Poets of the Fall
Clearview


3.5
great

Review

by tiesthatbind USER (46 Reviews)
October 6th, 2016 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Still the acrobat with my heart on my sleeve..."

Since their formation in Finland over a decade ago, Poets of the Fall have been delivering quality alternative rock. This is in large part due to vocalist Marko Saaresto, whose emotive vocal performance and poetic lyricism have consistently been an asset, but the other aspect that's made the band stand out is their willingness to change up their sound throughout their discography. Whether it's focusing on hard rock elements (Revolution Roulette), a more sweeping, cinematic sound (Twilight Theater), or writing unabashed pop songs (Jealous Gods), the band has been committed to making each album unique from the last. They've kept an accessible sound while avoiding becoming stale like many of their mainstream rock counterparts in America have. Vocally and lyrically, Marko remains in top form, but Clearview, while still very enjoyable, is otherwise less adventurous on the songwriting front than previous albums have been.

One thing the band has not forgotten is how to write a catchy hook, which is particularly seen in the album's uptempo opening stretch. 'Drama for Life' provides a dose of spirited hard rock reminiscent of the band's earlier work, while 'The Game' and 'Once Upon a Playground Rainy' are fun melodic rock tracks with infectious choruses that show off the band's pop sensibilities. Although Marko's vocals continue to shine and the hooks remain solid, the album never quite recaptures the energy of those early tracks, particularly as the tempo slows to a crawl toward the end with the balladry of 'Labyrinth' and 'Moonlight Kiss'. Both tracks work well on their own, but the album's latter portion would have been much better served with more uptempo tracks that contrasted their minimalist musical style.

Ultimately, Clearview is a solid release from Poets of the Fall that is only let down by playing things a bit too safe on the instrumental side. The solo at the end of 'The Game' is one of Clearview's highlights, but moments like these are few and far between. Jealous Gods, the band's previous album, was similarly pop-oriented but it featured more diverse songwriting and it still managed to deliver some standout guitar moments. While Clearview still boasts strong hooks, particularly in its first half, and is still a worthwhile listen, a more dynamic musical performance throughout would have taken it even further. Hopefully, Poets of the Fall rediscovers that adventurous streak and branches out from their current pop-rock style, as enjoyable as that can be. If they do, they may still have some of their best work ahead of them.



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user ratings (31)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
CzechyGuy
October 6th 2016


179 Comments


I agree that they could've experimented a bit more, this feels too safe. I'd love to see more songs like The Game or Drama for Life.

Nice review btw

tiesthatbind
October 6th 2016


7441 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

First review in 3 years! Damn, it's been a while.



What's up, Sputnik?

porcupinetheater
October 6th 2016


2664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Keep meaning to listen to this and forgetting. Need to fix that shit.



Jealous Gods was honestly one of their best

tiesthatbind
October 6th 2016


7441 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I agree that they could've experimented a bit more, this feels too safe. I'd love to see more songs like The Game or Drama for Life.



Nice review btw


Thanks.

The first half is really enjoyable, but I was definitely disappointed that Drama for Life was as heavy as the album got. It'd be nice to see them incorporate more riffs again like back in the Carnival of Rust days.

And yeah, Jealous Gods is really good. It's just so damn catchy and I love that they put a Rush-style instrumental on there. That's another thing I was hoping to see more of on here.

CzechyGuy
October 6th 2016


179 Comments


Jealous Gods is great, I actually think it's one of their best. I just missed that kind of climax that for an example the closer on Jealous Gods had. Here's almost nothing like that. But that solo on The Game tho.


tiesthatbind
October 6th 2016


7441 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, that false ending leading into the solo is really the only unique thing they do on here in terms of song structure. I think Once Upon a Playground Rainy is my favorite track on here though.



And how did Jealous Gods never get a review? I might have to review that one at some point as well.

porcupinetheater
October 7th 2016


2664 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Buncha suspicious 10.06.16 sign up accounts dedicated to 5ing this tryna make it look like this ain't the worst Poets album or somethin'

Zanareth
October 8th 2016


296 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah probably their weakest, although it has more standout tracks than RR, just a lot less consistency.

OmairSh
October 8th 2016


14463 Comments


Fucking hell Ties, back with a bang. Need to check this. I wish they'd really take some big risks and utilise their talent to it's true potential

Ecnalzen
June 9th 2018


7491 Comments


Hmm... I would like to hear some more from this band other than Carnival of Rust. Where do I go next?

tiesthatbind
June 10th 2018


7441 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Twilight Theater is my favorite by them so I would definitely recommend that one. Less hard rock elements compared to Carnival of Rust but it has an epic, cinematic kind of feel that is unlike anything else in their discography. I love that album.

Their debut, Signs of Life, is really good too if you haven’t heard that one yet.

Ecnalzen
June 10th 2018


7491 Comments


I will head to those two next. Thanks!



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