Spoken
Illusion


2.5
average

Review

by Will Robinson STAFF
March 10th, 2013 | 15 replies | 1,912 views


Release Date: 02/12/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Generic isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s not necessarily good either.

To be quite honest, I could probably just leave you faithful readers with that summary and we could be done here - it describes the album pretty damn well. But, since I’m a music reviewer who typically spends two to three paragraphs spewing some sort of analytical bullshit about whatever it is I’m reviewing, I might as well expand on the summary. Because holy hell is this album generic. It’s got everything alt-metal loves: big, tuned-down power chords, vocals that alternate between screaming and growly upper-register singing, and kick-drum and crash-cymbals galore. Everything about the album screams generic, much like Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory and Digital Summer’s Breaking Point. The latter is an especially accurate comparison, as the sound on the whole smacks of Digital Summer minus the only thing that made Digital Summer worthwhile, namely guitarist Jon Stephenson’s excellent and refreshingly original riffs. The homogeneous and formulaic nature of Illusion gets so bad that I’m having trouble even coming up with a single song to demonstrate my point - they all do it so equally well that the idea of a “sample song” that typifies the album is almost worthless. I suppose “Through It All” would suffice as an example, though. The vocalist vaguely sounds like Chester Bennington as he whines about typical alt-metal topics like rising from the ashes, broken hearts, and day turning into night. The drummer crashes away at whatever toms and cymbals he can reach, achieving a typical alt-metal smorgasbord of pounding sounds. The power chords are prevalent as well, and the typical head-banging beat fits in quite well with the simplistic strumming on the lower end.

Granted, “Through It All” also exemplifies one of the few things Illusion does differently: the guitars are actually kind of interesting up in the higher register. The addition of frantic octave strumming over the quality-assurance-mark-standard riffing and chugging takes Spoken a step or two away from the alt-metal hell of mediocrity. And, to be fair, as my summary states, the generic nature of the album isn’t necessarily bad, though it’s sure as hell not necessarily good either. This might be the “rebellious,” take-me-to-Hot-Topic-Mom teenager lurking somewhere inside me speaking, but the album is fun. Just as the aforementioned Hybrid Theory and Breaking Point were enjoyable listens, if nothing more, so Illusion is fun for jamming out on air guitar and generally having a good time. While this doesn’t necessarily make the album good music, per se, it’s definitely a redeeming factor that should be noted. However, fun-factor and some mildly interesting guitar riffs alone can’t make a whole album. Spoken has created an entirely run-of-the-mill beast here, and if that’s worthwhile to you, dear reader, then by all means go ahead and enjoy it. I know I did too, to an extent - after all, a 2.5 isn’t bad by any means. I just wish there were more that Illusion could have done within its admittedly formulaic genre, but knowing both the current and former states of alt-metal something like that would be difficult. Unfortunately for Spoken, this album falls dangerously close to an irredeemable, generic mess, and its positioning within the music world bodes poorly for its fate.



Recent reviews by this author
Ariana Grande My EverythingRustie Green Language
The Bug Angels and DevilsVenetian Snares My Love Is A Bulldozer
Seven Lions Worlds ApartBig Freedia Just Be Free
user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2013



3442 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

If anyone wants it, here's "Through It All:" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ltHssK-7NQ

saw some terrible soundoffs for this one, so I decided to remedy that with a shitty review. I mean, look at the "LOL" on one of them.

alternative summary: only trve mvsic for trve spvtnik

Eclecticist
March 9th 2013



3863 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

This review reads as though it could have been a soundoff.

Seems like we share a similar opinion though, here's my review of it: http://www.thealtreview.net/2013/02/20/spoken-illusion/

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2013



3442 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, it probably could have been, but I figured I'd write up more than a soundoff here (I'm not one
for overly long soundoffs, my longest is like 5 sentences). Also, I'm not really sure what more I
wanted to say

Eclecticist
March 9th 2013



3863 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

It just seems like an awkward review because everything is condensed into two paragraphs and you have a lot of ideas that could definitely use some more room to extend and breathe easy.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2013



3442 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I don't know, I thought I said what I wanted to say - I had trouble thinking of more, otherwise it would have been longer. Thanks for the feedback, though, what in particular are you looking at?

Ecnalzen
March 9th 2013



6501 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I have always thought of this band being more along the lines of post hardcore and hard rock, but disputing genre tags is probably a little pointless. I like this band, but I agree with you that they aren't really anything special and don't bring much new to the table. I don't really see the Linkin Park comparisons, but I also haven't listened to them in years.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2013



3442 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I saw them in that they're pretty standard guitar-driven almost screamo stuff. I guess post-hardcore is more appropriate but these guys are more along the lines of Digital Summer than any post-hardcore band I know (granted, I don't know many) so I decided on alt-metal.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2013



3442 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Also if you can't tell I'm stepping out of my comfort zone a bit here so let me know if anything's really off.

Ecnalzen
March 9th 2013



6501 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It might be more appropriate for them this time around. Their last album was not quite as centered on the heavier riffs on the more aggressive songs (this reminds me more of stuff like Red and Breaking Benjamin from the way the guitars were written) as this one is. Have you heard anything from their s/t, brostep?

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 9th 2013



3442 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Haven't checked it out, only got this rec'd because I bought some Red on Amazon a while ago. I'll give it a listen if it's any good though.

Ecnalzen
March 9th 2013



6501 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I will link a few songs to you then. I think the heavier songs were handled better on it compared to this, but his harsh vocals seems to have improved this time around. His cleans have ever really been anything special though.

History Erased - one of the heavier songs on the album
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A709Un9B7sc
Long Live The Dream
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IUhZJn8xqc
The Answer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxqOkxn_B6E

I think they did some things differently this time around (some good, some bad), but I haven't listened to this a ton yet, so they may be more similar than I am making them out to be.

Ecnalzen
March 10th 2013



6501 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"Just as the aforementioned Hybrid Theory and Breaking Point were enjoyable listens, if nothing more, so Illusion is fun for jamming out on air guitar and generally having a good time."

I don't think the 'so' is necessary there before Illusion. I am not exactly sure what you are going for, but it would make more sense if it read "...if nothing more, Illusion is fun for jamming..."

"However, fun-factor and some mildly interesting guitar riffs alone can’t make a whole album. Spoken has created an entirely run-of-the-mill beast here, and if that’s worthwhile to you, dear reader, then by all means go ahead and enjoy it."

This feels a tad choppy to me. Maybe if you split the sentences off this way instead:

- However, fun-factor and some mildly interesting riffs alone can't make a whole album, and Spoken has created an entirely run-of-the-mill beast here. If that sounds like something that would be worthwhile to you, dear reader, then by all means go ahead and enjoy it. -

This way instead of having a somewhat short sentence followed by a rather long one, you would have two of fairly equal lengths. It would work either way though.

I wonder if you could find a way to situate this into three medium sized paragraphs instead of two large ones. It would probably be easier to break up the first one over the second. I know you go out of your way to point out how similar everything is, but instead of just describing the one song in detail you could expand a little and talk about one of the mostly aggressive tracks (either the first or second track would probably work), then go to the lighter track (Through It All) since those are the two basic sounds the album has got going for it.

Brostep
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2013



3442 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks a ton for the feedback! I'll be sure to keep that in mind for next time.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2013



7365 Comments


Good write-up Will. Of course I won't be checking this out.

Digging: 68 - In Humor and Sadness

Ecnalzen
May 17th 2013



6501 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Man, I wasn't expecting a lot out of this, but this is still pretty disappointing for me.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy