Strong ambient singer-songwriter album,
This review is from: Believers (Audio CD)
The majority of this 40 minute album is made up of down-tempo songs. They never get crawlingly slow. If they did I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole as I hate very slow music.
The woozy, four in the morning atmosphere is king, and takes precedent over everything else. Technically it's a singer-songwriter album. Seen as such I think it's a rather so-so one. The lyrics aren't very good, and the music is too one note and a little boring.
Instead I think of it as an ambient album. Seen from that point of view it works wonderfully. The underdeveloped lyrics and the undemonstrative music clicks and the whole thing makes a lot more sense.
1. The Heart Is Willing 4:00 (8 out of 10 stars)
The lyrics aren't much but his performance sells them one hundred percent. A beautiful sounding song.
2. Down in the Fire (Lost Sea) 4:35 (7 out of 10 stars)
The chunky guitar has a wonderful lethargic quality to it as it drags over the rest of the music.
3. Skull & Bones 3:13 (8 out of 10 stars)
Quietly propulsive. Rather beautiful sounding. The lyrics begin to go somewhere but end too early.
4. 123 Dupuy Street 1:10 (4 out of 10 stars)
Pointless, short noise instrumental that has no tune or melody. Too short to be either good or bad. The album doesn't need something like this as it doesn't work as a change of pace. Also it seems too early in the album as these type of breather tracks usually pop up in the third quarter.
5. Surfer King 4:01 (6 out of 10 stars)
Lyrically and musically it doesn't do much.
6. Highway/Fevers 4:50 (8 out of 10 stars)
A bigger, more energetic and different sounding song. I think I hear extensive slide guitar on it. I would assume this would have been the obvious single.
7. Drmz 3:26 (7 out of 10 stars)
Probably has the most complete set of lyrics of all the songs here. The drums are very up-front.
8. The Twist 4:20 (7 out of 10 stars)
A more conventionally rocky song.
9. Rte. 28/Believers 6:59 (6 out of 10 stars)
This one feels like he fell back on his standard sound and doesn't really have much of a song to go with it. Slightly generic by the standards of this album. It's alright, nothing special.
10. Scenes from a Circus 4:21 (6 out of 10 stars)
An unspectacular song that has a slow, draggy quality to it (and I mean that in a negative way this time).
I like to make EP playlists out of some albums for my iPod. Tracks 1, 2, 3, and 6 made the cut.
Overall 8 out of 10 stars.
If you like Believers then I strongly recommend the Lana Del Ray album Born to Die. It was heavily hyped as the next big thing in pop music. I couldn't see what the fuss was all about. Her music was slow and boring. How did this stuff make the kids go crazy with excitement? So I let her pass me by.
A lot of months later I got her album anyway. As I was listening to it for the first time I thought to myself, "You know who she sounds like? AA Bondy. And he's a singer-songwriter I've tagged as ambient in iTunes." Suddenly her music clicked. I stopped thinking of it as pop. As pop music it wasn't very good, but as an ambient musician she sounded excellent.
Her music exists in a very similar modern LA noir sound world as Believers. It makes for the perfect companion album. The female to his male.