Review Summary: Can't we just let ourselves forget what you've just told us? Can't we just let ourselves forget what you've made us do? Will we lie to ourselves to be happy? In your case, AILD... yes we will.
It's been so long since As I Lay Dying
first reminded us of how it feels to be human. Frail Words Collapse ushered us into a newly found youth, while An Ocean Between Us drowned all our reasonable expectations in an ocean of self-awareness and fragility. Memories can change the shape of a room; they can change the color of a car. And memories can be distorted. They're just an interpretation, they're not a record, and they're irrelevant if you have the facts. Fortunately for AILD (and us), their music is their facts, memories cemented in our subconscious as certainties. So what happens when memories become loose, not bound in space or time?
That's what listening to Awakened
feels like. Like the clumsy youngsters pouring their hearts into songs like Forsaken and Nothing Left, on Awakened AILD strive to recapture the magnitude of the impact of their past records. But it's not only the music that tries to feel familiar. AILD are also trying to re-create entire memories, fool us with the image of comfort and ease. Oddly, we can just feel the details. The bits and pieces we never bothered to put into words. And we can feel
these extreme moments, even if we don't want to. We put these together, and we get the feel of an album. Enough to know how much we miss them, and how much we hate the people who took them away. Yet most of the praise surrounding Awakened is forced on, by and for
the listeners themselves. When we listened to Awakened we thought we saw recognition. Now we know. We fake it. If we think we're supposed to recognize some hidden sonic pattern, we just pretend. We bluff it to get a pat on the head from the others. We bluff it to seem less like a freak.
Awakened is the sound of a band caught in a cycle that should have been stopped too long ago, yet the band still continues to push on. It is irrelevant whether the record is awarded 1 or 5 stars, because the album as such does not exist
. It exist on an entirely different plane; oddly enough on the same plane that's occupied by other AILD records before there even was an idea of AILD. And this is where I raise concern for the band as a whole, with all their perfections and imperfections: How can they heal if they can't feel time? That's something only the band can figure out, while we silently suffer in the glory of their most recent record. After all, it is us who desperately seek what AILD chose to find. We all need AILD to remind ourselves of who we are. I'm no different.