American Football
American Football


4.5
superb

Review

by nutty_bar USER (1 Reviews)
September 23rd, 2006 | 1335 replies | 63,914 views


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: American Football's one and only full length. This CD is very relaxing, and hard to put in a genre. I would use the words "feel good" and "chill" to describe this album.

10 of 19 thought this review was well written

For some background, American Football was a trio from Urbana, Illinois. I can’t say they fit into a specific genre. I see them labeled as “indie,” but some more fitting adjectives I can think of are “chill, feel good, and relax” music. This is the kind of band that can make an entire CD, and as you listen to it, it feels as if every song was meant for you personally. This CD is an excellent listen regardless of what mood you are in.

In their first full length CD, they don’t change much from their prior EP released one year earlier, mostly soft, mellow music. Their drummer Steve Lamos plays trumpet on some tracks and that trumpet sound fits perfect with their music. In my opinion, it is that trumpet that pushes it from “great” to “superb.”

From the very first song, “Never Meant,” you can pretty much tell this is going to be a good CD. It starts with what sounds like a sound check for the drums, and than Steve clicks the band in. The electric guitar comes in with some soothing picking, and than after a little you get your first taste of the amazing vocals/lyrics on this album.

The vocals/lyrics are what really stick out. Their bassist Mike Kinsella is also their singer. You might recognize that name; he is also in the band Joan of Arc. It amazes me how he can write his lyrics, and they fit perfect with the song. Some great lyricists don’t get recognized because the music of the band doesn’t necessarily fit with them. Some lyrics on this album are depressing, and some just make you think. Whether they are about a girl or just about life in general and the struggles everybody has at some point in their life, anybody can relate to what he is singing. Even if he wasn’t a good lyricist, his vocals could make anything sound meaningful. He could be singing about bananas and mayonnaise and still hit home with someone. He sings with a lot of emotion and that is something a lot of singers lack. You always know he really means what he is singing.

The guitar on this album is played by Steve Holmes. Now, I am not a guitarist, so I cannot judge him by technical skill, but I can say that whatever he is doing sounds great. For most of the album he is just picking, but there is some strumming in the choruses. The picking helps bring out how relaxing this album really this. Just because this CD is pretty mellow, doesn’t mean the guitar doesn’t stick out.

On a pretty soft album, people may think that the drummer can’t really stick out. However, the drums on this album are not boring. Being a drummer I can say it would be real easy to just play something simple. With this kind of music, he probably wouldn’t catch much slack for playing simple either, but it wouldn’t help the music. He plays some pretty technical beats and knows exactly what to play, and when to play it. He knows when to play, and when to hold back, which are both just as important in the finished product of a song. A great standout track for Lamos’ drumming is “I’ll See You When We’re Both Not So Emotional.” What he is playing is fairly technical, but also fits the song perfect.

Throughout this album everything fits perfect. Out of everything I have heard, I can’t say I have listened to an album as soothing and relaxing as this. No matter what you are going through, you will be able to relate to this CD.

Pros:
- Great for relaxing
- Mixed very well

Cons:
- Could use some more interesting bass
- Needs a little more variety

Recommended Tracks:
- Never Meant - The first track on the album. This showcases almost everything I mentioned that makes this album so great. The drums sound great on this song and the vocals are very nicely done. One of my favorite album-openers.

- Honestly? - When I was talking about the lyrics and emotional vocals in this album, this is the main song that was popping in my head. In all my favorite albums, there is one line or just one small segment in a particular song that I just love, and for this CD it would have to be in this song where Mike sings “All the Whos are there, but the Whys are unclear.” I know it sounds odd to base it on one line, but line bumps him up to one of my favorite vocalists.

- I’ll See You When We’re Both Not So Emotional - This song starts out with probably my favorite drums on the CD. I think this song, like Never Meant, showcases what they do very well. Listen to this for an idea of what the band is all about.


user ratings (1262)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
nutty_bar
September 23rd 2006



194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow, this is a lot shorter than I expected. I will probably add to this review. It is my first, and I have to say reviewing was a bit harder than I expected.

JohnnySixGuns
September 23rd 2006



38 Comments


this is very hard to read because of the paragraphs. i would like to read it but its confusing and hurts my eyes a little. what i did read sounds good for a first effort. but please space your paragraphs. if not i'll read it still. but would rather it be fixed. this may not be your fault. you must know spuitnik reviews is somewhat glitchy. things just "happen" when editing and what not. weird symbols, prargraphs closing, etc. just make sure to check your work again and again and edit as necessary. congrats on getting your first review out.This Message Edited On 09.23.06

pulseczar
September 23rd 2006



2385 Comments


I don't get it, I don't see any problems with the paragraph spacing or apostrophes :confused:

BringHomeTheBacon
September 23rd 2006



248 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Is Mike Kinsella also in Cap'n Jazz? Or is that his brother?

It was a good first review, you made me interested in this album. I just didn't like how you focused on the band members' technical talent. Try describing a few standout songs and the overall album feel instead.

nutty_bar
September 23rd 2006



194 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm not positive, but I think I read he is in Cap'n Jazz too.

Jack Wilson
March 31st 2007



313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

amazing album, i just picked this up the other day. i like stay home a lot. nice review by the way.

BringHomeTheBacon
April 14th 2007



248 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Beautiful album, the songwriting quality of this album is amazing. Mike Kinsella is a genius when it comes to guitar tunings

Iamthe Nightstars
May 20th 2007



2117 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

amazing cd. I love it already and I just bought it recently

The Jungler
June 26th 2007



4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I listen to this album way too much. Really good stuff.

Cadaveric
June 27th 2007



152 Comments


do you listen to any owen? they're amazing too, but i only have the most recent album. american football is awesome too though.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
February 10th 2008



3752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

More people need to listen to this album, its so pretty!

Digging: Labyrinth Ear - The Orchid Room

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
May 11th 2008



4925 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album rules

charlesfishtitz
August 2nd 2008



784 Comments


this kicks some serious dickThis Message Edited On 08.02.08

astrel
August 12th 2008



2613 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album creates such an original sound. And goddamn is that drumming creative.

rasputin
October 14th 2008



14504 Comments


yeah so I like this a lot

charlesfishtitz
October 14th 2008



784 Comments


hell yeah you do

charlesfishtitz
November 3rd 2008



784 Comments


raised this to a 5.


so goddamn majestic

ClearTheLane
November 3rd 2008



990 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, I'm getting closer to it as well. Every Monday when I come home after an exhausting crappy day I listen to Never Meant. It sounds so awesome, can't describe it. You know the first seconds, "Ready? Alright, we can keep that." And then the jamming starts and it's just brilliant. And when the bass comes in. it's Heaven. The lyrics at the end get me every time.. "So let's just pretend/everything and anything/between you and me/was never meant". That's one of the best Indie tracks ever and this album is one of the best 90s Indie albums, without a doubt.This Message Edited On 11.03.08

jrowa001
March 2nd 2009



8749 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

finally got around to listen to this. feels like something i can listen to quite a lot more times in the coming months. close to a 4

gaslightanthem
March 2nd 2009



5209 Comments


Ya this is pretty good but



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