, much like the way I realized the album had a play within it.

pmmets07
October 19th 2010


5900 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the only one i've listened to more than once is Here, Hear III. perhaps i will give them ALL another spin.

also, you're seeing them tomorrow, amiright? because fuck i neeeed to seem them live. i talked to jeremy from touche amore before the show 2 weeks ago, and he said he wanted to do a 50 state US tour next year with LD. would be so awesome if they came to CT.

Winsomniac
October 19th 2010


7985 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Dude, Defeater is playing the Masonic Temple in Cheshire(my old hometown) soon. GO IF IT FUCKING KILLS
YOU, pmmets. But only if you want to see one of the best hardcore bands still playing in a venue
that's ridiculously intimate. ;)

Also, the answer lies within the story. I can only hope now that you figure it out. Treat it like a
mystery.

BigTuna
October 19th 2010


5161 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Even if it is a concept review you should get rid of the "My friends" and "folks" and "still with me?" because they quite literally take up 1/3 of the review.

JustJoe
October 19th 2010


1399 Comments


Win for the WIN!

SeaAnemone
October 19th 2010


20555 Comments


no, like the fact that you talk about the play within it is really cool and unique... but being a self-titled 'English freak' you have to realize how unnecessary a bunch of this is to the actual point... it takes like 3 paragraphs before you get to the whole 'play' theory and even then it's broken up by digressive conversation.

Winsomniac
October 19th 2010


7985 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Okay, hint: I'll write reviews that are just reviews later, maybe, at some point. But seriously, read
deeeeeeeeeeeeeply. Listen to the album while reading it or something @_@

Edit: Did Joe 'get' it? Please tell me you got it holy crap

BigTuna
October 19th 2010


5161 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sea nice use of "penultimate" in your criticism. I bet you clapped and cheered when you were able to write that.

BigTuna
October 19th 2010


5161 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Okay man, now you're getting a bit pretentious.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2010


20857 Comments


Simply puntastic.

Winsomniac
October 19th 2010


7985 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Pretty sure Merriweather called me out on using the word 'penultimate' once. She asserted that its only definition is next to last. And it really isn't.



SEA=MERRI!?!?! O:

SeaAnemone
October 19th 2010


20555 Comments


2nd comment directed at me, Tuna? : (

and no, Win, like I know exactly what you're talking about haha the concept of the review isn't over my head...





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