Brand New
Deja Entendu



by RollerQueen USER (7 Reviews)
January 14th, 2005 | 68 replies

Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Artist: Brand New
Album: Deja Entendu

Jesse Lacey - Vocals/Guitar
Vincent Accardi - Guitar/Vocals
Garret Tierney - Bass
Brian Lane - Drums

Unless you've not yet read any other reviews or do not know French, "deja entendu" means "already heard." The title hints at the band's insecurity and would give the impression that they have nothing new to offer. This is only partially true: while Brand New does not redefine any form of music whatsoever, they happily mix their influences into a smoothie. A gigantic step forward from the sugary pop-punk-heavy Your Favorite Weapon, Deja Entendu showcases an honest-to-goodness growth on behalf of the entire band. Let's kick this thing off, shall we"

Tatou - Very much an introductory piece, an underwater vibe is given with minimalist musical accompaniment to the two-line lyrics. Nothing particularly wrong or right here. There is little more than reverb-heavy guitars and simplistic drumming with slowly fading vocals. It's just a simple, adeqate introduction to the album.

Sic Transit Gloria ... Glory Fades - A song about a man who is at first unwilling for a quick fling but then gives in to the girl's wishes, feeling guilty the whole time (which seems to be Jesse's constant problem). Here is where the bass stands out the most throughout the entire album. When I saw them live, Vincent danced around throughout the beginning. The drums drive it home. Vocals are hushed throughout the verse as the guitar spaces out the background. It's the chorus that kicks you in the face before retreating immediately afterwards. That and the mid-section are very much so similar to some parts of YFW. The video for this is very interesting, though not entirely relevant to the song itself.

I Will Play My Game Beneath the Spin Light - About the loneliness of touring and being a performer. Starts off acoustically. Drums and marracas come in before the chorus. Again, the chorus is loud, but more desperate than demanding.

Okay I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don't - Delightfully bitter and sarcastic. It starts off with a simple guitar line matching the tone of both Jesse's voice and lyrical intent. This is about as close to "Seventy Times Seven" as this album gets in context to Mr. John Nolan. It effectively sounds like a conversation with all the anger internally but with a subtly bitter external voicing. Unfortunately, this is the third song in a row to fall into the "quiet verse, loud chorus" trap.

The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows - Another song seemingly about touring life but also a collapsing marriage. Starts out innocently enough, then quickly into a bombastic flood of power chords and a simple riff over a simple beat. Muted power chords drive this one along as Jesse's voice is in characteristically quiet "verse mode." Still, the entire song is very strong and works well as the first single. The video is mostly standard-fare, but captures the bridge part's intensity excellently.

The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot - A personal favorite. Regret and acceptance of being the guilty party in a failed relationship is the topic of this piece. Acoustically driven and slow-paced (almost like a Smiths/Morissey song), this is one of the most emotionally powerful songs. The hopelessness and selflessness in it is astounding without sounding fake or angry (except after the second chorus). Superb is the only way to describe this song.

Jaws Theme Swimming - Lyrically, I don't get it. Maybe I'm too lazy, but in any case it's a story-telling song. The guitar is interesting in this, with the feeling of a cruise-ship waltz. This also falls into the "quiet verse/loud chorus" group. The chorus isn't simple chord-pounding, though, as it has a "dun DUN dun DUN" drive to it (terrible description, but it's the best I can do). Just in case the boys didn't show enough release with the other parts of the song, they have a soft/heavy part after the bridge to round the song out before diving into the chorus again. Aside from the guitar in the beginning, this one isn't particularly great.

Me vs. Maradona vs. Elvis - Diabolical. Evil. Distressing. As far as I can tell, this is a song about a guy having sex with a drunk girl, doing the best he can to seal the deal. Whether or not it's rape, Jesse conveys a terrible terrible action perfectly, especially how affectionately he describes the event. He sings it enticingly and gently, hiding the intensity and "malicious intent" that the lyrics describe. The only downfall is that the instrumentation reminds me of "Soco Amaretto Lime" from YFW

Guernica - A loved one and a cancerous death. The title refers to the eponymous city in Spain which was bombed to hell in the late 1930s, immortalized in the Picasso painting. Its relevance is the nature of cancer, how it attacks unrelentingly. The music itself almost sounds like a cadence with emphasis on the drums. Perhaps as a metaphor to how quickly cancer can kill, the song ends with a sense of hope and power that just stops.

Good to Know That If I Ever Need Anything All I Have to Do is Die - Being a bitch for the record industry sucks. Yet another "quiet/loud" song, but this one expands the formula with a pleasant breakdown that stretches almost to the seven-minute mark.

Play Crack the Sky - This is a narrative of a ship stranded at sea at it sinks just past land, sending flares into the sky. The character in the song realizes what will happen to everyone in the cold water. Everyone is going to die, but it is expressed that the event should not be forgotten. A definite strong ending.

In the end, I still love this album. Even though it doesn't provide too much in the ways of instrumental innovation, I've always been a fan of strong lyricism. This album shines because of that.

Final Rating: 3.5/5. No matter how much I love it, it is not flawless. Perhaps with more varied structure or style, it would be a perfect album. I can only hope that Jesse and company can fulfill their ambitions of creating something reminiscient of The Wall, as they said they would be capable of if given enough time. They said this was a rushed effort. If they can do this well without much time, I cannot wait for an album with the clock on their side.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
January 9th 2004


That was a great review, i bought the album based on your review and the CD was great. First song i heard by Brand New was Seventy Times Seven and okay I Believe You... was right away my favorite off the album. I would have liked it more if it was more guitar driven but it was different and exceptionally good.

January 10th 2004


good review, i like there other album better, i hate how each song on this is a low queit verse then it gets all loud then soft again on like every song..that was the downpart of this cd

January 13th 2004


brand new is my fav band for now, but i dont like YFW very much. anyways, a good review; i only disagree with you on one aspect. the Quiet Things video is not standard fare. IMO, it's probably the most insightful representation of soul-racking guilt that i've ever seen, especially the bridge, where he prays that he can take her place, and is granted that wish. very well-put together video all around, and an excellent album. it hasnt been out of my stereo for months.

February 25th 2004


Very good, descriptive review. I give this a 4/5

February 26th 2004


Great review, I learned some stuff about Brand New. I happen to like the slow verse followed by the fast chorus, but I guess they shouldn't have used it on some many different tracks. I instantly fell in love with Guernica which was the first song I heard from the cd. Overall, I would give it a 4.5/5.

February 26th 2004


guernica was my favorite song.

-El Hefe-
February 27th 2004


Good review. The only song I really like a whole lot is Sic Transit Gloria....Glory Fades. 6/10.

April 16th 2004


Oh man. Brand new is one of the most untalented bands musically, but they have sucha passion for it that what they do sounds so simple yet incredible. Jesse's lyrics r remarkable and the 2 vocalists sound well together. slow music, and not my typical musical fare of distorted guitars, but I love it just the same. only problem is that the song styles r repetitive. I love their videos. when everyone puts out videos of live footage, brand new has a video like quiet things, which was amazing.


April 17th 2004


Here's my thing with Brand New... their musical arrangements are great. I can't fault them for that. But their songwriter needs to stop writing stereotypical emo music. I'm sorry, but his lyrics are just so irritating. The only song I can honestly get into on this album is "The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows", because it's the only beautiful song I've ever heard them do, and it has amazing writing. The others I can't stand.

i love you taryn
April 21st 2004


Brand New are ok, but they don't know how to write long songs.... there are some bands that can do it but they can't. Whenever I heard their longer songs i became really, really bored because they tend to play the same part over and over after about 3-4 minutes, until the end of the song, which usually fades out. If they used more imagination in thinking up the form of their songs, and if they thought up more different parts for their songs as well, i might start liking them. But really, i think they are totally overrated by people who don't know any better emo bands.

April 21st 2004


Hahahahaha. I agree. "Guernica" should be shorter if you're looking for something interesting, but it's still not bad to relax to the last half, kind of like the last 10 minutes of JEW's "Goodbye Sky Harbor". I agree wholeheartedly on the "overrated" thing. People worship them as gods around here. Props on the Ugly Organ avatar.

April 21st 2004


Great album, I listened to it for about a week staright and didn't get bored of it. 4/5

April 22nd 2004


The best being what?

April 25th 2004


i love brand news new sound... ive had the cd since it came out and im still not sick of it... way to go brand new
May 6th 2004


Album Rating: 4.5

I dunno what the hell you people are talking about, I thought the CD kicks ***, especially their quiet/loud transitions. Pretty much the only songs I don't like are Tatou, I will play my game, and play crack the sky. 5/5

May 29th 2004


Album Rating: 4.5

I have just started to really get into this CD. I bought YFW and really liked that, and wondered why they didn't keep that sound. But after actually listening to all the songs and the lyrics, I realize how great they are. I've had "Guernica" stuck in my head all day. Not that I'm complaining.

May 30th 2004


i like the review, and the cd, except you called them emo. phooey.

May 30th 2004


Emo Sux.

May 30th 2004


i really liked brand new after listening to YFW, but i loved them after listening to this album. like you said, it isn't flawless. it got a little repetitious after the first five or six songs. however it's as good as albums get. (perfect ablum to "make love to") definitely one of my favorites. 4.5/5

May 31st 2004


I called it emo to see how many people would get irked. If you want to call it pop-punk or rock or whatever you'd like to label it. I wonder if Pitchfork got the same reaction from a bunch of label-police when THEY called Brand New emo. I just think it's nice that they grew up from lines like "You wouldn't get me on the phone and you couldn't make me not alone" off of Your Favorite Weapon and diversified their sound. That and "The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot" is plain awesome.

And guywithtoaster, on that note, punk sucks. Hardcore sucks. Metal sucks. Pop sucks. Indie sucks. Classical sucks. Rap sucks. R&B sucks. Rock sucks. Pop-punk sucks. Labels, above all, suck. Music, on the otherhand, is good. :thumb:

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