Devin Townsend Project
Deconstruction


2.0
poor

Review

by escalatortopurgatory USER (5 Reviews)
June 22nd, 2011 | 59 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist


For once, Devin has made an album completely devoid of substance; a facetious, masturbatory exercise which has tarnished his credibility and wasted massive amounts of talent. Though some great moments are scattered throughout Deconstruction, they don’t save it from failure as a cohesive whole.

One of my biggest frustrations with this album isn’t even the goofy “story” or subpar music, but the dishonest selling points that Devin used to hype the hell out of it. In interviews, he repeatedly labeled it as “soul crushing kershlttery,” and “heavier than Strapping Young Lad.” That’s a whopper! Even The New Black was heavier than this! And plus, you can’t much heavier than the King of Cheeseburgers himself, Gene Hoglan. Maybe you should have gotten him for this album, Dev. You know, to command some authority behind the skins, rather than the thin sounding clicking noises we’re treated to on this record.

I say that last comment with all due respect to Dirk and Ryan, who are good drummers. The problem here lies in the production. In trying to layer so much into the mix, everything’s been thinned out to the max- guitars, drums, vocals... and the bass is totally inaudible, as usual for Devin’s albums (c’mon Dev, where’s the beef!?). I’ll take a simpler mix with fewer instruments but fatter tones any day over this ultra Pro-Tooled shlte. I bet Jens Bogren needed a big Mac to handle this mixing job, ho ho!

The choir and orchestra add nothing to album, nay detract from it. Devin should have just overdubbed his voice for the choral parts, because I know he’s capable of this (Infinity had about 80 vocal tracks per song) and because I can understand what he’s saying. What was he thinking using a choir from Prague for an English language album? As for the orchestra, Dev could have used keyboards as he’s done in the past and no one would care. As for the cameos, Ihsahn and Paul Masvidal were the only ones that really stood out to me. Akerfeldt and Thordendal were woefully underutilized, and after 30 or so listens to the entire album, I can’t even recall the parts of Tommy Rogers, Greg Puciato, Paul Kuhr, and Oderus Urungus.

If I had to compare Deconstruction to a cheeseburger, it would be a huge Red Robin cheeseburger that’s loaded up with so crap you end up missing all the things you really expect from a hamburger. Beef, if you will, read here as emotional depth or sincerity. Unfortunately, Devin is no longer the torturted artist he was in the Ocean Machine days, and is having difficulty writing songs with emotional weight. He has grown complacent, and his trademark “humor” has gotten out of control, particularly at his live shows, where he spends more time making stupid jokes than performing his actual songs. Granted, Devin has the right to be happy if wants, but he should be careful not to alienate his more serious fans, who have looked to his music for its cathartic properties. Songs are powerful when listeners connect with the emotions and experiences of the writers. I can connect with a guy who’s tired of the way he’s feeling every day, but not with one who fantasizes about vagina faced ladies and men with seventeen testicles.

Yes, I know the album’s meant to be absurd and humorous. I’m not some kind of snob who demands that all music be brooding and mysterious. My point of contention is that Deconstruction feels horribly conflicted between the serious and humorous. The first three tracks, Praise The Lowered, Stand, and Juular are very dark and progress in intensity, painting a portrait of a man at his breaking point. By the time Planet of the Apes rolls around, you expect some type of huge, existential explosion... but you don’t get it. Instead, you get a silly track about boners and metal bands ripping off Meshuggah. Talk about a boner killer. If Devin wants to channel his humor through music, he needs to do so with joke albums like Punky Brüster rather than tainting albums that could have been epic with sophomoric crap.

Speaking of boner killers, Floor Jansen. Just kidding. The Mighty Masturbator. I had very high hopes for this track considering the title and length, but it’s a definite letdown. It starts off well, and feels like it should go somewhere but doesn’t- like a Tool song. The overlong techno tangent just ruins the song for me, and I also don’t like how Devin “reprised” (regurtitated) melodies from “Numbered” on this song. Don’t tell me this is some type of 2deep4u motif- he’s just being lazy. I do like the reprise of The Infinite Waltz though, and the last line of the song:

“Ladies and gentleman! I now see my life’s purpose! I am the Mighty Masturbator! Amen.”


Yeah! **** subtlety Dev!


Even though it epitomizes the overall goofiness of the record, Deconstruction is perhaps its only redeeming moment. It has some pretty bitchin’ riffs and the climax in which Dev reveals himself as a “vegematarian” is just glorious. The guitar meltdown near the end of the song, which one Youtube user likened to “the world being engulfed in nuclear radiation,” is also a highlight; it seems like the only point on the album where Devin really tried to write something twisted and angular.

This brings up another problem I have with Deconstruction and Devin’s recent work in general: he seems to be stuck in a rut musically and melodically. I mean, the Lydian scale is nice but jeez, think outside the bun Dev- you’re turning into Steve Vai. Ironically, I think Devin has exhausted the possibilites of his Open B/Open C tuning and should return to writing in standard or something else entirely for some fresh ideas.

So in conclusion, Addicted still reigns supreme as the best album in the Devin Townsend Project. Eat crayons, not cheeseburgers, and stay away from metal Dev, cause your heart’s clearly not in it anymore.


user ratings (778)
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3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Gmork89
June 22nd 2011


5516 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Your last sentence is blasphemy.

Kubrick
June 22nd 2011


749 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This:"If I had to compare Deconstruction to a cheeseburger, it would be a huge Red Robin cheeseburger that’s loaded up with so much bull*** you end up missing all the things you really expect from a hamburger. Beef, if you will, read here as emotional depth or sincerity."

and this: "Deconstruction is perhaps its only redeeming moment"

are a bit contradictory. Out of all the songs on the album, the one that fits that quoted description the best is by far Deconstruction. It definitely has the least emotional depth and sincerity out of all the songs and is basically meant to be a musical cluster-fuck that amplifies the the ridiculousness of the album to the max. So it's a bit confusing that your highlight of the album is the same song in which all of your complaints manifest themselves to the strongest degree.

I do agree with you about the production though.

demigod!
June 22nd 2011


44727 Comments


if there's one thing that can always be found in Devin's music, it's honesty. Whether you can find it or not is another story.

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

drewkar
June 23rd 2011


100 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Couldn't agree more with this review, you describe pretty much what I dislike about this album.

Also

Addicted still reigns supreme as the best album in the Devin Townsend Project




Digging: Sparky - Humanimation

drewkar
June 23rd 2011


100 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy this album but it's not worth the hype.

Gmork89
June 23rd 2011


5516 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"if there's one thing that can always be found in Devin's music, it's honesty. Whether you can find it or not is another story."

End of story.

MO
June 23rd 2011


18866 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It is a fun album. Theres alot going on, but its not too much to handle.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2011


31375 Comments


I should copyright the short hand for my name

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

RosaParks
June 23rd 2011


14927 Comments


i never understood the hype around this

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2011


31375 Comments


The louder the better

KronosRage
June 23rd 2011


367 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

This is not bad, but too cheesy

KronosRage
June 23rd 2011


367 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Also, 58 fives?

Fuck

qwe3
June 23rd 2011


21363 Comments


album art is wicked though

qwe3
June 23rd 2011


21363 Comments


dunno, haven't heard it.

qwe3
June 23rd 2011


21363 Comments


5/5

qwe3
June 23rd 2011


21363 Comments


fuck the haters dio4lyfe

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2011


16440 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

nice rating

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

Drsmith4
June 23rd 2011


1715 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Was your review's intent to stylistically mirror the experience of listening to this?

Cause if so, kudos.

jdsanca
June 23rd 2011


54 Comments


Excuse me, at the end of the day, you could take anything …a benign object of any sort…you could take anything, you could take a this album and deconstruct it to its source..which is bullshit

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2011


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Such an annoying album. I totally don't get the hype.

Digging: Dope Body - Lifer



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