Review Summary: Being depressed has never been more fun
Brand New. The mention of the band's name alone elicits emotions of many young adults and teenagers. Oh, yes, they are quite well known here on sputnik. Any fan of the band will know the transformation that took place over their first three full length albums. For those that don't know, the band went from a full blown pop-punk band, to a radically depressed indie/alt rock band known for their ultra emotional lyrics. Now, in the middle of this three album period was the album Deja Entendu, which is French for "already heard". Which, I find ironic, considering this album has a quality about it that Brand New had not yet created, and never try to recreate. Deja Entendu was sort of a coming of age for the band, with Your Favorite Weapon representing childhood, and The Devil And God representing adulthood, this album fits in perfectly representing the period of life known as adolescence.
Okay, maybe I'm biased because this was the first Brand New album I heard, but good god, this thing is just all around fantastic. The guitar playing is top notch, with bass playing a huge role in a few songs, for example, Sic Transit Gloria and Jaws Theme Swimming. The lyrics here are definitely a step up from YFW, remaining consistent through all the songs, covering topics from teenage sex, unrequited love, and the last track Play Crack The Sky showcasing a fantastic metaphor for relationships as sea voyages. The main gripe I hear about Deja Entendu, is the fact that it's not technical enough. While technicality is sacrificed, the emotions and catchy hooks are all there. With riffs like the one on the introduction of The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows, the guitar playing is bound to get stuck in your head.
Variety is another strong suit of this album. With upbeat, energetic, and more poppy songs like Sic Transit Gloria or Guernica serving their purpose as songs you can mosh or jump around to, there are also acoustic ballads like The Boy Who
Blocked His Own Shot or the closer Play Crack The Sky which are sure to affect you emotionally. All throughout the album you will find Jesse Lacey's almost trademark lyrics, especially on the more subdued and calm songs like the closer, which contains these lyrics
"This story's old but it goes on and on until we disappear.
Calm me and let me taste the salt you breathed while you were underneath.
I am the one who haunts your dreams of mountains sunk below the sea.
I spoke the words but never gave a thought to what they all could mean.
I know that this is what you want.
A funeral keeps both of us apart.
You know that you are not alone.
Need you like water in my lungs.
This is the end."
and some more excellent lyrics one of the more calm songs here, Okay, I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don't
"I hope this song starts a craze.
The kind of song that ignites the airwaves.
The kind of song that makes people glad
To be where they are,
With whomever they're there with.
This is war.
Every line is about,
Who I don't wanna write about anymore.
Hope you come down with something
They can't diagnose, don't have the cure for.
Holding on to your grudge.
Oh its so hard to have someone to love.
And keeping quiet is hard.
Cause you cant keep a secret
If it never was a secret to start.
At least pretend you didn't wanna get caught.."
This album may or may not be Brand New at their best, but it is certainly Brand New doing exactly what it is that they're famous for, and that is being pleasing to the ears, the heart, and the soul. The only difference between The Devil And God and this, is this album can actually be lighthearted and fun, in a good way.