by The Jungler USER (183 Reviews)
August 17th, 2007 | 38 replies

Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Aiden clean up, and don't sound nearly as bad as they used to. Still, far from good.

Nightmare Anatomy is a horrible album. Let’s just get that out the way. wiL Francis (trust me, that’s the last time I wiLL type his name like that), Aiden’s singer, performed about as badly as humanly possible on that album. His voice sounds horrible, in the worst possible way, and it doesn’t help that he was singing horrible lyrics about repetitive, generic subjects (the word nightmare just may be used in every single song). Someone close to the band (Victory records exec, personal friend or maybe even band member, I don’t know) must have realized this and told the band, because there is something different about Conviction . It doesn’t suck.

Probably the worst thing about Conviction is how delusional Aiden and their fans will surely get about it. There is nothing revolutionary about Conviction, it isn’t very original and it certainly is no album of the year. Instead, Conviction is a highly bearable, catchy, pop-punk release that sounds a whole lot like My Chemical Romance, The Used, etc. While an album being derivative of another is never really a good thing, when considering the fact that this album could have been Nightmare Anatomy part two, ripping off one of the most enjoyable albums from the current crop of pop punk is forgivable.

From the get-go, it is apparent that Francis has been working on his voice. The Opening Departure is a somber, piano “ballad”. Francis works an impressive range overtop roomy piano chords. The production on Conviction is eternally better than on Anatomy, where a quiet section like this would be terribly low compared to the heavier sections. Indeed, with Conviction, Aiden lose whatever D.I.Y. values their Victory debut retained. Everything about this album is much more polished, something like the affected, new wave guitar of She Will Love You would have had no place in Aiden’s previous works. Furthermore, She Will Love You sees Aiden ditching their rather unlistenable screaming for much more pop-friendly harmonies. If Victory were looking for a band to fill in Hawthorne Heights’ now vacant spot as Victory’s link to MTV, they may have found it with Aiden.

And Victory is betting on One Love to get Aiden to the mainstream, giving it an extremely colorful video and everything. It isn’t a bad choice for a single, catchy and upbeat but still dark enough for Aiden’s fans not to feel betrayed by their heroes. The chorus finds Francis singing “one love, in you're eyes now, look afraid/beyond human aid” , in a section of music that sounds like The Used playing a very faithful cover of a bad Cure song. Throughout, most of Conviction, Aiden pay debt to the 80’s new wave scene, completely forgetting about the suffix –core. Reverberated piano, affected guitar arpeggios and two-handed, sixteenth note high-hat patterns are the new norm in Aiden’s camp.

The lyrics are still lame, unfortunately (maybe not, actually, as the lyrics were surely the most entertaining part of Nightmare Anatomy). “Lying face down in the gutter, now so damn proud/I know, I know, I know, it’s my fault” Francis starts the heartfelt, keyboard (piano in the verses, synthesizer in the chorus) heavy Believe in his best Bret McCracken whine. “In a world where we all just waste away, in a place we cry for today/believe, believe, believe” , he continues; the rest of the song is much of the same: Aiden’s attempt at meaningful and heartfelt coming off more as corny and trite. The gang vocals (found on the previous track, Son of Lies , as well) don’t really help matters, though I imagine they may be fun live. “And these walls are painted red, she put a bullet in her head, goodbye goodbye, goodbye, is all she said” Francis sings over a mellower section of the next song, Bliss . The unoriginality and cheesiness of those lyrics sort of speak for themselves.

So Aiden have changed. Their sound is more bearable, but still not good. And they still are far from original. But something about Conviction doesn’t seem right. At least on Nightmare Anatomy , the band seemed earnest, like they were really into their music. On Conviction, things are a bit overproduced, over the top and unnatural. Maybe this just goes along with the change in sound, I don’t know. It just doesn’t really sound like Aiden have the same passion, playing bastardized new wave on Conviction as they did when they were screaming about nightmares on Anatomy. Whatever, to sum things up for Metacritic or whoever, Aiden have ditched some of the aspects that made them bad on Nightmare Anatomy, but are still a long way from good. Let’s just hope, for the sake of Aiden, the kids who were genuinely into old Aiden still like it.


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Comments:Add a Comment 
August 17th 2007


Good review. Rating isn't surprising.

You use 'good' too much.

August 17th 2007


Nice review. :thumb:

August 17th 2007


I couldn't get too far into this album. The second song reminded me of The Used for and odd reason.

August 17th 2007


Album Rating: 2.5

Teenage Queen could be a big hit. Nice review, I have fairly similar feelings even though I enjoyed some tracks off of NA.

August 17th 2007


I can not bare even trying to listen to this after what Nightmare Anatomy did to me.

August 17th 2007


Album Rating: 2.5

It's pretty different from NA fyi. I'm sure you can handle three songs even though it probably won't change your opinion of the band.

August 17th 2007


i hope to god i never have to listen to a single song from this band ever again

August 17th 2007


This album was quite good imo.
The were really good live too.

August 17th 2007


I don't see how sounding like The Used is a bad thingm after all Lies For The Liars is a very good album, regardless of what anyone says.

The Jungler
August 17th 2007


Album Rating: 2.0

I've seen videos of them live, they definitley impressed me. I had them pegged for one of those shitty on record, even worse live bands, but they seem pretty tight.

August 17th 2007


Really not that good, I enjoyed a few song on NA and OGDO but this seems way too forced and boring to me.

August 17th 2007


yeah this does seem forced but you had a feeling they would head towards this sound with the cover songs on the ep

it's better then NA, but still not decent

fyi: don't bring about my CD review, i have changed my thoughts on that album since then(early '06 i think?)

August 17th 2007


I liked their song "We Sleep Forever" from that puppet-Saw movie, thought I'd check out some more of them. After reading this review, I guess 'll steer clear.

The Jungler
August 17th 2007


Album Rating: 2.0

**** this cd
review it pls

August 18th 2007


I loathe Aiden with every cubic inch of my body. Good review.

August 18th 2007


I'm not by any means a fan of Aiden but when my friend dragged me to see them at a festival I couldn't help feel suprised by their live set. They were actually good live... Shame they can't be good on cd.

August 18th 2007


I'm scared of this record and how bad it could possibly be.

August 19th 2007


I'm still hurting from how crap that video was that DFel posted as news the other day.

meta| |mp
August 20th 2007


i like the cover art ^^

August 20th 2007


I like the cover too. Judge a record by its cover? I do, and this was very misleading!!!

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