Letlive.
The Blackest Beautiful


3.0
good

Review

by Joe Denby USER (17 Reviews)
June 23rd, 2013 | 42 replies


Release Date: 07/09/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Coasting.

Whatever your opinion of Fake History was, its appeal was certainly understandable. Eclectic, proficient, a refreshing culmination of their influences, but most importantly it was brimming with the do-not-give-a-*** level of wild that their live performances showcase. Indeed, for its successor to eclipse it, one would expect letlive to try and be bigger still: more energy, more melodrama, but on The Blackest Beautiful they don't, and a large part of me is beginning to wish they had.

Make no mistake, this is Jason Aalon Butler's album, through and through. He certainly has the capacity to be given such an onus, his range and exuberance are virtually unparalleled in the genre. But talent and enthusiasm alone do not a good album make, and Butler falls short somewhat in terms of direction. Sure, it's clear that there's been a concerted effort to move more towards pop stylistically, with lighter, more accessible choruses as a constant throughout the album, but the change doesn't feel organic. The choruses: transition, composition, frequently feel forced, but more importantly they constrain Butler's impressive range to the weaker, cleaner edge. It's certainly within their capabilities to pull it off: as single Casino Columbus demonstrated in the past, and songs such as Banshee and Dreamer's Disease will be rattling around my head for weeks, but it's a hit-and-miss approach, with far too many tracks falling into the latter category.

Indeed, the prominent issue is precisely the “miss”: a sink of homogeneous, relatively unremarkable songs, and it's due to placing the weight of the album on the vocalist's shoulders. You get the impression that Butler's lyrics tell no stories entirely because he doesn't want them to, because music to him is a simple, frenzied mosh, which is an endearing role, but it has its drawbacks when you're calling the shots. The instrumentation does little to differentiate despite its obvious potential i.e. the spastic, Refused-esque rhythm sections in That Fear Fever, or the haunting, sinister atmosphere that the guitar conjures in Virgin Dirt, but these moments are sparse, almost teasing, as they typically prefer a comfortable backing, a podium for Butler.

To epitomise the artifical restrictions the band has placed, we must look to where they are not i.e. Club 27, the formidable closer. Here, letlive were entering the track with a purpose, an epic sign off to supersede Fake History's Day 54, and it works perfectly. The furious, biting verses and effortlessly infectious chorus are there without even trying, and Butler's ape *** break down with dank instrumentation reminds one of the ability these musicians possess when they just let go. Sure, it's flamboyant and extravagant to the point of parody, but it's unmistakeably charming, and as the track ends, and with it the album, I can't help but wish the entire release had similar aspirations. Letlive certainly have a talent to realise, and the evidence is littered constantly throughout The Blackest Beautiful, but they're not there yet. Maybe next time.



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user ratings (693)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
DirEnRefused
June 23rd 2013


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Actually pretty proud of this review, hope y'all enjoy.

Cygnatti
June 23rd 2013


22288 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Neg, scores too hi.

Digging: Jerry Lee Lewis - Live at the Star Club, Hamburg

silentstar
June 23rd 2013


2282 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review, you've looked at this album for what it is.

I guess I'm one of those people who enjoy the more structured sound/pop sensation they are going for on this album. My favourite songs (read:choruses) are Empty Elvis, White America and Pheromone Cvlt

MalleusMaleficarum
June 23rd 2013


14393 Comments


in before the bad taste kids (atari, angstcas, crymson) come in to 4.5-5 this

iChuckles
June 23rd 2013


140 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Swell review, although I disagree with the score.

Furthermore, I think some of the stylistic pop-oriented songs ("Younger", "Pheromone Cvlt") provide a nice respite from the constant energetic, scream-laden alá Refused-oriented songs that make up a great deal of the album. Fake History was basically a high-pitched shriek throughout with only "Muther" and "Day 54" being subuded, so I felt this album was a lot more diverse tonally.

Also, "Virgin Dirt" is just friggin' sinister.

Just my two cents, though.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2013


10382 Comments


If you don't become a contributor next round, I'll have to have a serious talk with someone. Great work, man.

Digging: Thou - Heathen

Macros
June 23rd 2013


157 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I dont agree with the rating but this is a concise review that gets your point across really effectively.

TooManyFriends
June 23rd 2013


759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Don't agree with the score but review is fantastic

Durrzo
June 23rd 2013


1137 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Perfect review... also mirrors my thoughts on the album. Ain't no Fake History that's for sure. 27 Club is a blast though.

JumpTheF**kUp
June 23rd 2013


2716 Comments


great review

pepster50
June 23rd 2013


335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good review, but I thought the instruments were fantastic and really don't feel that its just Butlers show.

DirEnRefused
June 23rd 2013


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Really appreciate the support.

If you don't become a contributor next round, I'll have to have a serious talk with someone. Great work, man.

Cool of you to say, man. I feel like I've seen some solid progression stylistically in my writing as of late, and I'm looking forward to pursuing it further over the summer, now I've feck all in the way of university commitments.

NothingForSomething
June 23rd 2013


186 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Disagree that this is Jason's album. I think it's all about the rhythms this time.

ILJ
June 23rd 2013


6741 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Love this review. Basically how I felt about a lot of it. Some damn good tracks but there's a lot of that vibrant and unique energy that they had on Fake History that isn't here. It shows up here and there but I just feel like they held back a bit through the middle of the album and the listening experience suffers for it. No doubt that this is still a great release, but it's frustrating because they've proven that they can do so much better

Digging: FKA Twigs - LP1

ILJ
June 23rd 2013


6741 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

i also like that you didn't put in a lot of fluff, you got straight to the point and you didn't fuck around. short and sweet.

Owantjaaaa
June 23rd 2013


3403 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Pos
27 club is amazing

Digging: Sick/Tired - Dissolution

Gwyn.
June 23rd 2013


15321 Comments


Interesting review


I'm not sure I like your style of consistently using very "refined" (massive quotes there, it's for
the lack of a better word) words, it
makes it a bit strange for me to read because it makes it seem like you're trying to make it look
very professional

but then maybe you're not trying it anything, maybe that's just how you are


But the review is good, I concur about 27 Club being a fantastic song, and also a fan of Banshee but
everything else meh, but i'll hold on a definitive opinion until i can get a good quality leak,
though the songs themselves aren't doing much for me

Pos

VheissuCrisis
Contributing Reviewer
June 23rd 2013


1047 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Say it aint so. Hope this is better than what you say.

Spec
June 23rd 2013


27298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Review is fantastic. Want to hear a good quality version before I give my final opinion cause the YouTube stream sounds
like shit.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 23rd 2013


17945 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah i'm excited for this (and i've got dibs on the review) but i refuse to listen to the current leak



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