Let me start out by saying that I am a hipster douche-bag. I wear black/silver glasses (thick-rimmed, of course), I've gone bowling in slacks and a tie, and I listen to music that I haven’t really listened to before. So, when I saw that Sputnik was counting down the top 100 albums of the decade, I couldn't be happier. I stayed with it and made sure I didn't skip a single overview. I was glad I could finally listen to really good music, and being the hipster I was, I picked up most of these albums (such as Boxer and Merriweather Post Pavilion) without having heard them first. Although it makes me sad that I’ve become something I hate, it was probably the best thing that had ever happened to me, because I came across this album.
The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me soon became my number one album, passing Porcupine Tree’s Fear of a Blank Planet by miles. Unfortunately, I came across it at the library, so I just picked it up, not thinking. Albums like this one are necessary to own, in all forms possible. I still have yet to pick one up due to lack of money, but once I get that $15 or so, I am going right to the record store, because I just love it that much.
The album seems to start out slow, but after “Jesus”, it gets a flow and it just keeps getting better. Although the album starts out slowly, does not mean it starts out poorly, it means the first few songs lack what the rest of the album has in flow.
The album seems to have a concept of a person, whether it’s Jesse Lacey, the lead vocalist, or someone else, struggling with his faith. The songs go back and forth between loving God, and questioning him. For instance, “Millstone” has the lines: “I used to pray like God was listening; I used to make my parents proud” saying the person is going through a difficult time in their life, thinking God has left them since he never answers their prayers. Then, the album moves on to “Jesus” in which the character seems to be praying, worrying about what his life has become. Wondering, “Do I get the gold chariot; do I float through the ceiling"” The entire album seems to jump back and forth between these two things, which many will find satisfying, since many people have gone through the same thing.
The album experiments with many different styles, from the grinding guitar on “Sowing Song (Yeah)”, to the melodic “Jesus”, to the haunting “Untitled”, for many bands, this would be a disaster, but there are a select few, such as Brand New, who can do it right.
The world has new music every day, whether it’s rap, pop, or rock, but there never seems to be anything good. It is rare that you will come across a song on the radio that makes it onto an album of the decade. Brand New is no exception, if it wasn’t for Sputnik, I wouldn’t have known about them and I would have gone on with my life, listening to Linkin Park and Bowling for Soup. It is sites like these that help you find the best music, and The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me is the best music. The album has been on countless, “Best of the Decade” lists, but it has not been number one, Illinois, or, the obvious Kid A always beats it. In my mind, this deserves the number one spot, but again, it’s all opinion. This album is a no-brainer to own. It isn’t just one you should pick up if there’s nothing better to pick up, it’s one you need now. When you buy it and experience it, the feelings should be overwhelming. The best album of the decade, maybe of my generation, gets a solid 5/5.
“Sowing Song (Yeah)”
“You Won’t Know”
“Not the Sun”
“The Archers Bows Have Broken”