Release DetailsLABEL Atlantic Records
RELEASED ON 5/9/2006
For The Taken
posted on 6/2006 By:
I was unsure how to take this thing at first blush. It's pretty hack. They're another band that can't decide if they are ripping off Monster Magnet, Nickleback or Soundgarden. I won't get into whether they are metal or not. I think they are as metal as half of the shit we get in here, and I will leave it at that. The guitars are loud, the singer is brash, and the riffs are plenty. They make a decent and hefty noise most of the time. The singer is a singer in the classic sense, which means when the band is hitting their power chords on the "one" they sound way too AOR for their own good. I am sure it gets their girlfriends wet, but it leaves me more than a little limp. That's a rather large stumbling block for a band that is reviewed here. If you are not going to be VERY creative in other respects, the addition of the early aughts power ballad is a massive flaw in your plan of attack.
So you can break this down into two possible points of interest, one relatively positive, one not even kinda'. When the band rocks sludge style they are on the verge of good. When they don't they are just north of vapid. The singer is certainly in love with his own sincerity, and shows it. He has range and control, which means that overuse of sincerity sounds pretentious. He makes up for it a bit when he gets a hollar going, but these are far too sparse to make this an enjoyable listen for anyone who hates radio oriented music. And the fact that the band writes songs that all start with a singsongy, jangly guitar over which the singer can worry his voice in all its tragicomic glory really makes this group borderline REO Speedwagon for the new millennium.
More to the point, as the album progresses, the songs get worse and worse; borderline Scott Stap shitpool worse. Worse, perhaps, because the few songs that actually work are really pretty good. When your good shit is the exception and your regurgitated pop rock hyperballads are the norm, you are not scoring shit for points in the metal community. I just really don't think this band cares even a bit about musical integrity. I have this vision of them writing cool music accidentally under the banner of "something to get the crowd moving". If you have a separate category for making the crowd excited, you are not making rock and roll. Lawrence Welk wants his bubble machine back.
The production is expensive. Perfectly recorded and mastered, it screams corporate metal/rock sell-out before you have anything to sell. As far as musicianship, certainly the members of this group are tight and able. I can't imagine why you would care, but they are.
To the bottom line I put the following question for the reader to answer: Do you like the "rock" music they play between what passes for R&B and pop on hit radio these days? If so, step right up. If, however, you are like myself and would pour gasoline on modern radio rock/metal bands were they trapped in a fire, but not enough to douse the bands completely, lest they burn too hot and too quick and rob you of the joy of watching, hearing and smelling them be slowly consumed in the conflagration, then you will probably want to save your money for something a little less corporatist; like Jessica Simpson's next album. At the very least, send this group a message about rock and fucking roll. Either shit or get the fuck off the pot, whores.
Register to post comments.