Letlive.
The Blackest Beautiful


4.0
excellent

Review

by JesusaurusRex USER (1 Reviews)
July 3rd, 2013 | 14 replies | 1,680 views


Release Date: 07/09/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Once more, with feeling...

9 of 13 thought this review was well written

"There are maybe 40 people in this room, and you're all part of something special. Enjoy this night, because this won't happen again; we're selling out."

Spoken before launching into Fake History's "Over and Under" during an intimate show in the summer of 2011, letlive. frontman Jason Butler was obviously being a bit facetious with his promise to tank his band's artistic integrity. Upon first listen of what is, for all intents and purposes, the band's sophomore release, The Blackest Beautiful, you'd be forgiven for thinking that there was a bit of honesty hidden inside the sarcasm, though. The heavy, aggressive tone of their major-label debut has been largely pushed aside in favor of expanding and refining the group's already pretty-prevalent pop sensibilities. The vast majority of the songs here are structured around gigantic, Warped Tour-sized choruses designed expressly to lodge themselves in the part of your brain that's responsible for making you sing Seal's "Kiss From a Rose" at seemingly random times.

That's not to say that The Jason Butler Five have completely abandoned their heavier tendencies; on the contrary, some of the guys' most aggressive moments can be found in the loud, messy breakdowns scattered throughout, and the ending of the fantastic closer "27 Club" is absolutely crushing. These moments are rarely allowed to develop into something bigger, however; instead, they're mostly constrained to short, violent outbursts hidden among the abundance of sickeningly sweet pop hooks. In this way, The Blackest Beautiful is a bit more formulaic than its predecessor, largely lacking the unpredictable nature that made Fake History so fascinating. If prior years saw letlive. paying homage to the post-hardcore bands of days past, this latest batch of songs sees them applying their influences to a more safe, modern version of the genre.

Luckily for us, letlive. do modern post-hardcore better than pretty much any band on the planet. While a big chunk of the experimentation and aggression of Fake History has been tossed to the wayside, the passion and character that was seeping through every note, every scream is fully intact. Vocally, Jason Butler throws down the gauntlet, absolutely packing the record to the brim with personality and character until it's practically exploding from the disc in a violent eruption that's not entirely unlike the one experienced by his cult-like devotees when the album stream went live. Every line, whether delivered through his fantastic screams or the needlessly overprocessed cleans, is spoken with a desperate honesty that is downright infectious. Lines that would otherwise come across as more than a little silly, lines like "If home is where the heart is, then what do I do with this empty chest?", are uttered with such passion and sincerity that they turn into inescapable "*** yes!" moments.

Elsewhere, guitarists Jeff Sahyoun and Jean Nascimento bring both the ruckus and the funk with some very fun, Glassjaw meets Rage Against the Machine riffing, while That Guy That Kinda Looks Like Chad Kroeger provides an extremely solid rhythm section alongside Whoever Recorded Drums On This Album. The avoidance of open-chord chugfests continues to be commendable, and the sheer, passionate intensity with which everyone plays once again makes up for the fact that, really, you've heard all of this before. One could easily comment that letlive. are riding the coattails of the genre's giants, but it's difficult to care when every chord is played with the intent to level buildings.

While it may not be the genre-saving masterpiece many had hoped for and, perhaps unfairly, expected, The Blackest Beautiful is nevertheless an extremely solid set of energetic, passionate post-hardcore songs. While it's not likely to change the world, there are some great tracks here that will be an absolute blast in a live setting. And really, that's all a letlive. fan could ask for.


user ratings (658)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Gwyn.
July 2nd 2013



15007 Comments


recommended by reviewer

Kanye West Yeezus

Digging: diSEMBOWELMENT - Transcendence into the Peripheral

Cygnatti
July 2nd 2013



21350 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

recommended by reviewer
Kanye West Yeezus
pos'd.

Gwyn.
July 2nd 2013



15007 Comments


[2]

TooManyFriends
July 2nd 2013



602 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

their bassist looks nothing like Chad Kroeger

killer review for a killer album tho

TooManyFriends
July 2nd 2013



602 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

praise yeezus

NeoSpaz
July 3rd 2013



4518 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

sweet

fromtheinside
July 3rd 2013



18041 Comments


this is so boring y r ppl listening

Digging: Transcending Bizarre? - The Serpent's Manifolds

IbenizGEO1
July 3rd 2013



2258 Comments


I never understood this band. I listen and listen and don't understand the appeal

JesusaurusRex
July 3rd 2013



58 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@TooManyFriends

you're wrong tho

http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/4180/489j.jpg

it's uncanny, really

Gwyn.
July 3rd 2013



15007 Comments


lol

iChuckles
July 4th 2013



128 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Anthony Rivera tracked drums for this album before leaving (:

JesusaurusRex
July 4th 2013



58 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought they were done recording before he left but couldn't confirm it after a couple quick google searches.

snowbbird
July 4th 2013



213 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is exactly how I feel about this record. While still a great record and extremely catchy, it lacks certain elements that made Fake History unpredictable and unique.

JesusaurusRex
July 5th 2013



58 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, this is solid but I don't see it having the lasting power of Fake History at all.

Songs should crush live though



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