letlive.
If I'm the Devil...


3.5
great

Review

by Joeman82 USER (9 Reviews)
June 12th, 2016 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: letlive. is a preverbal chemist on If I’m the Devil…, and they are doing a lot of experimentation with many chemicals not in their wheelhouse. Some mixtures work better than others to say the least.

Experimentation is an essential element to any artist. Experimenting with the right elements of a band’s sound can create such classics as Rush’s album 2112, masterpieces still commemorated decades later. However, experimenting can also create something notorious in all the wrong ways such as Metallica’s album St. Anger, a confusing mess of a record that leaves fans begging for sounds of albums prior. I can guarantee this album is no St. Anger, but it's no 2112 either.

The album starts off with “I’ve Learned to Love Myself”, a song that in all rights isn't bad, however it doesn't succeed in opening the album properly. “Le Prologue” opened up Fake History screaming at you Jason Butler, letlive.’s lead singer, is going to, “take the place of God,” and in “Banshee (Ghost Fame)”, the song that opens The Blackest Beautiful, Jason screams at you he, “swallowed pride till I felt sick”. In “I've Learned to Love Myself” Jason sings, not screams, “I’ve learned to Love Myself”. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand which of these quotes is different from the others. The song tries to make a grandiose overture of sorts with strings, and a song which leads to a crescendo for a majority of its length, and just when you think the song will go into the screaming, wild guitars, and relentless paced drumming of previous albums, it slows down and fades away… Not the way one would expect a letlive. album to start.

This album in general is not what one would expect a letlive. album to be. Never before would one have thought to hear the the bouncy “Elephant” made by the same band who created songs such as “Day 54”, and “27 Club”, and “A Weak Ago” sounds more akin to an evil villain’s theme to a new Disney movie with its angry, yet heavily blues-esque style. The former is in actuality a pleasant, energetic, fun song to listen to, yet I had to separate the band name from the music before heavily scrutinizing the song. Many people can't separate the music from the name attached to it, this task was even hard for myself, but once one does said task they may consider this album isn't bad, just different.

This album definitely has positives going for it. If I’m the Devil… is bar none letlive.’s catchiest record. Almost every song’s chorus would be ideal to scream at a concert along with everyone else in the venue. Lionel Robinson shows of his intricate chops on the drums throughout a good majority of this record, and the guitar work sounds very nice. On top of that, “Good Mourning, America”, and “Another Offensive Song” dish out some very meaningful and well written lyrics from Jason Butler. There is not a despicable song on this record, contrary to what one might think after reading how the description of “I’ve Learned to Love Myself” earlier in this review, heck, the heavily soulful “Foreign Cab Rides” was a very surprising gem of a track. That song is some amazing “soul punx”, the term of which the band love to use when describing their style. If I’m the Devil… is, in fact, a great record.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, this album is no classic. “Who You Are Not” is forgettable, and “Copper Colored Quiet” is an ineffective closer. Vocals overpower the instruments on almost every chorus, the bass is nonexistent, and good majority of songs seem repetitive. Even with the band name separated from the music; this album still has flaws. With the name letlive. attached to this record… there is a feeling that almost everything this record attempts to do doesn't live up to its predecessors. The aforementioned “Copper Colored Quiet” doesn't even lay a finger on “Day 54”, and “27 Club” as a closer, or as a song in general. Jason doesn't scream half the amount of time he screamed on albums prior, and as a whole, the album doesn't have the chaotic energy that defined the sound of Fake History and The Blackest Beautiful. However, when there is those moments of chaos, such as the chorus of “Good Mourning, America”, and “Another Offensive Song” the album greatly improves. That's the biggest flaw with this record. It could've been great. A majority of people's minds will leave the album not thinking the album was the masterpiece it in all rights could have been if the whole album was more like the two aforementioned songs, instead people will be thinking that there should've been more moments of chaos, more punk than soul, not more soul than punk.

letlive. tried to invent the definitive “soul punx” experience. Instead letlive. Released a mixed bag of jellybeans, while there are some awesome flavors in said mixed bag, no one likes every flavor jelly bean do they"

Recommended tracks:
Good Mourning, America
Foreign Cab Rides
Another Offensive Song



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user ratings (348)
Chart.
2.8
good
other reviews of this album
Sebastian (2.5)
letlive. lets ambition get in the way....



Comments:Add a Comment 
Joeman82
June 12th 2016


935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I would like to apologize for no italics, I put them in on the google docs I used to write this review, and I can't italize with my mobile phone. This is also my first review so if it's rough around the edges, and/or hard to read I do apologize.

Spec
June 12th 2016


35650 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I liked the review for the most part. Got a nice personal touch to it.

MusicinaBox
June 12th 2016


686 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Waaaaaaaay too much first person. Besides that well written. Wouldn't mind seeing an edited version though

PumpBoffBag
June 12th 2016


935 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

whoever negged this is a wanker

Ebola
June 12th 2016


3497 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review, pos. Summary is a bit awkward, though, and there's too much first person.

Joeman82
June 12th 2016


935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it! I can quickly fix out the uses of first person, and maybe use a thesaurus to replace some of my uses of the word prior.

Joeman82
June 14th 2016


935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

In all honesty this album probably deserves a higher rating, however comparing it to earlier work is what holds me back from doing so.

MusicinaBox
June 14th 2016


686 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah my first impression of this album was that it's a garbage overproduced pop album. And it is painfully overproduced (with some very Fall Out Boy style arrangements that don't help i.e. Copper Colored Quilt) and it is a pop record, but a great one at that. Just wish everything was more organic

Spec
June 14th 2016


35650 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

At least the production is good this time.

Joeman82
June 15th 2016


935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

In interviews with Jason he said some of the band wanted to go on a new direction and some wanted to stick to their roots, so they just... Wrote songs until they liked them. Let me just say it really does seem like this album has no focus. It's just really weird to me how quick they were to almost outright abandon their old style. Even a band like Underoath, who has gone through many stylistic changes, has never made a leap in a different direction further than letlive. has. I don't know what direction letlive. is going for next, but the fact I'm more excited about where the band is going next more than I'm excited for this newly released record is not a good sign.

Spec
September 9th 2016


35650 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah I think it's good they're experimenting, it'll make for a dope album down the road once they figure out what they want to do.

JesusCage
October 4th 2016


267 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"it'll make for a dope album down the road once they figure out what they want to do."



That would be nice



Digging: First Breath After Coma - NU

IcarusTheTowel
June 17th 2017


46 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

'It could've been great' *gives it a great rating*

Joeman82
June 17th 2017


935 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was in denial that I actually liked this album when reviewing it lmao.

onionbubs
January 7th 2019


11042 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ugggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh why is this so boring

EclipseInYourEyes
January 7th 2019


255 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

JesusCage's profile pic reflects me, when I listened to this. The Blackest Beautiful went down the road because of its production - it was otherwise not bad. Fake History slays anyway

onionbubs
January 7th 2019


11042 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

fake history is unbelievably good yeah. blackest beautiful is inconsistent but got some absolute killers



this has uhhhh

DarkHorizontal
January 7th 2019


122 Comments


why does Jason wanna abuse that autotune on recent recordings. Fever 333 is somehow worse.

onionbubs
January 7th 2019


11042 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

yea this is just boring but that shit



yIKes



at least pressure cracks is ok

EclipseInYourEyes
January 7th 2019


255 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The latest Fever track is way too much autotune. The rest is okay. At least they seem to do a proper live show. I like his voice. I love his screams - I know noone who screams better than him. Seems like his rap roots are coming through regarding autotune since it's a thing again.



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