The Juliana Theory
Such a simple subject and a conceptual topic all the same. In a way, TJT have always been about Love. Just listen to such gems like "We're At The Top of The World" and "Don't Push Love Away" from their sophomore effort, Emotion Is Dead. But now, in the wake of the band's leap from indie label Tooth & Nail to major label eficienados Epic Records, the boys from Greensburg PA (represent) are out to prove one thing: The Juliana Theory are certainly better than the average emo band. Let's take a listen.
"Bring It Low" - This CD kicks off with a...kick (still with me?). All jokes aside, Bring It Low knows how to introduce you to one explosivo of an emo-rock record. You're also formally greeted by Brett Deter's heavenly dramatic vocal range and amazing abilities to harmonize with himself with the greatest of ease. There is at least one song on this whole CD that showcases each member's abilty to do what they do best, and this song brings the best of all worlds. Fantastic Opening. 9/10
"Do You Believe Me?" - Believe me, this song is the most powerful song on the CD. Strong vocals are wonderfully accompanied by gang whoas in the chorus. Track number 2 is a solid 4 and a half minutes of pure emotion and raw power. One of, if not, the best track on the record. 10/10
"Shell of A Man" - A bit of a turnoff from its predecessing first 2 tracks, but still packs an emotional jab. Nothing really special here. 6/10
"Repeating, Repeating" - Wow, this song really picks up the CD. "I'm burning the candle at both ends while holding it underwater" is a very powerful line, as are the polite musings from the chorus. All around solid rockin' song. 8/10
"Congratulations" - This song really shows off Josh Walters' drumming ability, both in the beginning and towards the middle in which he has a chopped up drum feature. Very classy, Chip. This song is very meaningful lyrically, and the chorus packs a punch. Nice touch. 8/10
"Jewel To Sparkle" - If ever there was a tune by this band to be crowned the grand-daddy of beautiful songs, this one takes the cake. For one thing, it's catchy as hell, and just the pure beauty of the all-around orchestration just makes you wish you wrote this song yourself. Definitly the best love song TJT have ever composed. 10/10
"White Days" - White Days is definitly the song that would make you fall asleep where you stand. It's so pretty and lightly dabbled with wonderful guitar effects, almost like an electric lullaby. If anything, White Days clearly showcases The Juliana Theory's pure musicianship the ability to make quality music. Bravo. 9/10
"The Hardest Things" - Alright, right now this CD seems to be putting everyone to sleep. Nothing really special about this song either, nothing to report for now. 6/10
"DTM" - Not sure what that particular acronym stands for, but nevertheless, this song is a great straight-forward rock song. Throughout the song, Brett Deter prominantly proclaims, "I won't give up again!", and does so quite repeatedly. I like how the CD's slowly picking back up again. 8/10
"Trance" - This song is definitly the most angst-fueled tune on the record. "Shame on you...you're in a Trance! You're in a Trance!" Brett is certainly mad at someone, but not a word on specifically who. Just wait til the endc, where Brett rests his voice while the everyone else totally explodes! Josh Walters is making sweet love to the drumkit like he's tryin to give it a baby, and they just don't seem to want to end the song! It goes on and on like a 70's RockNRoll anthem. Great energy. 8/10
"In Conversation" - Nice little trendy touch. Really nothing special here either. 7/10
"Into The Dark" - This is also the opening track on Emotion Is Dead, and it's the song that got me into this band in the first place. The lyrics are beautiful and the chorus is the catchiest slice of musicality I've ever heard. This will probably be your favorite on the CD. Pure genius. 10/10
"As It Stands" - Really, really sad. Just think that, and you know exactly what this song sounds like. The song's ok, but doesn't really go anywhere. 7/10
"Everything" - Closer track. Everything rather serves as more of an Ultimatum, or just a blistering conclusion that Brett Deter has come to. The line "Love Is Everything" is such a wonderful sweeping statement, and the band has come to just put a soundtrack to such a particular idea (with a nice solo!). Great way to end a powerful disc.
WOW. What a monster of a record. Close to masterpiece material, but don't worry, there are greater works by the incredible Juliana Theory. In my humble opinion, there really is no "best" or "worst" TJT record, it's just a matter of which CD is your favorite. I would definitly urge you to check this CD out, or any of these songs I recommend to you:
"Bring It Low"
"Do You Believe Me?"
"Jewel To Sparkle"
"Into The Dark"
8/10. Take it or leave it.