Okay, so in the early years of the new millenium J.E.W had become one of the most succesfull rock bands around. Releasing two groundbreaking albums (Clarity and Static Prevails), alot was expected of them.
I'm not going to play around with iffy genre's in this review or claim what falls into what catagory either, so i guess just enjoy reading.
1) <b> Bleed American </b> - Okay, so the first track on the album and a single aswell, and in my eyes such a great song. The song kicks right in with high pitched guitar riffs and a heavy drum beat. The verse calms down a little, but the chorus is as crazy as the start. Jim and Tom both share the vocals in the chorus and do so well shreiking 'salt, sweat, sugar' amongst other lyrics. Jim shows off his voice nearer to the end hitting quite a few high notes. Overall, a great opener and a pretty damn good track. 8/10
2) <b> A Praise Chorus </b> - A great followup to the opening track. Steady riffs on the guitar for the verses, and at times the bass seems to lead providing some depth to the song. The drums are used well in the pre-chorus, and towards the end Jim and Tom sing different lines over the top of eachother (creating a quite nice effect infact) to only come together and sing the same lyrics. A great followup. 8/10
3) <b> The Middle </b> - Another single from the album, and again you can see why (pretty much everyone knows this song). Starts with a nice palm muted riff which leads into the verse which the bass line seems to command underneath Jims simply sung lyrics. The chorus consists of basic chords, but it seems to work so well with the lyrics. The solo seems to be the strangest part of the song but by no means is it bad. Nice effects used on it and it seems to show off Jims tallent on guitar this time instead of his vocals. The song then comes into another verse/chorus and finishes. Has to be one of the best tracks on the album. 9/10
4) <b> Your House </b> - A love song. Simple. For just under 2 minutes of the song, the acoustic guitar (amongst a simple bass/electric guitar riff in the background) commands the airwaves with Jims soft voice, until Zach comes in with the drums. After that the song gets a little more tricky, letting Tom come in with a few lines and harmonies, and also a little guitar riff in the back. The song kind of drags on a bit after a while but it is definately still worth the listen. 7/10
5) <b> Sweetness </b> - Another single off the album. As soon as the song comes on, all you hear is Jims voice shreiking '' If your Listening, woooooohhhhh ''. Guitars and bass kick in as well, but seem to let Jims voice do most of the work. The drums are used extreemely well in this song, the beats that are used are so intricate if you listen closely and work so well. the background use of a quick guitar riff seems to fill in the spot of the verse where Jim sings. The chorus basicly consists of a few chords and effects used. Harmonies used towards the middle which work really well. Then towards the end leading up the the final chorus the guitars seem a bit more powerfull, but i guess that ust adds to the great buildup. Reccomended track for sure. 9/10
6) <b> Hear You Me </b> - A typical slow song from the band, nothing more/nothing less than beautiful. A slow acoustic riff repeated under Jims soft voice, which is also guided by a very simple drum beat in the background. A slow guitar riff is used for the chorus to aid the buildup a little. The keyboard adds a nice effect in some parts, and a female voice seems to be used in some parts aswell which is used beautifully and creates such an amazing effect. A slow but powerfull solo comes aswell and leads into how the start sounded - Jim and his guitar. A final chorus, and the end of the song. Simply beautiful, and well put together. 9.5/10
7) <b> If You Don't, Don't </b> - Not one of the best tracks on the album, but still beyond acceptable. A strong bassline is used once again the command the verse, coming together with a simple guitar pick in the background. i think a keyboards also present which seems to dot in a times which creates a nice effect. Harmonies used throughout the song, and used well. A simple solo towards the end with a simple effect on it. The song overall holds nothing of amazement (in my eyes) but nevertheless, its still pretty damn good. 7/10
8) <b> Get It Faster </b> - Okay, usualy when a song has a 1:05 min intro of distorted sounds and a very faint guitar riff i'd turn it off, but since its a build up to such an amazing track, you can let that thought go. At 1:05, the distorted effects seem to leave momentarily to let Jims voice collide with the simple guitar riff. This then explodes into a heavily distorted chorus in which Jim and Tom both sing. Around the 2:30 mark a solo comes in with a simple effect on the guitar to do a finger pick riff and a couple of heavily distorted notes to create an ausome effect. Theres a pre-chorus which seems really dark but leads up to the final corus which is deffinately the most emotional. A very, very good song (even considering the strange intro) 9/10.
9) <b> Cautioners </b> - A little more upbeat that Hear You Me, but i guess you cpould still count it as one of the slow songs on the album. An unusual drum beat is accompanied by a guitar(?) riff in the background. The bass is very dominant but not too dominant to overpower Jims voice. In a way you expect the song to pick up at some point like others seem to have done, but it stays the way it is and continues slow for the duration of the track. A simple track, but very effective. 9/10
10) <b> The Authority Song </b> - A very poppy song, the kind of song you'd expect from a teen movie, yet in a wierd way i still like it. The song shows Jims and Toms voices very high in comparison to the others on the album. The verse opens up the opertunity for a few '' aaaah's '' here and there and the whole song just consists of sold riffs and beats. Not the best on the album, but i guess its just a different edge too J.E.W. 8/10
11) <b> My Sundown </b> - A simply amazing outro to the last song on the album. The acoustic dominates once again, but its played extremely quietly to let Jims voice take over. A female voice once again comes in at random points to create a nice effect. Zach plays the bass drum every now and then to keep the beat going, and the song starts to pick up ever so slightly just before hitting the 3 min mark but is cut off near the end. The instrumentals in this song are used beautifuly and so is Jims talent in singing. Such a great track. 9/10
<b> Pro's </b>
+ Simply amazing songs.
+ Singing (Harmonies and the odd use of a female).
<b> Con's </b>
- Some songs get a little repetetive at times.
So, overall i personally love this album. The songs are beautifully put together, the lyrics are amazing and its just simply amazing. I'd reccomend this CD to anyone. Really.
<b> Overall Score - 4.5/5 </b>