Top positive review
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Two?! More like Five (stars!)
on 31 May 2004
Like what you've heard from The Calling so far but unsure of whether you want to purchase their latest album or not because quite frankly, you're wondering if it could ever live up to all the hype that the "they're a rock band - honest" fans are spouting at you?! Well, you're reading the right review!
Make no mistake, I am a huge fan of this band, but I fully understand, that like anything in life, the extremely talented Aaron Kamin and Alex Band (and they're keen to plug that there's just two of them this time around) are only human, and as such do have flaws!
If you're looking for another 'Camino Palmero', then 'Two' probably isn't for you. Their debut may not have been released until 2002, but the album was recorded when vocalist Alex Band was a tender 18 years of age, and the majority of the songs were written when the boys were a lot younger. As such, beautiful as the songs may be, they feature a certain degree of the naiivety that all teenagers (including myself) possess. The boys certainly aren't approaching middle-age yet (in fact, they're both still in their 20's), but from the moment you hear the first words of 'Our Lives' (the first single taken from the album), or 'One By One' (the first track on the album) it's apparent that they have matured significantly.
Gone are the idealistic lyrics and relatively simple chords that make up songs pondering about issues such as a lost loved one as in 'Wherever You Will Go', gay marriages as in 'Stigmatized', a past partner you'd rather forget as in 'Adrienne', and beggars as in 'We're Forgiven'. 'Two' is a much more realistic and positive record. If you've heard 'Our Lives' you'll have realised that the boys believe in slowing down long enough to appreciate what you've got, and the rest of the album offers ways to do this and suggests circumstances that are worth remembering for the rest of your life.
My instant favourites are 'Believing', 'Anything', 'Things Will Go My Way', and 'Your Hope'. As with 'Wherever You Will Go' on 'Camino Palmero', I think 'Our Lives' will probably only climb high on my list once I hear it as an album-track rather than a slightly over-played radio single.
'Camino Palmero' features some of my favourite lyrics of all time, and some songs that hold a very special place in my heart, but just as Band and Kamin have come a long way since they wrote those eleven tracks that just about everybody can relate to in some way, I'm a slightly different person too, and appreciate the every-cloud-has-a-silver-lining approach to life that 'Two' offers. While this record recognises that life isn't always easy, especially in 'Somebody Out There' and 'Your Hope', it does provide the inspiring message that you should always believe in yourself and make every moment count. I hope Band and Kamin are listening to their own advice, and enjoying the upcoming success of this truly great disc filled with music.
This UK version features the same two bonus tracks as the 'Our Lives' single: an acoustic version of the song The Calling wrote and recorded for the motion picture Daredevil 'For You', and their cover of The Clash's 'London Calling'. The artwork on the cover may not be as pretty here as in the USA, but the two additional tastes of The Calling's magic certainly make up for it.
As well as all of the above, 'Two' also offers you the opportunity to see what the band's new management has does for them(something tells me he's a bit of a perfectionist), to hear Band playing the keyboard (on 'Believing'), and if you're not an obsessive fan, to hear the voice of Kamin for possibly the first time (on 'Your Hope').
In short: If you loved 'Camino Palmero', then you'll love this because it's even better, and if you didn't, then you'll love it too because it sings a different tune. So click "add to shopping basket" right away and buy 'Two' today!