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4.8 out of 5 stars33
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on 28 July 2005
I fell in love with this album the first time I listened to it. What I think is a top notch album, maybe there will be accusations of 'billy talent arent punk' but I dont think that they are too bothered. Im not labelling them punk I just enjoy their music. Fast driving music.
For me the guitar work of Ian D'Sa fooled me into thinking there were more than one guitarist in the band, he really is a top quality guitarist - just have a listen to the opening riff of River Below! The bass lines are also top notch too, not just a boring drone in the background but a driving force in the fast songs and some innovative fills. The vocal work is very good, the lead singers (ben) voice may annoy a few people but for me it just fits the songs. And the backing vocals are exceptional with Ian and the bassist making great contributions on most songs. My personal favourites of the album being..
This is how it goes - excellent start to the album, kicks it off with a bang
Line and sinker - this really should of been a single, its just brilliant and so different to many songs I have heard.
River below - the guitar work on this song is exceptional
Nothing to lose - really good slower song.
Overall the pace and guitar work drives this album along and I love it!!
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on 10 June 2005
Now when i first heard of Billy Talent, i hadn't heard any of there music, no i naturally judged them as your average punk band. Nothing is further from the truth! Billy Talent are an under-rated Punk Screemo band with such potential. The first song on the album will blow you away, and although they released 'Try Honesty', 'The Ex', and 'River Below' you really are touching the surface of this band. If you arent sure whether to buy it, i beg you 2, as i guarantee you will love it! The album has been rated 5 stars because every track is awesome! This really is my favouraite album, and a must have whether punk or screemo is your kick.
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on 18 December 2003
While the first full-length album by Canadians Billy Talent is as strong as one could wish a debut to be, it is not the genre-busting album that some reviewers have made it out to be. Amazon reviewers have an annoying tendency to review only the albums they love or hate, giving an inaccurate reflection of an album's virtue - it generally receives five stars, or just one.
From start to finish, it is difficult to pick holes in this record, once you get accustomed to the nasal and brattish vocals of Benjamin Kowalewicz. The riffs are varied and inventive - see the middle eight of 'Try Honesty' - with plenty of catchy hooks to keep even the most sceptical listener interested. Billy Talent are a fusion of punk, prog rock and emo hardcore, and sound like a hybrid of The Offspring and At The Drive-In. 'Line and Sinker' in particular tips its' hat to the latter; it is a dead ringer for ATD-I's 'Pattern Against User'.
The band have used clever time signature changes and dynamics to put across their aggression and energy; album-closer 'Voices of Violence' is a full-on aural assualt, and 'River Below' is a stomping tune with a simple, killer riff. 'Lies' has a pleasant feelgood factor with a serious undertone, while the obligatory 'We rock but we're kinda sensitive too' track ('Nothing To Lose') is a suprisingly good emo song. The album as a whole is characterised by clever vocal interchanges as well, adding a welcome extra layer to the band's sound, just about preventing it from becoming too one-dimensional.
'Billy Talent' doesn't get five stars here because the intial intrigue begins to wane towards the album's end - not a good sign of a 40-minute record. However, each song taken on its' own can easily stand up against anything the band's contemporaries (Thrice, Thursday et al) are producing. The potential is there, and Billy Talent have impressive songs (I imagine their live shows to be riotous) but it remains to be seen how much longevity all this angst can have...
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on 22 January 2005
When a friend of mine first told me he was going to put the Billy Talent album on, i didn't really get all that excited. 'It's Emo isn't it?' I asked. 'Yea' was the reply. I became even less enthusiastic. Emo has never been what i listened to out of choice. However, as soon as the opening riff for 'this is how it goes' came through those speakers, i was inspired. A guitarist myself, i was hooked from the start. We listened to the whole album from start to finish, and then we listened to it all over again. Later that day, i bought it off this website, and anticipated its arrival.
If you have heard 'River Below', 'Ex', or 'Try honesty', which have all been released as singles, then you have barely even scraped the surface of Billy Talent. Punk Rock influences come shining through, and you can immediately see the effect that bands such as Sum 41 have had on Billy Talent. Billy Talent here have mixed a Punk Rock sound with an Emo Undertone. The Lyrics and musicality of this band are also very good, and the every track is exciting from start to finish, often with a twist in the middle. This was certainly one of the albums of 2003, and still manages to excite to this day.
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on 1 June 2005
Admittedly, i only came across Billy Talent, by accidently downloading it, but the track, 'Nothing To Lose', just blew my mind. Having bought the album, i must say that it is one of the most complete albums that i have heard in ages. Every track has its merits and the whole album shows off the bands impressive originality and finesse with lyrical creationism. The best track for me is 'Standing In The Rain', which for most isnt, but if you buy this album yourself, you will see why they are tipped to be the enxt bit thing in the punk/rock genre. Fully Deserved 5 stars
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on 22 August 2004
At a first glance Billy Talent appear to be a your average punk rock band but the truth is that though underrated, they cleverly encorporate punk rock riffs with harmonic vocals from both Benjamin Kowalewicz and Ian D'Sa, the guitarist. The opening track "this is how it goes" leads the listener into a journey of souful energetic rock music that will enlighten even those into heavy metal and Billy Talent have a gift of producing melodic rock music as well as upbeat music. Singles "Try Honesty" and "River Below" are both well produced and sound brilliant, with lively rock riffs, and truly powerful singing.
Overall, this album is a must for any rock fan whether you're into punk rock, metal or even death metal. There's not one song on this that will make you regret purchasing this.
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on 15 September 2003
Every 5 years or so you get a band that takes music to the next level. Billy Talent is one of them. Live or on cd they have the emotiveness and the sound of At The Drive-in, also combined with by catchy choruses that make it seems your body is possesed by the band them self! This is a must for any punk/emo/hardcore fan!
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on 12 February 2004
Canadian quartet Billy Talent; have been plunged into the spotlight this year via Atlantic Records. They received less than substantial acclaim for their single; 'Try Honesty' which hit our screens in the form of a heavily rotated video. Strangely, (despite its distinctive catchiness) they still appear to be far more underground compared to label mates like; Simple Plan. This evidently means that Billy Talent's year may well be 2004.
The frontman Benjamin displays a fantastic vocal ability in range and flare as well as uniqueness. His vocal style is one of the band's most outstanding features. However, it is a prominent feature - much like a large penis. So while it may be impressive to the right person it could also alienate the less 'accommodating' listeners out there. Songs like; 'Living In The Shadows' demonstrate their keen ability to write driving, forceful songs without the distortion level required by their peers. The vocal trade-offs are complimentary, especially in the chorus of; 'don't you tell me, what you think is right, when your living in the shadows'. The vocals soar and twist occasionally emulating styles any where from Johnny Rotten (Sex Pistols) to Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden).
Their single; Try Honesty soothes and teases with it's catchy tentative verse before blustering into the expressive but never out of control chorus. This album constantly seems ready to tip over the edge at any moment. The vocals soothing but screeching in equal measure; yet they always remain in control of their songs. This is an album that you will initially need to half force yourself to listen to. At first I found it abrasive and confusing. However, given the opportunity it will become a life long partner; if you don't wear it out by the obsessive repeated listening it will receive from you.
There are darker songs to be found amongst the glistening guitars on offer here; 'The Ex' & 'Standing In The Rain' are somber, sharp and wry musically and lyrically. With lines such as; 'So I sat in my room for 27 days, no she never called, I had something to say!' from 'The Ex' and '...my room has become my hearse....my pride these men have taken it from me.' From 'Standing In The Rain' a song written from the perspective of a prostitute; Dark and thought provoking.
Billy Talent are a witty, accusing band with a razor sharp tongue and edgy sound. You can find this style of memorable writing on; 'River Below'. This is by far the most interesting song on offer here. It delves deep into the mind of your average Joe exploring his reactions and thoughts beyond those even his best friends would be aware of. The line; 'Into the river below, running from the inferno, you'll all think I'm insane, but you'll all know my name' says it all. There are a couple of songs that tangle and become overly confused, without ascending to a high point or thoughtful structure. 'Prisoners Of Today' is an example of this. While the guitar is colorful, the song is lacking in hooks or structure and falls onto the sharp rocks of a lackluster chorus.
I can honestly say that you would be hard pushed to find anything as ingenious and unique as this self titled release. It froths and boils with tempered aggression and intelligence. The catchy hooks are all there and ready to be discovered in choruses and break downs all over the record. A good place to start your exploration would be the chorus of; 'Line & Sinker'. If you are looking for something emotive and gifted, without ever being the musical equivalent of an easy date; then this record is essential for you.
Standout Tracks: 'Living In The Shadows', 'Line & Sinker' & 'River Below'.
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VINE VOICEon 16 February 2004
There's some really over-rated tripe about at the moment, but Canadian outfit, Billy Talent, rise above the norm with this worthy screamo/pop-punk effort. The lyrics are excellent and I would recommend reading them on your 2nd or 3rd listen to get 100% from the music. There are moments of Screamo but this is not shouting for shouting's sake - there is real feeling here and it add's tremendously to the relevant track. Along with the excellent lyrics and empassioned singing, there are some nice guitar hooks to keep you interested. If Billy Talent can add some more interesting work from the Drum and Bass men, then there's no doubt that they can be 5-star material in the future.
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on 24 September 2004
I bought this album on the strength of River Below, which is really, really catchy, and gets under my skin SO effectively. Their other single, Try Honesty is just as good with echoey choruses and some interesting lyrics.
The rest of the album is not to be sneazed at either, with some excellent musicianship in throughout.
I really cannot recommend this album enough. And if I could, I wouldn't be writing this. Probably...
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