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4.7 out of 5 stars31
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 19 April 2002
Well here's something you may not have expected from Silverchair's 4th studio album.
If 95's 'Frogstomp' was all youthful exuberance on a Nirvana template, 97's 'Freakshow' was trying to be taken seriously and 2000's 'Neon Ballroom' trying to shake the (post)-grunge label, then 'Diorama' clearly shows Silverchair developing a whole new side to their sound and impressive it is too.
Brass, Strings, Piano's, sweeping playful vocals and arrangements, even a bloody harpsichord. Thats just on fantastic opener 'Across the Night'.
It is clear that the band have progressed to happier times as 'The Greatest View' amply establishes, gone are the down beat self loathing musings on Neon Ballroom (see Anna's Song and Emotion Sickness). What we have now is a band brimful of confidence and not afraid to experiment with different styles and influences.
'The Lever' harks back to the good old days when grunge was grunge with a glorious riff and singalong hooks. This and 'One way Mule', another stomper, highlight just how far the boys have come. 'Luv you Life' is an evocative tune and again showcases how it would have been easy, in todays climate, to release a guitar album by numbers but messr's John's and co have dusted themselves down and come up trumps an album for the summer, heartfelt, bouncy and as catchy as the flu.
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on 14 January 2003 has been a long time since an album has had such an emotional effect on me. I have approximately 300 Cd's in my collection and this rates up there with maybe 1 or 2 others as an all-time favourite. In the last 5 or so years my tastes have run more to electronic/dance music, but 'Diorama' has reminded me just how inspiring a good, powerful, passionate guitar-based album can be. Of course, this isn't just any old guitar album: it has stunning orchestration, poetic lyrics, and Daniel Johns' voice is incredible - snarling one minute on 'One Way Mule' and beautifully fragile the next on 'My Favourite Thing'. Diorama has just been voted Album of the Year here in Australia - I'd go beyond this to say one of the albums of the last ten years. Diorama represents a sort of quantum leap in Silverchair's music - there were hints of the new direction on 'Neon Ballroom' but I don't think anyone was expecting such maturity and beauty from someone who is only 22 or so years old. Magic - buy it now!
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on 18 October 2002
After being a fan of Silverchair's previous efforts,notably "Frogstomp" and "Neon Ballroom"..I was anxious to hear new material from Johns et al. I have to say I was completely blown away..and that was just the first listen! After several thousand listenings..I can now convey my thoughts! This album has a rare quality which maks you just stop in sheer amazement every single time it is played. I find it unbelievable that one band,who are still, so young can be so incredibly talented. Who make music so divine and indulgent that makes you cry and smile..the emotion is so real and honest.
I never imagined that Silverchair, who began as a pretty wicked grunge rock band, would grow and evolve into this.. it is astounding. From the first delicately orchestrated tones of "Across the night" to the heavier sounds of "The lever" to the heart wrenching acoustic tracks "Favourite thing" and "After all these years" are taken through the mind of Daniel Johns..the most talented songwriter of our generation for sure. Ok, so maybe I'm sounding a little melodramatic...well, to those who are yet to hear "Diorama"..because those who have will undoubtedly be in the same state I'm in..completely besotted with this phenomenal release. Yeah, I know its different..but a change for the better and a direction which takes the band into scarily good ways. Trust me!
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on 11 January 2005
Silverchair are without a doubt one of the most talented bands in the world and yes theres a good point that if they were that good they'd be huge but, personally i think making music is their prime concern if they were huge they'd have less time to work on their music and that would be their down fall. over the years i've heard pretty much every thing they've ever written and Neon ballroom was what converted but if your into heavy or nirvana then get Frogstomp or Freakshow, if your into bands like muse then get diorama the styles not dissimilar.
considering the albums go for around a tenner go out on a limb, you'll not regret it.
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on 27 March 2002
Silverchairs 4th album takes up where neon ballroom left of in terms of originality.It is an ambitious album with an appropriate title "Diorama-a world within a world".This sets the theme for the album and songs like The Greatest View and Without You are evidence of this ambition.
The outstanding songs on this album for me are One Way Mule and Hollywood, heavy songs which were performed remarkably well at rock in rio 3.
This is definatley Silverchairs best album yet and a must buy for die-hard chair fans, however this is also a great album if you are just discovering Silverchairs music and what it is all about.
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on 10 May 2003
Optimism isn’t exactly something that Silverchair is renowned for. Carving a niche out of thrashing guitars, tormented vocals and a following of discontented high school outsiders had always been more their style. No longer is this the case, as the Newcastle trio’s latest studio offering will testify.
Diorama – a world within a world - is the name of the new album, apt indeed. There is no prominent shortage of those familiar dark moments and high-powered riffs that helped propel the band to international fame, however this time the focus is obviously elsewhere. It’s not so much the lyrics that serve up great lashings of hope than the album’s general atmosphere, all buoyant mood and sweeping sonic landscapes, supplemented at times by an extravagant 40-piece orchestra. Throw into the mix the great composer/arranger Van Dyke Parks and Tool producer David Bottrill, and the result ends up verging close to the sublime. Rocking pieces like 'The Lever' and 'One Way Mule' are as energetic and hard-edged as you would normally expect from Silverchair; but it’s really the less characteristic, visionary epics such as 'Luv Your Life', 'Tuna in the Brine' and 'Across the Night' that form the heart of the album.
And what a heart it is. Boldly following the direction where 1999’s breakthrough Neon Ballroom was heading, but far less bleak and entrenched in reality, Diorama spins the listener out of the mundane and straight into melodic fantasy. "I just wanted to take people to another world," says frontman Daniel Johns. Is this a ‘happy album’? Not particularly. The music reveals nothing more and nothing less than a kaleidoscope of human emotion, delivered with a little touch of magic. One look at the cover artwork – a door ajar with rainbow-coloured light streaming out from behind – and the beauty almost becomes too much to bear. If this is any indication of where the band is heading professionally, then bring it on. One gorgeous record.
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on 1 April 2003
silverchair were signed at 15 years old. that in itself is rather amazing and even at that age thier music had a maturity for thier age but they were crowned the best nirvana followers and given a year in the public eye then that would be the end of them. well well well. havent they proved you all wrong !
each album has been outstanding each improving and becoming more experimental. Diorama especially. having van dyke parks do the orchestral arrangments on this album and guitarist/vocalist Daniel Johns' ideas and goals make it seem epic and if you listen to this album you feel pain sadness but then happiness and many other feeling it's weird but it's my perception. each album is a story in a way the 1st "frogstomp" is a teen angst ridden album where the members are still coming to terms with fame and are having fun. the 2nd is starting to become mellow and slightly depressing in areas with the strain on singer daniel johns starting to show through. the 3rd is drowned in orchetra, and depressing but absolutly astonishing for a 17 year old to be coming up with this kind of music as he poors out his emotions in "neon ballroom" and then "diorama" - a world within a world - it takes you to places you didn't know existed. as singer is now coping and has seen the light so to speak this album and all thier others are amazing and i strongly reconmend if dont have any in your collection then you should.
congrats to daniel johns - finally happy "after all these years" with wife to be Natalie Imbruglia.
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on 14 April 2002
This album didn't grab me the first time I listened to it. Bits of it did, certainly. I loved 'The Greatest View' and 'The Lever' the first time I heard them. But this is not the Silverchair I grew to love back in '95. Which isn't a bad thing, actually. Singer Daniel Johns' voice is stronger than ever before, and the lyrics and vocal melodies are the best on any 'chair album yet. He's also learned to play the piano in the three years since the last album (far too long a wait, incidentally). Apparently about half the songs were composed on a piano, and it shows in the strength of their arrangements - orchestral parts (a la Neon Ballroom) and a brass section show up on this album, and Daniel even plays a harpsichord on the opening track. There are a couple of songs, 'The Lever' and 'One Way Mule', that are good ol' chunking rock songs, but most of the album is just... gorgeous songs. I'm not sure if that sounds bad, but I mean it in a good way. To tell the truth, it reminds me a little of the way the Pumpkins went with 'Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness'. Only way, way better (and half as long).
I'm into maybe my twentieth listening of the album now, and I adore it. Well and truly grabbed, you might say. My only criticism of it is... the lack of spontanaeity. There are some incredible musical arrangements, but the amount of thought that has gone into them perhaps precludes some of the raw energy of the earlier albums. This is the first Silverchair album without any fast, punky tracks on it (even Neon Ballroom had 'Satin Sheets'). But the songwriting is better than on any album previously, so it's a fair tradeoff.
Much as I love Frogstomp, I think this could well be Silverchair's best album to date. And yes, it is depressing that these guys are a couple of years younger than me.
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on 17 November 2002
Since the storming meloncholy of 'Frogstomp' I have been hooked on Silverchair. In my belief they are one of the most talented groups of musicians I have ever clapped ears on. This new album 'Diorama' just helps to confirm this.
'Diorama' is a continuation of the musical style laid down in 'Neon Ballroom' (ableit without the depressing lyrics.) Blending a mix of subtle orchestration, various guitar sounds and a fantastic rhythm section, Silverchair have created a world within an album. All of this is without yet mentioning the beauty of Daniel Johns' singing voice and the introduction of a fourth member- piano player Sam Holloway. Johns' voice rises and falls with the complex melodies, making a perfect accompaniment to his band members.
Stand out tracks on this album are 'My Favourite thing' and 'Tuna in the Brine'. However there are some Diorama B-sides that I found were included in the australian version of the album, but not in the british, that are worth a look. These include the tracks 'Pins in my needles' and 'Asylum'.
Quite simply I urge all readers of this review to certainly consider purchasing this album without delay, you wont be disappointed.
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on 16 April 2002
When I first heard this album, I cant say I wasn't disappointed. You see, I loved the old albums so much that the new direction of the 4th kind of shocked me. Anyway, I listened to it once and returned it to my collection where I thought it would stay, feeling quite upset about the end of the 'old school' silverchair. Then, to my suprise, only an hour later I found myself singing the tunes. In no time it was back out and in my cd player and hasnt moved since! It's infectious!
The tunes - theyre not the old silverchair, but they ARE the new silverchair. The old stuff was great, but we cant linger in the past. Diorama is an epic album that in a word makes me "smile". When I am listening to it, I feel so much happier. Instead of sympathising with my pain (like the other 3 albums did), it makes it go away!
I LOVE this album and am proud to include in in my collection of silverchair items. The band has evolved its sound from dark shades of grey and black, into a brighly coloured uplifting musical experience - one that you really don't want to miss!
I suggest you buy this album - it is truly phenomenal!
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