Review Summary: Deja Entendu is your album, your story and your emotions.
Ah poetry, such an interesting phenomenon. Basically it's just a combination of words that are seemingly random, sometimes in rhyme, sometimes with an underlying theme. The beautiful thing about poetry is that it is empty and meaningless until you give it some kind of meaning. While poetry may seem very dull and boring to most people, it can tell you a lot about yourself and about the writer, that is if you open yourself up to the poem and are able to let the emotions flow. Well believe it or not, this is exactly the case with Brand New's second studio effort Deja Entendu
, which showcases an impressive progression in their sound above all else.
is French for 'already heard', which is a comment on modern radio music, which is, of course, lacking musical variety and depth. It marks a new era for Brand New, as they leave their puberty with all its petty problems behind, and head straight for the big world, with a newer, more progressive sound, and a pocket full of new, more interesting themes to sing about. As said, when you hear Jesse Lacey's lyrics, you start to form your own thought process, independent of the real issue he is singing about, because the emotions that they carry are so strong that you will probably be able to relate to it anyhow. That is the main strength of this album as whether you're a teenager struggling with issues related to the opposite sex or you're an adult that has problems paying the electric bill every time it comes along, this record will touch you in a way you probably have never felt before. It is hard to put your finger on what is exactly the thing that makes Jesse Lacey's lyrics so amazing and emotionally charged, but their depth is immense, and they will surely touch you deeply. One line that particularly touched me was “take heart, sweetheart, or I will take it from you”, which perfectly showcases Lacey's amazing songwriting skill.
Musically, Deja Entendu is exactly what it's title suggests, being that it's not particularly innovative. However, Brand New knew damn well what they were doing, and they probably figured that the lyrical themes themselves were already heavy enough, so that they didn't have to put them to amazingly innovative, technical, or whatever kind of musical tricks bands use to hide their poor lyrics. Instead, Brand New went with the most melodic approach possible, and have thus created an album that is fairly easy to digest musically, but is topped off with those amazing lyrics I talked about. I am not saying that the musical section isn't doing one hell of a job, because the mood that is created on the album, the emotionally charged vibe is not coming from the lyrics alone. Instead, the band is masterfully at backing up the lyrics in a soft, but still very powerful way, sometimes even overshadowing Lacey, as they do in the beautifully titled 'Guernica'. The musical approach may come off as a little cheap to some people, but here's what: in the end it sounds truly magnificent. Brand New has surely shown us that technicality isn't everything.
This album is incredibly personal, not only for Jesse Lacey, but for you, the listener. Whether it succeeds or not depends on your willingness to give it a meaning. If you do, you will notice that with Deja Entendu
, Brand New not only show that they are a musical force to be reckoned with, but that they are able to create fantastic music with incredible lyrical depth, and Deja Entendu
will not leave you unmoved.