Silverchair
Diorama


4.0
excellent

Review

by Tyler Fisher EMERITUS
June 28th, 2006 | 71 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist


Silverchair--the band of three 15 year old prodigies from Australia who released one of the greatest grunge albums ever released. Frogstomp, released in 1995, showed their obvious potential and amazed the world with their musical maturity. Seven years later, at age 22, Silverchair released Diorama, their 4th full length album. Most bands would just be making their first EP. Every album to this point had its own identity, and never had Silverchair produced just another Frogstomp. What would Silverchair have in store for us this time around? It's different, that's for sure.

Diorama takes more than just a few styles of music and meshes it into Silverchair's own blend. Gone are the big, chunky riffs from songs like Israel's Son and in are brass sections, sweeping string and woodwind runs, and piano ballads. The grandiose album opener, Across the Night, demonstrates the new form of Silverchair that Diorama shows off. Starting with just Daniel Johns and a harpsichord, he croons a song about restlessness and dreaming for love. After about 15 seconds, a full wind ensemble enters and takes the stage as the main instrumental theme throughout the song. Flutes and violins play sweeping runs. A bit later in the album, Tuna in the Brine sounds like a redoing of Across the Night for the first 20 seconds, however, the song takes a darker turn. The wind ensemble is present for this song as well, but Tuna in the Brine feels less grandiose and more longing. The low brass makes a few statements, and the piano sits overtop playing arpeggiated runs.

Sticking to the guitar less Silverchair, the album closer, After All These Years, is strictly a piano ballad with a small string section. The song starts out sounding like it could really go somewhere, but you get to the chorus and it is a let down. The only lyrics in the chorus are "After all these years, forget all the troubled times." The chorus is repeated too much and starts to annoy the listener. However, the stand out on this track and the entire album is the strength of Daniel's singing. He found his own voice and doesn't sound like just another rock singer.

That's not to say that Silverchair forgot their past. This album still rocks in other tracks. One Way Mule takes you back to the Frogstomp days one last time. A huge guitar and bass riff is the main instrumental theme of the song and Daniel puts back the raspiness found in Tomorrow. The dark lyrics fit the song perfectly, "Love me for my mind, 'cause I'm a dangerous heart" After a 2 verses and choruses, the song picks up energy into the instrumental breakdown and the guitar solo. After the guitar solo, Ben Gillis puts out some double bass kicks, something new added to Silverchair's grunge mix.

Not quite a grunge song, but still a definite rock song and the best of the type on the album, Without You sounds like a sum up of everything Silverchair has done up to this point. The chorus has just enough hook to pull you in, but doesn't sound overproduced or like they're trying too hard. After a typical verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus song structure, the band throws something else out to please the listener at the end of the song. There's a minute long instrumental outro that flat out rocks. The chord structure at the end really drives the song home. After the song ends, there's another minute long keyboard chord build reminiscent of Radiohead's Treefingers. The problem is that it leads nowhere and just doesn't fit at all.

All in all, Silverchair put out an ambitious album that shows even more potential from the young yet experienced band. Songs like Across the Night show a whole new direction, and yet they still know how to put out a great rock song and continue to add new ideas to their old formulas. Daniel Johns found a voice of his own that sounds great and with a bit more work can take him to the upper echelon of singers. Silverchair has plenty of time in their lives to make a better name for themselves.

Recommended Tracks:
Across the Night
Without You
One Way Mule



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Comments:Add a Comment 
FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
June 28th 2006


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Question for anyone who reads this: Does anyone know how to paste from Word without having formatting errors any time you use an apostrophe or quotes?

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 28th 2006


17920 Comments


i pasted all my reviews from Word, and i never had any problems with formatting so i cant help you there.

but this was a very good review.
This Message Edited On 05.22.07

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
June 28th 2006


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I get stuff like &8217; every time I use an apostrophe. Thanks for the vote, though.

Two-Headed Boy
June 28th 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Frogstomp is a horrid release compared to Neon Ballroom and Freak Show.

This album is quite over-rated too in my opinion.

Nice review.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
June 28th 2006


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've never heard all of Neon Ballroom or Freak Show. I think this is much better than just a "good" album.

Two-Headed Boy
June 28th 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Maybe I should listen to it more?

Silverchair--the band of three 15 year old prodigies


Daniel is really the only really talented one here, let alone prodigal.This Message Edited On 06.28.06

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
June 28th 2006


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Maybe it's not for you, but I love the new direction in songs like Across the Night. Also, the chorus in The Greatest View makes me think Porcupine Tree.

Daniel is definitely the most talented, I'll give you that. But the way they put things together at 15 is pretty great.This Message Edited On 06.28.06

rata
June 28th 2006


14 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

considering they made tomorrow and Acid rain at the age of 13-14... pretty talented guys!


what i admire about this band more is that they never tried making another record that sounds like the old one.

i dont think this album is overated though..frogstomp is. but i like freakshow more

great review!

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
June 29th 2006


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This CD isn't so much grunge, Hep Kat. This has a much more indie sound.

unbornchikkenvoices
August 8th 2007


78 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Am i the only one here that thinks that this album is brilliant?

If you really listen to it hardly, the songwriting and instrumentations are quite excellent, Ben Gillies is an amazing drummer, not so much in this but in Young Modern he really shows his expertise.

It is also hard to believe that Daniel Johns can sing like that and play guitar and piano and... well... lotsa stuff, and sing like that, he has one of my favourite voices of all time.

F*** yeah.

meliffy18
August 10th 2007


50 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i agree, this album is awesome!! i think silverchair have gotten progressively better as time went on and you can definitely sense how much theyve matured. daniel's voice is a lot more controlled and he can hit a huge range dead on.

diorama96
August 29th 2007


3 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Their best effort, no doubt about that. Mixing a pinch of the best of the old with lots of great new stuff. Awesome guitars and vocals.

This album title makes for a great name too

TheGreatD17
March 21st 2008


1141 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is one of a few albums that I'm constantly tempted to give a 5 to

LegalDuck
May 16th 2008


64 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i never get tired of any song on this album. it's quite cool to say the least

AtavanHalen
May 17th 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Best Australian album ever. Disagree? Fight me.

Spare
May 17th 2008


5306 Comments


Silverchair are massively underrated on this website.

Digging: Best Witches - Wishes

Jim
May 17th 2008


5110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Best Australian album ever. Disagree? Fight me.
nah. it is their best though, without a doubt.

Ouch
May 17th 2008


546 Comments


I am not quite the grunge guy, but I like Silverchair.

rasputin
May 17th 2008


14544 Comments


it is their best though, without a doubt.

I prefer Frogstomp.

Spare
May 17th 2008


5306 Comments


That's because you suck.



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