on 7 September 2003
Those that have not heard 311's unique fusion of rap/rock/reggae/dancehall, may not know that the Nebraskan 5 piece have been around since 1990, they have covered lots of ground since, this being their 7th studio release. 'Evolver' could be described as their most mature album to date, and you can hear the results in the songs, the opener and first single 'Creatures (for a while)' is rockin' throughout and criss-crosses the powerful emotionally charged vocals of Nick Hexum with S.A Martinez's sharp rhymes. 'Seems Uncertain' and 'Sometimes Jacks rule the realm' are beautiful acoustic numbers. As with other 311 albums the styles vary and are mixed up throughout and at the same time inkeeping with 311's overall sound which has pleased there very loyal fan base over the years. As a very big fan I love this album, and would recommend it highly.
Those that have not heard 311 yet may not like this album straight away however. In the states the band has a huge following and had success, where as they still remain relatively unheard of in the U.K and Europe. They first got real recognition in the states back in 95' with the release of there self-titled album ( also known as the 'Blue' album ). Those that have not heard 311 yet, my advice would be to buy the Blue album first as it is arguably the best and the most accessible.
'Evolver'is a great buy if you like hybrid/alternative rock based music, but check out their earlier stuff first.
This album will most please current fans of what are still one of the best bands around.
on 11 August 2005
Now I really cant tell why so few people seem to know this band. Thier old buddies Black Eyed peas seem to be doing well enough. if you like that band, you'll love this, because like them they mix pretty much every style you've ever heard of, but ujnlike them, they're actually good. So even if you hate BEP you should like this (like me). this is probably thier most pop album yet, but thats no bad thing. this is what pop should be. nice rythmes beats and harmonies. Sort of the beach boys on acid...ok, more acid (alledgedly...for the lawyers). Not a bad song on here, the lyrics are cheesy as ever, but who cares. your not gonna hear another album like this. Even if you listen to another 311 album. Dont ever by the best of, it should be illegal. you need to buy all of the albums these guys have ever done...especially soundsystem...go do it now!
on 26 January 2006
Having been given a copy of 'from choas' with a scratch on it that meant some songs were missing I was desperate to hear more of 311. I'm glad the 1st album I bought was this one!
Its so different from the albums I already own in a massive and possitive way. They're a bit like Authority Zero mixed with Sublime. Yes I said Sublime, the one true ska/thrash/punk band that other bands try to copy but never pull it off, but 311 sure have!
I think the best songs are 'Reconsider Everything', 'Beyond the gray sky' and 'other side of things'
They're also the best combo of people i've ever heard with 2 singers (ones an M.C. and the other also plays guitar).
The feel of this album is very mellow though, shame i didnt buy it in the summer.
Now to buy all the others......
on 19 February 2004
This is certainly going to be a tricky review. This 311 record contains power and their distinct rhythms and vocalisations. Unfortunately there is also an undercurrent of boredom throughout. Here is an early warning for you all: This is really dissimilar to their previous albums. You can tell this even from the artwork. They are indeed evolving as the title suggests but away from the fun surf rap/rock of their earlier career and more towards a heavier, less funky 'Sugar Ray'.
'Creatures...' has its share of funky bass moments but much of its structure is reduced to sludge and tiresome vocals. 'Reconsider Everything' fairs significantly better with it's guitar lead intro and energetic fusion of chilled out lead, palm muted and catchy verses that give way to a signature and enjoyable 311 chorus. This is a band that has always stood out against the nu metal rap/rock outfits fitting in more with the punk crowd than anyone. This has proved to be rewarding as they have never yet been type cast.
This album, at least their first single from it seems to be achieving them notable success in the USA, which is good news because 311 have always been very underrated. It is a shame however that when they finally discover the limelight it is with a weaker record. Tracks like; 'Crack The Code' do everything just right but are instantly forgotten. On 'Beyond The Grey' they really slow down the pace with some chilled out ska style music. This is something that they never excelled at before. The tables however seem to have turned. These songs appear the most acceptable on such a slow album; whereas the rock songs seem boring and sludgy.
'It Seems Uncertain' is very similar to the sound 'Custom' created on 2000's 'Fast'. With it's acoustic leanings and cheeky melodies. 'In times of trouble, everyone joins a team, no one waves a flag, for all human beings'. This is quite a mournful yet strangely positive track. It is possibly one of the most memorable on show here. 'Give Me A Call' is their most accomplished fusion of hard and soft as they explore many styles with the subject of lost love firmly on the mind.
This record is a failure at a time when they needed something so much stronger. While 'Don't Dwell' is quite up beat something drags it to the bottom for another death roll. Plus with such a pensive ending track to the album 311 really have gone in a direction that is going to disappoint a lot of people. There are snippets of genius throughout but they are rare and quick. If you are already fan then you may well enjoy this musical evolution. That said, I feel those of you who are unfamiliar with the band may well appreciate this more. You just won't notice what is missing.
Standout Tracks: 'Beyond The Gray Sky' & 'Don't Dwell'.