Inspired recently by some quality discussions in the Leaked Demos 2006 review thread concerning possible variations of the 2006 alt-rock classic The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, I decided to piece together this little beauty. It’s not “The Best Possible Version of TDAG” – as in, the best demos subbed in for the worst album tracks – but rather: The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me: Reimagined. It’s what the album might have sounded like if they took a stripped back, acoustic approach. I realize that (1) it is not better than the actual album and that (2) this is more or less just the 2006 Leaked Demos, but it provides an intriguing twist on the album’s overall aesthetic. It’s got a (mostly) chilled out vibe, like TDAG stretched out as to feel less abrasive, and more soothing/flowing/whimsical. There are a handful of alternate takes on the traditional songs, and I feel like this works together exceptionally well as a cohesive whole, in the order I’ve selected below. I’d encourage anyone who’s willing to go ahead and give this a listen. If you’re not comfortable with it, and/or are not okay with listening to this band anymore, I understand – but for fans who still can’t tear themselves away from the music behind all the drama and misdoings – I do think that this will strike a chord that perhaps no other personally-curated Brand New playlist could. Many of these songs are not available on Spotify or other streaming platforms, which is why I had to take the track-by-track approach here. If you enjoy it as much as I do, I highly recommend a youtube to mp3 conversion site so that you can order the songs and listen to them transition into one another properly and uninterrupted. Enjoy.
1) Good Man (Leaked Demo)
This has always made sense as an opener to me. In lieu of alternate versions of Degausser, You Won’t Know, Limousine, etc., this obviously had to be included on TDAG Reimagined.
2) Sowing Season (Daisy Sessions, *edited out narration*)
This was a key cog in my whole operation. You see, the Daisy Sessions acoustic version of Sowing Season has this annoying vocal layover narrating things – pulled from an interview with the band. Aside from that, it’s a stunning track that is arguably better than the original. I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this version that someone edited, removing the spoken narration to provide us with nothing but this gorgeous adaptation.
3) Millstone (Alternate Version)
For as big of a Brand New fan as I’ve always been, I only stumbled upon this recently. This is Millstone in a haunting alternate dimension. Highly recommend. Also, I placed it between Sowing Season and Jesus, just as it would be on the normal tracklisting.
4) Jesus Christ (Daisy Sessions)
Nothing will ever top the original version of this song for me, but this is quite an enjoyable reimagining. Seeing as I was trying to get as many of the original TDAG tracks on here, this was a nice find.
5) Missing You (3 Demos, Reworked)
Again, in lieu of proper “alternate takes” on a lot of the traditional TDAG songs, this demo needed to be included. It’s originally from Leaked Demos 2006, but I chose to include the reworked version because I feel like it has better production and a little more oomph. The chorus here is the catchiest thing the band has ever done.
6) 1996 (3 Demos, Reworked)
After the melodic bliss of Missing You, the twangy guitars and Morrissey-esque vocals of 1996 feels like the perfect follow-up.
7) Nobody Moves (2015 Rebridge)
Many people aren’t even aware that Nobody Moves was reworked in 2015. The 2006 demo version is excellent as well, so I’d be okay with either version residing in this slot. This is a top 10 Brand New song even though it never found its way onto an LP. This works in the 7th spot as the emotional culmination of the entire experience, erupting after the gradual build set up by Missing You/1996.
8) Luca (Leaked Demo)
I never realized how gorgeous this version of Luca is. Normally this falls in the 9th spot on the tracklist, but we’re one track shorter with TDAG Reimagined, so it lands here. It feels like a stunningly beautiful landing spot after the intensity of Nobody Moves.
9) Brother’s Song (3 Demos, Reworked)
With the abundance of stripped-down tracks early on (Good Man, Sowing Season, Jesus), it makes sense for this to be the late album acoustic gem. It works exceptionally well as a buffer between the atmospheric discordance that ends the Luca demo and the raw vocal sincerity that begins Battalions.
10) Battalions (Leaked Demos)
Ah, “Archers” jr. The chorus melody is the same, but a lot of the verses are different. Battalions always felt like a bit of a fade away jumper; it’s got this gorgeous melodic arc and it just feels like the end of an album. It gets placed here as the proper closing track. It ends kind of abruptly, so I padded it with something of a hidden post-gap, below.
11) TDAG Hidden Pre-Gap
As I stated this is mostly just a way to keep the album from stopping on a dime. This is normally a hidden pre-gap on the real album, but I inverted it by placing it at the end. I think it works just as well.
There you have it, TDAG Reimagined. What do you think?