One of the greatest things about this band is how they seem to always be changing, and how they always seem to change in a positive direction Answer that and Stay Fashionable
and Sing the Sorrow
are 2 of my favorite albums. AFI, with the great vocals and instruments that consistently compliment each other, was a band I thought couldn't let me down.
But this cd, Decemberunderground
, really doesn't do that much for me. The first single, Miss Murder
, is a major change in sound from previous albums. I almost didn't believe it was AFI. And while it has some good elements, like the guitar fill leading into the 2nd verse, which is identifiable as a classic Jade Puget riff, the song truly doesn't have much of anything interesting to offer. Even Davey's screaming is subpar.
The album as a whole provides a pretty good listen, but if youre paying any kind of attention, it really pales in comparison to previous work like Sing the Sorrow
. Honestly, there was not one point in the CD, outside of Summer Shudder
, where I was truly hooked, something that never happened for me with AFI before. On the whole, I'd say this is a good cd, and worth a listen at your local music store, but I was disappointed and would not recommend that you buy it.
However, if you were to buy it, you would be a little surprised to hear the strange sound effects and dark atmosphere of Prelude 12/21
, if you were expecting some of the AFI of old. And you might be even more surprised at Kill Caustic
, which starts with a riff that you've probably heard in at least a million other songs. However, deciding to stick with that song and resisiting the initial urge to skip right on to some real AFI, you would discover pieces of what you expect from the band you love so much.
That's sort of the way it is for the rest of the CD as well. There are really no songs that make me think, "Ahh, now here's something really in the same vein as Sing the Sorrow
." But every now and then, if you're paying attention, you'll hearing something that takes you back a little bit to that place you loved so much, your previous memories of AFI.
Now I'm not saying that that's a completely bad thing. The album would probably be monotonous if it just covered the same exact ground as Sing the Sorrow
. I enjoy the directions the band took with Miss Murder
, and Summer Shudder
, my favorite track on the album. It's just that they were soooo good that I was expecting at least one song to completely take hold of me like This Celluloid Dream
and Silver & Cold
did. And it would've been nicer still if they had come out with something a little more punk, something like I Wanna Get a Mohawk
I should've known better than to expect anything like this, just based on the new appearance of the band, especially Jade and Davey, with that new emo-hair-hanging-down-one-side-of-the-face look. Eesh.
So to wrap this up, since I've just significantly elongated this review from the blurb it once was, I just want to say to any fans of previous AFI work thinking about buying the album, expect something very different than what you've had, and not necessarily in the good way that Black Sails in the Sunset
through Sing the Sorrow
were different than the first few albums. However, by no means is it a bad album. Miss Murder
and Summer Shudder
are both great tracks, and most of the other tracks, especially Love Like Winter
are pretty good as well. Hence my rating of 3, which means the album is good, but really nothing special. So go buy it, if you've never heard AFI before and enjoyed Miss Murder
on the radio. Go buy it, if you love AFI sooo much that you couldn't possibly be without one of the albums.
But I'd recommend borrowing it from the library or a friend and burning, or even just downloading the only tracks I think are worth it on this CD: Miss Murder
, Summer Shudder
, and Love Like Winter
Whatever you choose, I personally am still a little shocked that they could've disappointed me so much, and will hope with all my heart that their next CD offers something better than this.