Review Summary: " Fine Print " is a bit of an overstatement. " 'Meh' Print " works better.
NOTE: THIS IS AN ALBUM BY INVISIBLE IN., A MUSIC GROUP THAT FEATURES GEORGE WATSKY. BECAUSE I COULDN'T GET INVISIBLE INC THEIR OWN PAGE, I'M PUTTING IT HERE. AS SUCH, I WILL NOT BE REFERRING TO WATSKY HIMSELF IN THIS REVIEW.
Invisible Inc released their eponymous album back in 2007. Yes, they really did take an 11-year hiatus for reasons unknown. But hey, they came back with this and fans of the group were intrigued. But did Fine Print resemble a triumphant return? I mean, I guess. Being gone for 11 years must do something to a group, and when I heard this was being released I kind of expected its quality to not exactly match but be slightly superior to a Weezer album in the 21st century. In other words, my expectations weren't all that high.
Is this a good record? Hard to say. It's far from perfect, but it does have some good moments that, while not as bountiful as the bad moments, do make up for the number of bad moments. And, in all honesty, you have to cut Invisible Inc some slack. This was their first record since 2007, keep in mind. It's not going to be the greatest. And considering these standards, I wouldn't consider Fine Print to be great or bad, but more or less average and passable.
The best part of the album is its diversity in not only melodies but voices. On their eponymous record, George Watsky seemed to be the only one who ever did the lyrical delivery, but now in addition to him, we've got Adam Vida. His voice is recognizable and differs from Watsky's, and he helps bring a bit more creativity to the album, as in whilst writing music they were thinking of how the two lyricists would deliver differently. The melodies on this album are very unique as well. They're not the greatest things I've ever heard, but they definitely sound off but yet fitting for this album. The track "Safe Spaceship" is most likely the best example of this: it features jazz band related instruments like the flute and trumpet but also electronic chords to keep the song flowing. I found it so cool that Invisible Inc was able to mix these together and still make it sound great. Did I mention that this track is in 3.5/4 time signature as well? I'd never thought I would hear that, but I guess Invisible Inc told someone to hold their beer because now I have.
However, we start to see the worse parts of the record when we discover the bland tracks containing some bland moments. Tracks like "Wow! You Will Love It!" and "Shady" just try to extend the album length. They don't seem to boast that they have effort put into them. And then there are tracks that just aren't fun to listen to and seem to bland to thoroughly enjoy, but yet drag on too long. Tracks such as "Sole Soul" and "Suck City Tour Guides" seem to go on for a while (even though SCTG doesn't even last for three minutes) but don't seem to fit that length very well because you're bored by the time they're over. Hell, even "Same Way," the group's most popular song, seems to fit this category.
Also, minute detail to get mad over, but Invisible Inc's first album featured no collaborations, but this one does. Could they not avoid collaborations on this record? How were they able to pull through the first time?
All in all, I would only recommend listening to the suggested tracks below. All of the others don't seem to be worth the time. Sure, there are some other melodies that are great, but the lyrics don't work with them. But again, most of what I said was to be expected on this record. After they left for 11 years, I can at least expect that there is still a bit of good stuff I can enjoy on this album. Maybe you'll like it more than me. Who knows?
Recommended tracks: The Opposition, Safe Spaceship, Battle, Ragdoll