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Lostprophets follow a long bout of touring, writing and recording to release their fifth studio album entitled Weapons.
Lostprophets were formed in Pontypridd, South Wales, in 1997. Their line-up is Ian Watkins (vocals), Jamie Oliver (keyboards, turntables, vocals), Stuart Richardson (bass), Mike Lewis (guitars), Lee Gaze (guitars) and Luke Johnson (drums).
John Lydon knew better than most of what he spoke when in 1986, with all the emotional flexibility of a Dalek, he asserted that "anger is an energy". He might well have added that there are other forms of resentment and discontent that burn with a phosphorescence sufficient to fuel a band’s entire career. This is something about which Ponypridd’s Lostprophets are well informed.
Despite a profile large enough to fill any theatre in the United Kingdom, and an album that registered more than half a million sales in the United States – 2004’s Start Something – the perception surrounding this group is often that they appeal to fans who are little more than children – that they’re a "Kerrang! band", if you will. Unfair as this may be, Lostprophets remain a collective unlikely to be booked to appear on primetime chat shows.
A sense of working class, us-against-the-world defiance is the emotion that most defines Weapons. Whether what is known in the class war as chippiness is suitable inspiration for musicians now into their 30s is a question that can only be answered by the ear of the beholder. The case for the defence, though, is strong, not least of all because this svelte 10-song set is not lacking in conviction.
Because of its compact form and committed performances, Weapons is a release that burns brightly. Its cause is aided by the fact that Lostprophets are a quite fabulous band in motion, one equipped with not just power but also nuance. Featuring the magic ingredients of keyboardist and turntablist Jamie Oliver – a man who fills the album’s spaces with subtle shades that afford this work a depth lacking in comparable releases – and the guitar pairing of Mike Lewis and Lee Gaze, the arrangements of the sing-along-ready Another Shot and the driving Heart on Loan display in glorious Technicolor that this is a group understanding that a song can be more than played, it can also be interpreted.
In this light, Lostprophets’ grievance that theirs is a union confined to the popular but removed confines of rock’s bouncier quarters is well justified. For this is a fine album that warrants serious investigation from any and every rock circle.
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Top customer reviews
In terms of heaviness I would say it's halfway between Start Something and The Betrayed, with it generally being much more aggressive than the emo-pop of Liberation Transmission, but less raw than the nu-metal debut The Fake Sound Of Progress. However the three Garage Sessions tracks on the Deluxe version certainly resonate a little bit of the older, more rawer Prophets.
The singles are all here, Bring Em Down was certainly solid, although the excellent Jesus Walks and We Are The Arsenal - both of which are two of the best songs they've ever written - and Another Shot would have been better choices. Better Off Dead was actually a strange track to release as it's a little different than the rest of the songs on here as it's much more direct and confrontational.
Somedays seems to slightly miss the mark for the more token acoustic, emotional number. Your not going to skip it but it's no Last Summer or Always All Ways. It's more so the lyrics that don't always fit than the performance itself.
The only real disappointments are Heart On Loan - which is instantly forgettable, and Can't Get Enough - which is poor for a final track, especially considering this band have had four brilliant final tracks on past albums and especially considering the strength of The Light That Shines from the last album.
A little word on the three Garage Sessions tracks, they are all rawer and generally more hard-hitting than the album. The songs are all strong and some should have replaced some of the main album tracks! The acoustic version of Another Shot is good too and all are worth the extra money.
Overall this is not a huge departure from the standard Lostprophets sound, but is a notch up from The Betrayed both in how good it is and how heavy it is. It has it's poor tracks so it's no Start Something or Liberation Transmission which were strong throughout, however the singles are definitely there and it's a solid release. I know that I will be listening to it throughout 2012.
***VINYL*** The vinyl is just the one vinyl featuring the main 10 tracks. It has the same cover and no picture on the back, just a rather bland looking track-listing. There is nothing else inside unfortunately. I managed to get this for £10 during pre-order but I would not pay £25 for it unless your a big fan. Like I mentioned above, the Garage Sessions are worth downloading as well as they are not on the vinyl edition.
Anyway, the music on the album is fantastic but that comes as no surprise; it's brilliantly performed, well mixed and for the most part has some stirring lyrics. To my ear it also sounds as well produced as any of their previous albums (contrary to a previous reviewers opinion). Now the Tracks:
Bring Em' Down - Not exactly the norm; plenty of bass and synth make for a different, but none the less great, single.
We Bring An Arsenal - Pacey and catchy; this is a a great singalong track which definitely echos a chanting crowd.
Another Shot - Classic Lostprophets; a treat for (post-"Fake Sound of Progress") long-term fans and an excuse for newcomers to work back through the discography.
Jesus Walks - An amazing track (best on the album?); deep, catchy and definitely the song that I had stuck in my head after the first listen.
A Song From Where I'm From - A meaningful anthem about missing home (or youth?), feels a bit like "Where We Belong", "Last Summer" or even "Ode to Summer" in theme.
A Little Reminder That I'll Never Forget - Regrettably, nothings special but not a bad track either.
Better Off Dead - When I downloaded this as a preview (from the Lostprophets website, I'm not some sort of pirate) I didn't think that the rap-like verses worked but the tracks is a real grower with catchy lyrics and a great contrast between the intense verses and more melodic chorus.
Heart On Loan - This reminds me off "Liberation Transmission" but not at it's best. It's not a bad track but it, much like "A Little Reminder...", it's outshone by the rest of the album.
Somedays - Summery and a little less intense than the rest of the album allowing individual musical talents within the band (all of them but one at once) to show through.
Can't Get Enough - A slow, moody track with some original instrumentals. Very Good. BUT DON'T STOP THERE!!
Weapon (Hidden Track) - Concealed seven and a half minutes after the end of "Can't Get Enough" is a short track that showcases the heaviest end of the bands spectrum and Watkins' vocal abilities. It's not for everyone but I really enjoy the track which could almost be compared to the emo/screamo style of bands such as Blessthefall or Atreyu.
I'm sorry if any of this sounds like the other reviews but over-all this really is a fantastic album, beaten only by "Start Something" as Lostprophets greatest achievement. A must-buy for fans old and new.
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Most recent customer reviews
Love Jesus walks ....
Well whole album actually, it's just such a shame,such a shame.Read more
at what happend to the children who were abused by this animal do the right
thing and get rid...Read more
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