Review Summary: This is the album that influenced my tastes and got me into music in general.
In 2002, as a young boy of 12, I was completely shut off from all music. I had access to it sure, but I never had shown any interest in listening to music of ANY sort. Music was nice to listen to every once in a while, but I never made any effort to find any bands to listen to, or even listen to any of the classic albums. The only things I cared about back then were video games and anime. One of my favorite anime's was Dragon Ball Z. What does this have to do with Lostprophets - The Fake Sound Of Progress? Well, it has pretty much everything to do with it. I was incredibly obsessed with Dragon Ball Z, so much so, that I looked on the internet for anything related to it. I suddenly came across an animated music video for the show. The song in the video, was "Shinobi Vs. Dragon Ninja".
I was at a shock. It was love at first listen with these guys. I immediately went and got their album, The Fake Sound Of Progress. It took me on a musical journey that I have never come back from. Every song on the album sounded different, but each song is amazing in it's own way. "Shinobi Vs Dragon Ninja"'s introduction riff is pretty much what made me want to start playing guitar. Ian Watkins vocals were unfathomably catchy, they would get stuck in my head for days at a time. "The Fake Sound Of Progress" started out slow, but the lyrics on this song are some of the best I've ever heard. Still to this day, I find myself singing "Somebody told me that I always have to bow/If that was true I would have fallen apart by now/The more you think, the less you act their ways/So can you hear this, the fake sound of progress."
Some people are turned off by Jamie Oliver's turntable scratching but I think that it just makes the album all the more memorable. "Five Is A Four Letter Word" has one of the catchier guitar riffs on the song, however, some of the more forgettable vocal work. Jamie's turntable work on the song are excellent though, despite it being one of the weaker tracks on the album. "...And She Told Me To Leave" is a song that hits on all ends. An amazingly catchy chorus combined with a pretty nice guitar riff at the beginning. However, what makes this song shine is the bass. Without it, the song would be completely soulless and empty, but the bass just brings it to life and shoves the song way ahead of all the other songs on the album.
"Kobrakai" is one of the more hardcore songs on the album. This song is rather odd in that Jamie uses his turntables ALOT on this song, but it certainly adds to the songs effect rather than subtract. After the hardcore entrance however, we hear some jazz influences guitar work, which makes the song sound pretty unique compared to the other songs. The chorus background vocals of "I got it, I got it, I got it" always make me smile for some reason, even if they sometimes feel out of place. Ahh, "The Handsome Life Of Swing". This song was HUGE in making me like screaming vocals, and as such, opened the door for most of the music I listen to today. It is the heaviest song on the album, eventually getting to the point where we cant even understand the vocals anymore. (There are no official lyrics for the screams after a certain point, so nobody knows for sure what is being screamed). The song ends with a kind of ambient closer, which is heavily contrasted by the beginning of the song. However, it is still very enjoyable.
"A Thousand Apologies" is another rather heavy song. I've noticed that there are two VERY different versions of this song floating around the internet, each having a different set of vocals. One of them is very very GOOD and the other is just alright. This song probably has the catchiest vocals out of ALL the songs on the album. The occasional screaming helps the song in its heaviness, but the vocals are truly what makes this song stand out. "Still Laughing" took more than a few listens to fully grasp it, even though it is still probably one of my least favorites on the album, despite being very good. The song is one of the slowest and softest songs on the album, but they make it work by adding the exceptionally catchy verse "I'm still waiting./I still bleed./That's a sign that I'm still me./I'm still breathing./I can see, so I must be alive for real."
"For Sure" is one of the most upbeat tracks on the album, and one of the catchiest. This is mostly attributed to the absolutely sick guitar work on this song. While not technical or hard to play by any means, the riffs are so catchy that it has pretty much never been matched. The song starts off with a rather upbeat, feel good kind of riff, and ends on a kind of melancholic, heavy riff. It always makes me feel like I'm at the beach in the beginning of the song, and in a field during a thunderstorm at the end. The emotions on the song are absolutely intense. "Awkward" combines heavy guitar work with Jamie's turntables, making for a kind of weird, almost industrial feel to it. The song is faintly similar to "Five Is A Four Letter Word", but only in the guitar riffs. However, it's probably my third least favorite song on the album.
The album ends on the extraordinary "Ode To Summer". Lostprophets have always been able to make up a very catchy guitar riff right at the beginning of the song, and the one at the beginning of this song is definitely a highlight. There is some "rapping" in this song in a sense, thus making people classify them as "Nu-Metal". The song has some pretty good scratching in the middle, and ends with a ridiculously catchy ending chorus. As far as I've heard, there are also two different versions of the ending floating around the internet as in "A Thousand Apologies", one of the versions ending in "Seeing it all, feeling it all" and the other version ending in "So why don't I face it?". Both versions are particularly good, and I cannot possibly decided which one I like more.
This is the first album I ever bought. It is most definitely my most listened to album of all time, as I have most likely listened to it over 1000 times. These guys were pretty much all I listened to from grades 7-11, so that's not surprising. I would honestly give my left arm to see these guys live, and their new album, "The Betrayed" is definitely my most anticipated album of 2010. However, "The Fake Sound Of Progress" will always have a special place in my heart for opening the door up to me to all kinds of different music, and as such, it, along with "Start Something", are my favorite albums of all time. I realize I am quite biased about this band, but oh well, I love every second of Lostprophets material. This is my first review as well, which is very fitting, for my first album.