Devin Shelton
Life And Death


4.0
excellent

Review

by Alex Trinkner CONTRIBUTOR (70 Reviews)
January 25th, 2013 | 35 replies | 3,167 views


Release Date: 01/22/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I’m Only A Man part 2. Minus all the things that people hated about I’m Only A Man

It came as a shock to even the most avid of Emery fans when Devin Shelton announced his untimely departure from one of mainstream post-hardcore’s most prominent bands. Fans were taken aback and often worried of the conceivable negative effect of such a keystone departure. What would become of the stunningly beautiful vocal harmonies? The constant back and forth between the two vocalists that cemented Emery as kings of their genre? Emery answered with their heaviest and most ambitious record to date, while Shelton retreated to his Illinois home, quietly waiting for his time to put forth his own record. Life & Death continues on in vein of I’m Only A Man and it seems the departure from Emery was on account of a stylistic dispute. With Life & Death we see the alternative and pop-rock that reared its head in Emery’s third LP, while the progression sees Shelton start to veer off into the realm of R&B, if ever so slightly.

The album itself starts off with the track Cancer, which serves as a rather reliable litmus test; if you enjoy this opening track full of loud and soft shifts, falsetto melodies and driving guitar and drums then you will inevitably love the remaining 9 tracks. There is even a brilliant guest vocal spot and the Emery fan boy in me can only seem to hear the voice as identical to Toby Morrell’s. But alas, this reviewer is too lazy to dig deep enough to find the name of said guest vocalist, or even if it’s just Shelton manipulating his voice, but for publicities sake we shall say it is Morrell. The album continues on in the exact same manner slowing down solely for acoustic track Worse, opening up with lines about suicide and its effects on friendships (I wonder where we’ve heard an acoustic song about suicide before? ahem ahemI Never Got To See The West Coast ahem ahem)while also straying on to questioning of religion.
A preacher once told me god lives on the side of the road. But all that I see is a man who is homeless and broke. And one more year goes by and he’s still cold and tired.

The album picks back up again with two of the stronger tracks to be found on the record, Land Mine and Crumbling, the former being a driving song featuring the wide range of Shelton and an outro that wouldn’t be out of place on a Maybeshewill record, the latter being a song Emery released as a bonus track on We Do What We Want. Crumbling is inarguably the pinnacle of Shelton’s budding solo career and it is obvious as to why Emery would want to release it as their own song. This song features everything that ever made any Emery track great while progressing said sound in Shelton’s own style. Although the only major change to the song is the re-recording of Toby’s minor vocal contributions, the song manages to remain fresh time after time.

The song Agree To Disagree deserves a special mention as it is without a doubt the most ambitious track found, as Shelton successfully incorporates an R&B feel to his honest lyricism and songwriting. The only negative aspect is the exact same complaint many have with We Do What We Want… Life & Death ends on two slower paced acoustic songs. So Far Away is an unabashed worship song, something that tends to alienate half of Shelton’s perceived fan base.

Devin Shelton, in one fell swoop, manages to distance himself from his former band (by honing their past works and adding his own twist) and prove to the world he still has the vocal abilities that caused many to fall in love with his former band. Throwing in R&B elements alongside accomplished alternative styling’s all while mixing in acoustic melodies we see Shelton make his own mark on the music scene. It is fairly obvious that this is the album Shelton believed his past project should have made, and he pours every ounce of his creativity to mange to create what will inevitably become one of the underappreciated gems of 2013.



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user ratings (10)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2013



11390 Comments


Sick one.

Digging: Howls of Ebb - Vigils of the 3rd Eye

Pndi
January 25th 2013



451 Comments


I didn't like Matt & Toby's album but truly love I'm Only A Man. i guess this one will be on constant rotation soon

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2013



2776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank goodness this finally got worked out. I made such a mess with this review. lol but anyway.. This is a pretty solid release if i do say so myself. It's far better than matt and toby's album. So tell me what you think about this review/album and help me out with any grammatical errors please

TenSecondsToThink
January 25th 2013



1126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm Only A Man was their best album so I'd probably like this, but I can't find a dl-link.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2013



2776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's on spotify. That's how i listened to it

TenSecondsToThink
January 25th 2013



1126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Right, I read about that before. I dislike Spotify but I guess this is worth it.

pos btw

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2013



2776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You don't like spotify? I haven't had to steal music in such a long time because of it lol the ads every 3 or 4 songs sucks.. but it's only for like 30 seconds

TenSecondsToThink
January 25th 2013



1126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well, there's no real difference between downloading the album or listening to it on Spotify, except that Spotify makes money with it and I'm not sure if that's alright.
And also, my pc, for some reason, doesn't handle streaming well.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2013



18612 Comments


great review man pos'd. I definitely need to check this out.

Digging: Somos - Temple of Plenty

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2013



2776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@tenseconds But i'm pretty sure the band gets a little bit of money too when we listen to their songs

@atari thanks man. It's worth a couple of listens


Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2013



18612 Comments


is this better than that matt and toby album? cause that was kind of underwhelming.

TenSecondsToThink
January 25th 2013



1126 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

By far. Shelton is the one that made Emery amazing.

Ecnalzen
January 25th 2013



5856 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I didn't know he was doing solo stuff, I will have to check this out. I like both of the vocalists from Emery, but I did always enjoy Shelton's vocals more. I was bummed when I found out he left.

I thought Spotify was treated like streaming radio and artists got royalties when people listened to their stuff and only made money off their advertisers and people that do paid subscriptions.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2013



2776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is wayyy better than matt and toby. It's actually a full band. And i agree with what's being said. Shelton was my favorite vocalist in emery.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2013



18612 Comments


i think it's kind of dumb that it's a full band and they just named it devin shelton. still gonna check though.

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2013



2776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No. I'm sorry. I meant like he's playing all of the instruments. But it's got the "full band" sound

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2013



18612 Comments


oh nvmd lol

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2013



2776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My bad

bloc
January 25th 2013



34499 Comments


Huuuuuuge Emery fan here so I will want to listen to this, although I am not expecting anything too great tbh.

I didn't even know the man had a solo album coming out, I just recognized the name on the home page.

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

atrink
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2013



2776 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

In all honesty I feel like this is the album that should have taken I'm only a man's place. And i enjoy that album a lot.

I didn't know he was either, until i saw emery's facebook status about it last night. lol



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