Filter was a name that had always been vaguely familiar to me even before I was into music, although I don't know why that is, seeing as I had never heard their music until a few months ago. I was riding with my friend and we were listening to satellite radio when a song called "Take A Picture" came on. I pressed the button on the satellite installation to get details, and when the name "Filter" popped up for artist, it rang a bell. But I was positive I had never heard the song before, because I would have remembered it. After returning home and downloading the song, I got more thourougly addicted to it, and decided to buy the album. What I found was something refreshingly, but very strangely different from your average rock, metal, or nu-metal. Seriously, this band could be classified as any one of those, because it's got the sound of a couple genres crunced together.
To start off, I'd like to say that if the only song you've heard by Filter is Take a Picture, don't expect many more songs that sound like it. The rest of Title of Record is very, very heavy, and Take a Picture is easily the mellowest song here. That said, you will very likely enjoy the rest of the CD if you love Take a Picture. There's alot of electronic sound used here, much like Linkin Park, but without the "rap" style. Filter keeps assaulting your ears with new and very different sounds, from guitar effects to string arrangements to just plain weird sound modifications. But unlike the aforementioned Linkin Park, the instrumentation itself is alot better. Richard Patrick's guitar is almost always in the forefront of the action, and more than a few solos are featured on Title of Record. Drumming and Bass is all solid, and of course the programming makes it all the more enjoyable.
But the thing that is going to make you love or hate this band probably won't lie in the instruments themselves but in Richard Patrick's singing. "Singing" might even be stressing it a little, because most of the time he's going into a shriek-a-thon. This will turn some people off, but for most it should be bearable enough to sit through until it comes time for Patrick to actually sing. And he's an extremely capable singer, sounding like a heavy metal version of Bono. His lines in "Take a Picture" and "The Best Things" are sung tactfully and when he does go screaming in said songs, it actually adds to the song rather than detracts from it. On the opposite end of the spectrum is "Welcome to the Fold" where the verses are almost unlistenable due to that horrible, raspy shriek of Richard's.
As far as individual song quality goes, Title of Record is an extremely inconsistent album. Tracks such as "Captain Bligh", "The Best Things", and "Take a Picture" are indispensably good, and there's average or above-average songs here too such as "Welcome to the Fold", "It's Gonna Kill Me", and "Skinny", but the album as a whole is weighed down with boring and musically uncreative songs like "Cancer", "Miss Blue", and "I Will Lead You". Indeed, if you just stop the album after the first half is over, you haven't really missed much. In fact, this might be a CD for you to download the good tracks and just save your money.
Despite it's many flaws, I found this to be an enjoyable album, and the unenjoyable parts were still different at any rate. If anything, the bad parts of this were never because it was "too mainstream" or "sounding just like everything else". Filter is always adding new ideas in their songs, some of which catch you completely off guard and leave you mouthing "wow". At the top of it all is the flawlessly written and executed "Take A Picture". I consider this to be a perfect song, and there's not many songs that aren't by Rush or the Goo goo Dolls that I can say that about.
While I can't reccomend Title of Record to everybody I can say that you'll likely enjoy it if you get it, although it's certainly not a classic. What I reccomend instead is downloading the keepers and saving the rest for a rainy day.
This is a good album, I like it a lot. I think the Amalgamut is better and more varied, though. You may give people the wrong impression in saying that it's a "shriek-a-thon," becuase it certainly isn't the black-metal-styled "shrieking" that that word connotes.This Message Edited On 06.08.06
This is a fantastic album.
Virtually every track on here is strong, hooky, heavy, beautiful, or some combination thereof. Like Dimes Make Dollars says, the best of it's kind.
It's a pity The Amalgamut was a pale attempt to replicate it.
I was listening to this yesterday and I forgot how awesome it was. Although it is not as good as The Amalgamut, songs like Welcome to the Fold, The Best Things, Take a Picture, Cancer, and I'm Not the Only One make it soooo worth listening to. I wish more people would appreciate this band as much as I do.