on 1 March 2013
...of the first 3 album brigade! Aye ok, we get that you were there from the start, I started listening with Infinity Land so I'm clearly not as big a fan as some of you! Obviously Biffy have changed. The Beatles Please Please Me is hardly the same as The White Album. Bands have to change and yeah, Biffy might have gone more commercial but that has meant success and money for them. What kind of idiot would not want success and money for their hard work? This is a great album. Typically for me I never really listen to albums from start to finish but I do with Opposites. I can't wait to hear it live on April 1st in Glasgow!
on 5 February 2013
I drunkenly pre-ordered this album a few months ago after listening through all the biffy albums during a rather inspiring evening. I saw two options, one which appeared to come with a bonus dvd, and one which cost a few quid less. Not thinking any more of it i spontaneously pre-ordered the cheaper of the two options. Some months later the album arrives and i'm excited to listen to it at last. Then i discover that only one disc exists, and only 14 tracks when i had been led to believe it would be a double album, with 20 tracks across two discs. I put this down to a last minute decision on the bands part and continued listening to the album. Several songs in and i'm loving it. And then the beauty that is Biblical gives way to the crashing of Stingin' Belle and something just doesn't quite feel right. These two songs just don't flow into each other at all, and the juxtaposition of these two totally different styles is off-putting. It leaves a bad taste...in my ears. Then i read up about the album and discover that there were two different releases, a double album and a single disc edition with just 14 tracks. I ask myself why? Why is there the option to miss out on 6 tracks, and in the process not hear either disc of the album as the band originally intended? There has to be some rational explanation for this, but searching the internet has not revealed anything. I have cheated myself out of the experience of listening to this album for the first time, and have yet to hear the 6 tracks that were not included in this edition. After getting myself psyched up for this album for months, i feel like i'm missing out big time. I will be selling this edition and with the money i will buy the 2 disc edition that i thought i was buying many months ago. I will not listen to this album until the correct unmolested edition arrives.
Don't get me wrong i'm massively impressed with what i've heard, i'm just ticked off that i heard some songs out of context. In the history of double albums i am struggling to think of any reason why cutting it down would make it better. The Wall would not be better if it were just 14 songs, it would feel altogether less substantial, the journey the music takes you on would be stunted and less effective. Maybe Stadium Arcadium had some filler, but cutting out a third of the songs would ruin the flow of the album, and i liked that the two discs had a completely different feel. Sign o the times by Prince...actually i'll stop right there.
I'm mostly annoyed that i foolishly bought the wrong edition when drunk after a night of listening to the previous albums, but in a big way i'm enraged that this single disc edition even exists. DO NOT BUY IT!
on 18 May 2013
Quite simply this is one of the most well thought out and performed rock album since muse origin in 2002, i honestly believe this will go on in years to come as a truly classic double rock album and there arnt to many of them around.
Biffy will never be able to top this epic sounding lp and will have to strip down a bit for the next album.It is though one of if not the best, most catchy straight forward rock albums i have ever heard, i still prefer the first three albums but in saying that this has been on my stereo for two months now i can't seem to stop listening and trust me that's a good thing.buy it buy it buy it.
Seconds after the thud on the doormat, the packaging was ripped open, the shrinkwrap torn off and CD inserted to a mammoth HI-FI system.....Different People started with it's massive church organ and the familiar tones of Mr Simon Neil chimed throughout the room. And then all hell breaks loose. What an opening tune! It kinda reminds me of a Scottish Jig when those guitars kick in and it had me smiling and thinking about just how far Biffy have come in the last few years.
To take on, write and record a double album is no mean feat and the boys have outdone themselves as track after track delivers. The single Black Chandelier has such a great hook and the following track Sounds Like Balloons lifts us even higher. There is barely room to breathe until Opposites calms proceedings....
I won't continue with the track by track - I'll leave that for you to discover and you'll thank me all the more for it.
Opposites is one of the best albums I've heard in the last few years - the production is slick, the experimental instruments (Kazoos! Bagpipes! Tap dancers! Trumpets! etc!!) work really well.
On the first few listens my standout tracks have to be - Different People, A Girl and his Cat, Skylight and Victory over the sun - this will change constantly with such a wide scope of music to get through.
Play it loud and play it proud. Biffy, you have shown us the moon and I damn well will touch it! Brilliant.
on 17 February 2013
....doesn't sound as original as previous release, but it's growing on me!! DVD fun and a window into the band
Flicking around the TV channels as you do when bored, I came across "100 Top Rock Tunes" on the music channel and, out of curiosity, watched a few moments of some latter day "guitar oriented rock band" - whatever that is supposed to mean (but usually something that's really quite bland by the standards of rock bands of the past) and it didn't do anything for me whatsoever! However, sipping my cuppa, I couldn't operate the remote and therefore watched the opening lines of the next band "BLACK CHANDELIER" by Biffy Clyro - meant nothing at all, but by the time the track ended I was completely mesmerised and hit the net to find out who these guys were!
So, now here we are, several days later with the album OPPOSITES on the player and I have to say this album has come as a very big surprise indeed and while I thought I had made a mistake in purchasing this album once the first track
"DIFFERENT PEOPLE" came on (as it did seem a bit of a bland starter track which is normally the herald and portent of what is to come!). However, I needn't have worried because from "BLACK CHANDELIER" through to the dying strains of
"PICTURE A KNIFE FIGHT" this is a strong, complex, rocking album with, for me, "VICTORY OVER THE SUN" and the brutal "STINGIN' BELLE" as the standout highlights.
Certainly, this has given me a little bit of a wake up call for so called "guitar oriented band" music - I will have to give it a listen before dismissing it out of hand in future - and that's for sure! In fact I may well now back track Biffy Clyro's catalogue - especially as the earlier material is as cheap as chips!
on 10 April 2013
Biffy Clyro are a band which always seem to have been around. Despite rising to power with debut Blackened Sky back in 2002, the band never seem to grab attention in the same way as a charismatic rock outfit like Foo Fighters, which is a shame when you consider the strength of their catalogue to date.
Latest effort Opposites is no exception, and succeeds in grabbing attention from the very beginning with ‘Different People’, in which a slow build of keyboard give way to a perfect sing-along melody.
Title track ‘Opposite’ is as touching a ballad as any of their contemporaries have ever managed and sets the tone for the album as a whole – this isn’t raw and gritty Biffy, but this isn’t them going soft either.
The sound has been distilled, concentrated and rounded off, but without sacrificing the band’s edginess. Their fiddling of offbeat time signatures remains present, as does the occasional Scottish twang from the vocals which never fails to raise a smile. You won’t find anything quite like the early works such as the iconic ’57′ and ’27′ here, but the polish added with time has made the band shine rather than dull, and those familiar with the Only Revolutions era are sure to feel right at home.
The music adds in a few rogue elements to full effect, such as trumpet in the appropriately named ‘Spanish Radio’, and despite having the usual dash of melancholy, Simon Neil’s dark vocals continue to hit home with their vivid imagery, forcing you to engage where other bands may be happy to let you phase out. The tempo swings up and down, often within the same song, making the album arresting to your ears.
In truth, Opposites has all the elements to serve as a very strong entry point to the journey of Biffy Clyro themselves. Still going strong after almost 20 years, this album is a stop which could see a lot of new fans jump on board for the ride, and the train shows no signs of slowing down.
With such a consistently strong album, Biffy deserve to be noticed and recognised for their obvious talents, and a few songs could even sneak into the pop charts if marketed right. It’s unlikely that this is what the band had in mind of course, but to show the world that the British can still make music, bands like this need to step up and take their well-deserved place in the sun.
James Michael Parry
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on 13 February 2013
Biffy Clyro, one of my favorite bands currently evolving. This album truly embarks their reputation and representation as a whole as being probably the best thing to come out of Scotland (..Bar Drew McIntyre, but that's a whole different story).
I'll begin by just elaborating on how epic, pleasing and truly phenomenal the introduction to this album was. It surprised me a little too. I'm a big fan of styles like Coldplay echo and ore, I didn't see it coming from Biffy after their 'Only Revelations' album, but they produced probably one of my favorite ever pieces in their opening song. A Wicked pop-like voice over a wizard-like guitar ring, which eventually led to an awesome guitar riff that shook this album and what made me believe that this album could possibly be the best I'd ever listen to. I can not express fully how much I love this intro, I still have butterflies over it. STILL.
Eventually though, what does go wrong for the album is the repetitiveness of morale's, lyrics, meanings, tones and song structure. I lost count of songs that had played and was completely drenched in thinking;"this surely has to end soon?" When an album does that to you, you know something went wrong. In a sense however, this could be criticized in a positive manner, not many albums get you in complete puzzles for a whole 50+ minutes, perhaps the intention was there to be different, because it is different, it allows the listener to explore stories of themselves enamored with their thoughts and relate them to Simon's lyrics.
I would love to give this album a 5 star, but among reasons already given, another is that I could not actually pick a strong single out. I would not be able to get just one song a say "Here, this will have 70,000,000 hits on Youtube. Get it a sweet music video and let it release." Some may argue that there are plenty of songs available for a hit-single, but I believe the single is the album and that's the way I like it.
By the looks of things now though, I can't see Biffy Clyro going much further now. With the ideas and attitude that they sense and reenact through this and previous albums, it looks like the morale hygiene has been flushed. Excellent album over-all, easy 4 stars.
*For those wondering about the title of this review, it basically means a loop with just that something missing, but plenty of taste and (if you want) sprinkles. Simon keeps repeating the word baby.*
on 28 January 2013
Biffy seem to be treading water slightly with this offering. It's all technically great and there's no bad songs it's just a bit safe and predictable if you've followed Biffy for 12 years like I have. I seriously think it's time they move away from gggarth as producer. Most songs have the same 'feel' and motifs are over repeated.
Bens drumming is as solid and precise as ever but lacks his usual character somehow. Can't put my finger on it. Perhaps it's just over compressed like all modern music. It's all a bit too dense and dare I say formulaic production wise although there IS a crazy amount of things/noises going on in the background.
Of course there are the radio friendly unit shifters as we've come to expect from the more commercially minded Biffy but there was always enough on the previous albums to satisfy Biffy's 'older' fans. One song called "Pocket" sounds like Tom Petty, perhaps America MOR has influenced them more than they realise and it's a bit "cringe".
Anyway nothing bad on here, nothing offensive just more of the same from a band I consider as one of the most imaginitive and adventurous bands out there. Highlights are "Modern Magic Formula" and most of second 'side' such as "Victory over the Sun", "Spanish Radio" "Skylight" just enough to get it to 4 stars although it is close.
Perhaps it just suffers from being a double album. I'm not a great fan as sometimes it can just be too much.
Definitely to be listened to loud I think as some of the finer points could be missed.
DISCLAIMER Compared to other bands this is still a 5 star album but compared to Biffy's other albums it doesn't move them further.
on 13 March 2013
Superb double album from the current kings of indie rock. Lots of melodic tunes that sound great on vinyl. Sadly the product is devoid a lyric sheet unlike it's CD cousins, which is a bit disappointing when considering the additional cost of vinyl plus reading the album sleeve and liner notes is a good 50% of what buying vinyl is all about, so what are the band playing at? That said the music is exceptional with no real fillers across either disc.
I didn't think I would ever get the feeling I had as a teenager playing a new album for the first time and being so struck by it that I couldn't wait to play it again and again. I felt like that with this album and have promptly bought the first three albums in their vinyl re-release formats. Sadly, the 4th & 5th albums are not easy to get on vinyl so I've had to plump for cd's. All bought on the back of this fine album. Well that's not strictly true as I saw them on Glasto2011 and had liked Many of Horror for some time but still 'Opposites' did what I doubted any modern band would make me do; go out and buy vinyl albums again! Highly recommended.