AWOLNATION
Run


3.0
good

Review

by Green Baron USER (159 Reviews)
March 19th, 2015 | 15 replies


Release Date: 03/17/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: AWOLNATION manage to avoid a sophomore slump, but whether or not they’ll make the leap to excellence is still unknown.

Diversity can be both a blessing and a curse. It’s great when artists switch things up by having more than one style of song; however, a lack of true musical direction can come off as unfocused and disjointed. The latter is what plagued Megalithic Symphony, the debut album from AWOLNATION, Aaron Bruno’s electronic indie rock project. Seemingly jumping from slow ballads to abrasive beats like a kid on a trampoline, the grand symphony simply lacked cohesion. It seemed that its successor was almost guaranteed to sink even lower, and with the popularity of mega-hit “Sail” still lingering four years later, plenty could have gone wrong.

Run succeeds where Megalithic Symphony faltered, and for that alone it deserves credit. It’s a much more focused album, and AWOLNATION seem to have found the path that they would like to go down. The electronic elements are used to create a more atmospheric mood, whether it’s gradually building from a chill start to a dark, gloomy conclusion, synthesizers fading into the background or pounding eardrums with its excess wubs. The louder songs are improved as well, with “Dreamers” and “Windows” containing much more energy; the former’s repetitions of “nine bloody dreamers of the dancefloor” is incredibly catchy, while the screams are some of the best he’s done (side note: the eight-second long scream of “FUUUUUUUUCK!” followed by a quick interjection of “wait” before diving back into the madness shouldn’t flow so well, but it does). Not all of them are great; “KOOKSEVERYWHERE!”, aside from its obnoxiously stylized title is too frenetic for its own good, while “Like People, Like Plastic” is simply uninteresting.

Even with that patched up, Run is still an inconsistent album. There are flashes of brilliance amongst periods of shoddiness, and there’s no knowing when each one will come. It starts off nicely with the atmospheric title track and “Fat Face” before diving into the subpar lead single “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)” and the “Sail”-rehash that is “Jailbreak”. The last three tracks are also a bit on the weaker side, and had they been removed, this album could have been eleven tracks and 41 minutes long, which sounds about right, given that it’s a bit too overlong in its current state. Mostly, they’re just boring, as each one is roughly five minutes and aside from “Like People, Like Plastic”, are slower-type songs. There already is the title track and the acoustic “Headrest for My Soul” that do the job, and do it a lot better.

While the flaws that riddled Megalithic Symphony have been improved, AWOLNATION are still far from being a great band. Their style of electronic-infused alternative rock has proved to be very popular within their following, especially with their singles garnering heavy airplay on alternative stations. Yet as much as their debut was very much a “singles album”, Run offers more quality within its deeper cuts. There’s plenty of songs that aren’t cut to be hits that are great, while the ones that seem like radio tracks aren’t all that great. AWOLNATION manage to avoid a sophomore slump, but whether or not they’ll make the leap to excellence is still unknown. This time around, the problems are in different areas, and if Aaron Bruno can remedy that while keeping what they have going on here, then they might have the potential to do even better.



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user ratings (102)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
PostMesmeric (3)
AWOLNATION finally have an idea of what exactly they want to be....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Green Baron
March 18th 2015


24322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

approximately a 3.2.



they should just release sail as single number two from this honestly

Digging: mewithoutYou - [Untitled]

TumsFestival
March 18th 2015


2457 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

KOOKS and Like People, Like Plastic are 2 of the only songs I found to be finished-sounding

Snake.
March 18th 2015


21056 Comments


the title track is garbage

Digging: Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want

PostMesmeric
March 19th 2015


734 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Title track's great, actually. "Hollow Moon" is garbage.

Tunaboy45
March 19th 2015


16583 Comments


Great review green

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2015


4637 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This lacks the urgency and the hooks of Megalithic Symphony, but overall feels more mature.

Digging: The Ocean - Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic

PostMesmeric
March 19th 2015


734 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Green's gonna be featured for this album and not me... T_T

PostMesmeric
March 19th 2015


734 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I have myself to blame, though. I pos'd this review. :P

oisincoleman64
March 29th 2015


2232 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The rating has gone down to a 2.8? WTF IS THIS TOMFOOLERY?!

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 5th 2015


4637 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The second half grew on me, there are some cute songs there. I might raise this to a 3.5 if I keep coming back to it.

TheGreatQ
April 28th 2015


2735 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"KOOKS EVERYWHERE!!!" starts off sounding a lot like "March of the Pigs" by NIN

RadicalEd
July 6th 2015


9393 Comments


First album is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, so I'll check this out. Good review.

Green Baron
July 27th 2015


24322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The Run meme was annoying from the beginning

theNateman
July 28th 2015


3510 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the run meme destroyed any effectiveness of the title track, not that it was any good to begin with



SweeneyTodd
August 27th 2016


1722 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

When I first listened to this I found it to be boring, it's grown on me since, Jailbreak is easily my favourite track

Digging: Tangerine Dream - Tangram



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