Review Summary: What It Takes definitely has what it takes.
For those of you who read my first review (Escape the Fate's This War is Ours), you would know that I attempted a non track-by-track review, but in the process, epicly failed. Because of this, I'm going to take a new approach to reviewing and do (GASP
) a track-by-track review.
-Douglas Robinson (vocals)
-Paul Cadena (guitar)
-Salvatore Mignano (bass)
-Christopher Evans (keys/theremin)
1. You'll Be a Corpse Before Your Time
This is one of the best tracks on the album. The guitar intro is somewhat similar to Rise Against. The minute you hear Doug belt out the first words of the song, you know they are doing something right. He pours all of his emotion into his voice, to the point where even if you don't agree with the lyrics, you'll have respect for them. The chorus is gold and the piano break is also brilliant here.
2. Friday Night
When I first heard this song, I didn't enjoy it that much. It starts out with a pretty mellow intro and quickly cuts to the vocals. In this song, the theremin drives the beat, at least until the chorus. This is very different for The Sleeping but is fresh and overall they did a good job on the sound. I especially enjoy the pounding bass and drums in this one.
3. Bomb the World
"Bomb the World" is another song where the whole band is in sync with each other. Doug is at his vocal peak in this song and when he screams the lines "Keep struggling, live and trying again...", it just makes you want to get up and scream along. The theremin is epic in this song and at its best. If there was one Sleeping song I could listen to over and over again, this would be it.
4. Shallow Lungs
In this song, like a lot of Sleeping songs, the best part is not the chorus. While it is completely respectable, the true highlight of this song is when Doug sings along to the guitar- "I swear, I swear, I lost my head again..." You would think it would end after that, but it pauses for a moment and then cuts to the chorus again, ending not long after that.
5. Running Faster
Starting out with a piano intro, the vocalist carries the song into the chorus with a spoken word type rap. The chorus is probably the most melodic The Sleeping have devised so far in their 37 song catalog. Though it seems like a feel good song, the lyrics say otherwise. It's still a great song, regardless of what mood you're in at the time.
6. Ripped Dress
Despite its shortness in length and relatively simple lyrics, this song is an amazing part of What It Takes. The theremin and hard hitting guitar drive this song, like some of the past songs.
7. Should Have Let Me Leave
Doug shows a totally new side of himself in the intro to this one. Its darkness and delivery are perfect. While I'm not too crazy about the chorus, it is decent and bearable, like the weaker songs they have crafted in the past. Chris Evans ends the song with a beautiful and lengthy piano solo.
8. He Only Sees Where He Stands
There's honestly not much to say about this song. It's good but it is nothing special, and this is also around the point where the album begins to trail and show less promise. The keys near the end of the song are a nice addition, however.
9. Refusive Relationship
The beginning of this sounds like Tom Morello guested on this song. After that it goes to a flurry of complex guitar parts and some loud bass, with Doug yelling along to the instruments. The song is somewhat laughable ("You've got some explaining to do!") but overall its great."Don't lie to me again, 'cause I won't be listening.." is truely the best the song has to offer and ends the song well.
10. Bad Religion
"Bad Religion" is the letdown of the album not because of its topic, but because the band fails to capitalize on the energy of the song. I've only listened to this twice for reviewing purposes, and I usually skip it. I suggest you do the same.
11. Anyone Night Stand
Here's another piano driven song. It's probably the second best song of this half of the album. Like "Don't Hold Back" on Q&A, this song has a lot of innuendo. It can get old and the chorus can be quite whiney but its refreshing after a few average songs in a row.
To me, "Deadbeast" sounds like a mix of the first and second tracks on the album. That said, the quality is also a mix of those two. Salvatore really reminds me of a punk bassist on this song, and does a really good job on it. This song also has some elements of "Refusive Relationship" in it and is a good way (though not the best way), of ending the album.
Final Rating: 4/5