4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Baby 81 (Audio CD)
I consider myself a big fan of BRMC, yet have to admit, they've never really produced a truly consistent album. All three previous albums have had song fantastic highlights, and are solid, good albums, but they're not perfect. Too many religious references on HOWL, a few too many aimless songs on Take Them On.. and a couple that didn't really stand out their debut.
So, where's that leave Baby 81? Well, from the first complete start to finish listen, it's obvious that this is the Rebels at their best. Before I bought this album, I scouted out a few songs, Weapon of Choice (awesome acoustic/electric guitar mix, similar in style to 'Whatever Happened', with some fantastic political lyrics - 'i won't waste my love on a nation'). Then there's Berlin and Need Some Air, two fast paced rock and roll songs, really upping the ante. Lien On Your Dreams too, with it's fantastic beats and playful vocals make them worth the album price alone, and i wasn't worried about wasting any cash.
However, the rest of the album, is also fantastic. Zeppelin style drums on 666 Conducer, blues rock, unexepcted structure of Took Out A Loan, piano driven Windows and the amazing 'Killing The Light' being extra highlights.
This album is varied in length (Weapon of Choice is under three minutes, American X is over nine), structure (from the standard rock of Berlin to the extended organ intro of All You Do Is Talk), pace, style, atmosphere and feel. Some critics have argued that it runs out of steam; it certainly changes pace after the furious Need Some Air, Lien on Your Dreams and massive Killing The Light, but this isn't that bad a thing. The long guitar break in American X suits its content and style, and the acoustic led Am I Only is a nice finish. The only track I'm not convinced about is Not What You Wanted, with it's guitar and vocal patterns,weirdly reminding me of Grandaddy, and feeling a bit filler.
Overall, this is a fantastic album, a real step forward for the band. They've dug deep and produced a solid, and this time, fantastic, album.