Atlas Genius
When It Was Now



by humblerodent USER (29 Reviews)
February 18th, 2013 | 14 replies

Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It was then

Atlas Genius’s hey day, that is. Now they’re just a band that squandered a golden opportunity.

I’ve seen this happen so many times to contemporary rock bands that it’s starting to become annoying.

They’ll release two, or three outstanding songs on an EP that receive wide radio play and extreme popularity, and then follow it up with a sub-standard debut LP. Imagine Dragons, Foster the People, Awolnation, and now Atlas Genius. All these bands promised big things with their catchy singles and teasers only to release albums that – other than the early singles – are mostly stale and generic alternative rock exercises.

Maybe that’s too harsh, but when I pick up an album from a band that showed promise I want to hear a complete album. Not a mash-up of good tracks (pre-release) and boring filler.

To be fair, Atlas Genius didn’t phone in every other song on “When It Was Now.” Besides the four songs on the album that Atlas Genius had already shown to the public (“If So,” “Back Seat,” “Trojans,” and “Symptoms”) there are two other tracks that match that level of quality. Opening track “Electric” is reminiscent of Journey and bursting at the seams with energy, while “Through the Glass” is an introspective work of art concerning the human condition.

If the rest of the album was of the same caliber as the songs mentioned above than this album’s rating would be significantly higher, but it’s not. The album’s first five tracks wash over and impress, but are then followed by five tracks that are rehashed, uninventive versions of their early successes, and make the listener wonder why they bought the album in the first place. And of course the last song on the album is one of their early pieces, adding insult to injury by reminding the listener how good this album could have been.

Let me be clear. The album’s highlights are fantastic and well worth one’s time. The problem is they are accompanied in almost equal number by tracks that simply aren’t.

Maybe the band saw the success of their first tracks and got lazy with the rest. Maybe they simply only had so many good ideas. Either way, “When It Was Now” ends up falling far short of its potential.


Recommended Tracks:

“If So”
“Through The Glass”
“Back Seat”

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user ratings (49)
other reviews of this album
Green Baron (2.5)
Through the Glass with some new songs tossed in that just wear this album down....

Ziio (2)
Outside of a couple of new tracks, Atlas Genius brings nothing new to the table and raises the quest...

linton9488 (3)
If you enjoy indie-rock then this will be right up your alley. While it doesn't provide anything ne...

Comments:Add a Comment 
February 17th 2013


Album Rating: 3.0

Stream here:

This was such a disappointing listen...

February 17th 2013


Hmmm...I'm not a fan of that "Trojans" song to begin with, so I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like this album, based on your review.

Constructive criticism mode: Remember to add a bit more context to the examples when writing. You say the songs are disappointing, but why is that? What makes them so underwhelming? It's not an easy question to answer, but answering it would make the review even stronger. Paint us some pictures.

Still worth a pos. Nice work.

February 17th 2013


Album Rating: 3.0

No, no you wouldn't haha

And thanks for the feedback. I toyed with adding more descriptors of the underwhelming songs, but thought it would take away from the pace of my review (which as it stands now is quick and concise).

Still might, we'll see

And thanks!

February 17th 2013


Album Rating: 2.5

I'm with you, Humblerodent. This record's not bad, but the wasted potential aggravates me.

February 17th 2013


Album Rating: 3.0

I'm glad that came across, it was honestly what I was most upset by. This album should be so much better

February 19th 2013


Woah woah now. Let's not get mean here. AWOLNATION released a very good album last year.

February 19th 2013


AWOLNation is quite good.

Anyways, was the 3.2 truly necessary? That, and you truly didn't tell me anything about the album. The tracks that you did describe were fine, but that was like 25% of the entire album, and the rest you compared to their previous albums, assuming we've even heard of this band and that we'd know just what you're talking about (I, for one, have not heard of this band, and there's surely somebody who hasn't on this site).

Refrain from doing that in the future. The opening sentences are too sardonic and conversational, also. Other than that, not bad.

February 19th 2013


I hate this band with a passion. I saw Silversun Pickups and they opened and it was just the most watered down indie pop shit I've ever heard. The fact that people in the crowd liked them makes me think Silversun's fans have bad taste.

February 19th 2013


Album Rating: 3.0

I gave Awolnation a 3.5. It was a decent effort, much better than this one to be sure, but it still had its fair share of filler.

Also thanks for the feedback! I really do appreciate and will attempt to incorporate certain notes into my future reviews.

February 24th 2013


I heard a bit from this band from a live concert I heard on satellite radio, so I'm checking out the album. The opener is pretty good, as you stated in your review. You should take time to describe why the album doesn't work instead of just stating that it doesn't.

Digging: Demolition Hammer - Epidemic of Violence

June 14th 2013


Album Rating: 3.0

This doesn't sound like a 3 review to me.

August 18th 2014


Trojans has such a sick riff
So simple but so damn good

Green Baron
August 18th 2014


Album Rating: 2.5

one of the best here

August 18th 2014


yeah I figured this album as a whole would be pretty bad

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