Review Summary: There is some depth here, some good emotional moments, a lot of flashes of creativity and still a lot of potential. While Saving Abel certianly never used that full potential, it is present enough here to at give at least half of the tracks an additional
Now before you start to complain about how high is rating for this record, hear me out. I am really not the biggest Saving Abel fan or anything, neither is this album an amazing listen. But for it is, it is a pretty cool post grunge release.
There are a lot of positives to this record, even if you're all against butt rock and all (yes, there are quite a few of those on this album). Firstly, the men in Saving Abel are very talented musicians, especially when it comes to guitar. Some riffs and solos on here are pretty damn good, the more simple tracks are sometimes even played beautifully and there really isn't really aren't any flaws to them. Bass is pretty silent like on most records like this, and the drums, well they keep the rhythm and sometimes show some promise as well, but not nearly enough as they should.
Also, Jared Weeks voice is a typical rock voice which blends in perfectly with this style, and his writing can be really good, when he really puts in some legitimate passion and effort. He proved that many times through his career.
But that leads to the biggest problem of this debut - the repetitiveness of the theme. It is all about the girls, all the time. There is only one break from that in track 5, but the rest really push it to the very limit. Not to mention music along with lyrics gets more bland as the record goes on, especially on the second half. The guitars, while good for the most part, sometimes are just strumming along and bring nothing original or at least memorable to the table. A few tracks are also pretty formulaic rockers in nature, like the opening cut ¨New Tattoo¨, which sounds like an opener to Nickelback record. Hooks are mostly constructed with powerchords, which really ain't bad. But the lyrics really do hurt tracks like ¨New Tattoo¨, and especially the lead single ¨Addicted¨. But those two are really the only real sex songs here, the rest are really a bit more tame when it comes to writting.
As I said, many people despise groups like Saving Abel, a lot them only judging by one or two singles, but believe me when I say this - there are genuine gems on this record. ¨18 Days¨ is really just a sweet love ballad about missing the loved one, and it is really not that cliche, it's written pretty nicely, and has an infectious chorus. ¨Sailed Away¨ falls into similar category as well, beautiful arpeggios, well-written breakup lyrics, a catchy hook, some good guitarwork, and Jared's voice shines for the most part. But easily the best track on here is ¨Drowning (Face Down). Even if you hate them from the depth of your soul, this song is undeniably great. Lyrics are amazing, the instrumentation is beautiful in the verses, and it explodes with catchy af hook, and the solo rounds this all up. It is truly the standout, although it was not that successful, and it is the only non-romantic song here.
Aside from these songs, ¨Beautiful You¨, and ¨In God's Eyes¨ both possess enough energy to keep you awake with the riffing, and ¨Beautiful Day¨ even uses some decent paino-work. I mentioned the record gets more mediocre as it goes on, and it is not really that music is getting that much worse, it just gets painfully repetitive. This is especially true for the last couple of tracks, and chances are, you will not remember them as much.
Still, there is some depth here, some good emotional moments, a lot of flashes of creativity and still a lot of potential. While Saving Abel certianly never used that full potential, it is present enough here to at give at least half of the tracks an additional listen. Sure, you will skip the first two if you dislike Nickelback-like songs, and last few for being boring, but that's still not discrediting Saving Abel for what they brought us here. It is still a radio rock post grunge record, but it is far more creative (in places at least) than let's say, any Theory of a Deadman or Hinder record. I would say it is too bad they got big off of ¨Addicted¨ instead of ¨Drowning¨, as it is an example of the better side of radio rock from the 00's
Overall, this is slightly above average album, and that is why is it a 3 and not 2,5 for me. I thought about it for some time, and I think they didn't get as much credit as they deserved, as far worse records went multiplatinum and this one only got gold. They pretty much fell of the map after this release, and not many people remember them, but I still like them. As I said, not being very biased cause I really ain't a huge fan, I just feel it does not deserve all the *** that it gets for golden lines like ¨...when you're going down on me in between the sheets¨.
Drowning (Face Down)
She Got Over Me
Addicted (of course)