Review Summary: It was then
Atlas Genius’s hey day, that is. Now they’re just a band that squandered a golden opportunity.
I’ve seen this happen so many times to contemporary rock bands that it’s starting to become annoying.
They’ll release two, or three outstanding songs on an EP that receive wide radio play and extreme popularity, and then follow it up with a sub-standard debut LP. Imagine Dragons, Foster the People, Awolnation, and now Atlas Genius. All these bands promised big things with their catchy singles and teasers only to release albums that – other than the early singles – are mostly stale and generic alternative rock exercises.
Maybe that’s too harsh, but when I pick up an album from a band that showed promise I want to hear a complete album. Not a mash-up of good tracks (pre-release) and boring filler.
To be fair, Atlas Genius didn’t phone in every other song on “When It Was Now.” Besides the four songs on the album that Atlas Genius had already shown to the public (“If So,” “Back Seat,” “Trojans,” and “Symptoms”) there are two other tracks that match that level of quality. Opening track “Electric” is reminiscent of Journey and bursting at the seams with energy, while “Through the Glass” is an introspective work of art concerning the human condition.
If the rest of the album was of the same caliber as the songs mentioned above than this album’s rating would be significantly higher, but it’s not. The album’s first five tracks wash over and impress, but are then followed by five tracks that are rehashed, uninventive versions of their early successes, and make the listener wonder why they bought the album in the first place. And of course the last song on the album is one of their early pieces, adding insult to injury by reminding the listener how good this album could have been.
Let me be clear. The album’s highlights are fantastic and well worth one’s time. The problem is they are accompanied in almost equal number by tracks that simply aren’t.
Maybe the band saw the success of their first tracks and got lazy with the rest. Maybe they simply only had so many good ideas. Either way, “When It Was Now” ends up falling far short of its potential.
“Through The Glass”