Blueprints for the Black Market



by Curse. USER (64 Reviews)
March 24th, 2009 | 12 replies

Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This debut album shows Anberlin still attempting to grasp a balance between youthful fun and more serious fare, but altogether is a fine album for many.

Anberlin is a band that is not easily categorized. Some people call them pop-punk, some just call them rock, some make up other stupid subgenres to try to describe them. The one thing most people agree on is that they do what they do better than most. On this albums more than future releases, the pop-punk aesthetic is much more evident and so is the feel and air of innocence. Blueprints For the Black Market, their first release, is one that finds a band trying to find its footing while also laying down considerable groundwork for subsequent releases.

Stephen Christian, as always, shows why he is a force to be reckoned with behind the microphone, pouring true emotion into his songs. He has an ability to carry an entire song by himself. However, the songwriting is still on the juvenile side as a whole, most evident in the lyrics. The entire album feels like a high school summer anthem, with few exceptions. Those exceptions end up being the best songs on the album, “Glass For The Arson,” “Cadence,” and “Naïve Orleans”. Those exceptions also show where the band sets up for songs on future releases such as “Disappear” and “There is No Mathematics to Love and Loss”. “Glass For The Arson” is a hard-hitting song that shows Stephen Christian at his best and angriest. Thinking about it, every song absolutely hinges on Stephen Christian, because his vocal performances are thrown to the forefront on every song, and on most songs he succeeds, but a few songs falter.

The playful youth that is so evident on this album is something that does get a little trying after a spell. Anberlin have always had a problem with the one irritating playful song on every album, whether it is “Stationary” off Never Take Friendship Personal or “Adelaide” off Cities. The song “Foreign Language” is nothing if not mildly annoying, with nothing to offer the album. The “do-do-do-do’s” are something that infects your brain, but in the most irritating way. “Autobahn” is a fun song, but it also is one of the songs that can be skipped without losing much. Another throwaway track is the cover of The Cure’s “Love Song”, which, while not being a downright awful cover like 311’s, it is a completely unnecessary track. That being said, the youthfulness of “The Undeveloped Story” is played to absolute perfection, and is one of the best songs on the album.

All in all, this album is wonderful for times in summer, or general playful moods. If you are in too serious of a mood, listening to this album will just irritate the *** out of you. This album is the building blocks that Anberlin used to reach the high heights that they are at now. There are albums out there where there is not a care in the world, but few are done as well as Blueprints For The Black Market.

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user ratings (583)
other reviews of this album
lil_drummer_boi_21 (4)

Green Baron (3.5)
Life goes on without you....

metalheadrunner (3.5)
The blueprint was later revised, but this was an impressive first draft of the Anberlin formula....

Comments:Add a Comment 
March 24th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

Not that long, but I wanted a review out there that wasn't the TBT.

March 24th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

i like the review and agree with the rating but the fact that you don't like stationary stationery or adelaide makes me a sad panda

March 24th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

I hate those songs, sorry dude.

March 25th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

I'm with him, I don't know what you're smoking if you think those aren't good songs. Plus you don't mention either Readyfuels or Change the World, two of the best songs on this. Good review overall though.

.This Message Edited On 03.25.09

March 25th 2009


Gotta agree with roofi and Steven on this one as I think they are both great songs. The drums in Adelaide really do it for me. But opinions don't take away from a good review and for the most part that is what you have here. Must confess I'm not fond of resorting to a curse word in the last paragraph but still some solid writing in the bulk of the review. Hope you stick around and write more.

March 25th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

I'd also like to mention that this and Never Take Friendship Personal are a bit underrated, at least compared to New Surrender.

March 25th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

I like this album a lot, and it is very underrated, people act like Anberlin began with Never Take Friendship Personal. Thank for the positive feedback, even if my opinions of some songs are radically different than you guys.

March 29th 2009


Album Rating: 2.5

Readyfuels was appealing for a while, but the rest of this is pretty uninspiring.

October 6th 2014


Album Rating: 3.0

and i finally found that life goes on without youuuu

July 25th 2015


Album Rating: 2.5

The only one I've never really enjoyed but Readyfuels is so good.

October 12th 2016


this records mighty underrated tbh

December 20th 2016


Album Rating: 3.5

Well it just went down from 3.4 to 3.3 so...

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