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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 23 April 2009
Following the implosion of former record label, Gut (via Institute Recordings) last year, Fightstar decided to form a joint venture with their management team (Search and Destroy Records) and self fund their third album. It was a risk, but much like Charlie Simpson's brave move to steer away from the manufactured pop word of Busted in search for respect and credibility with his new band, it appears to have paid off.

The quartet take a new, experimental step with Be Human whilst still maintaining their post-hardcore roots. You have to credit the four-piece for constantly trying to evolve their sound and clearly not wanting to be pigeon-holed into any particular genre. Co-produced with long term friend, Carl Bown, they drafted in a full 16-piece orchestra and school choir to create a diverse and ultimately huge sounding offering.

Opener, "Calling On All Stations", starts with slow orchestration under Simpson's soft vocals which leads into a powerful, guitar driven number. First single, "The English Way" introduces the choir to magnificent effect. The song is an anthemic sing-a-long with Dan Haigh showing off his talents with some buzzing bass lines. Latest single, "Mercury Summer" presents the band at their most melodic. A light and breezy number as a whole, it's perfectly executed with the duel harmonies of Simpson and Westaway.

"War Machine" is undoubtedly a stand out. The track has a distinctive, cinematic feel to it with the haunting strings and choir vocals to build a crescendo of noise. This could easily be the best track the band has ever written. Heavier moments can be found in tracks like "Colours Bleed To Red", "Chemical Blood" and "Damocles". The latter two combine the growling screams of Simpson with urgent strings whilst still showcasing powerful melodies.

One factor the band is often criticised for is the willingness to wear each member's influences on their sleeves. Arguably, this factor remains on the record. "The Whisperer" has Muse written all over it with its foot-tapping beat and hooky choruses. "Never Change" has a middle section harmony reminiscent of Weezer, while "Give Me The Sky" could easily be mistaken as a tribute for The Cure with its versus. But ultimately, the tracks don't suffer for it. They merely present the diversity of sounds found on this 12-track album.

"Tonight We Burn" is the electronic moment of the record. Preliminary lead by Westaway's soft vocals, it rides on top of the drum beats of Omar Abidi to create a track which proves a huge grower upon repeat listens.

The band chose to end the 46 minutes of running time with the ambient and epic builder "Follow Me Into The Darkness". This is the albums post-rock moment with beautiful violin's preceding a wall of passion with guitars, strings and piano.

As a complete body of work, this record ebbs and flows wonderfully to create a diverse and fulfilling set of tracks. Whilst the influences taken to create these songs are laid bare, it's an ambitious attempt that pays off which will surely allow the band to shake off Simpson's past and stand proud in the British alternative scene.

4.5/5
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on 22 June 2014
It's hard for me to choose what Fightstar's best album is as all three have their own majestic quality to them. Charlie Simpson really reinvented himself with this band after starting out his career in Busted and surprised many with this band. Possessing a sound like Muse meets Funeral for a Friend, Fightstar have a great eclectic touch to their music that makes them standout from many of the generic post-hardcore emo groups around today. Be Human sees the band incorporate symphonic elements to their music as shown on tracks like 'The English Way' and 'Follow Me Into Darkness' whilst retaining their alternative roots on 'Mercury Summer' and 'Never Change'. The deluxe edition features four additional tracks that really add to the album like the single 'A City on Fire'. I've always found it hard to decide what their greatest album is as this and their other two are all incredible and unique in their sound. One Day Son is their heaviest but this is their most grandiose. There's rock, punk, metal and classical on this album and it all meshes well terrifically. It's good to see them back now too as they are definitely one of my favourite bands around today.
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on 15 September 2012
Had to edit my review as before, I gave this album 3 stars and didn't like it. After giving it mroe of a chance, I am in LOVE! It's worth it just for 'Tonight We Burn', 'The English Way' and 'Follow Me into the Darkness.' Amazing, wonderful, awesome. I was an idiot to think otherwise! If you don't love it the first couple of times, stick with it as I am utterly converted! x
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on 1 June 2009
Be Human [Explicit]

This album is fantastic. I used to be one of those people who associated this band with Busted and therefore would not imagine listening to their music, let alone buying their album.
I bought One Day Son... and was massively impressed with the album, so this one was a must for me, and I've got to say that it is better than One Day Son..., the songs are maybe not as catchy but from my point of view that just means that you don't get fed up of them so quickly. There is a perfect mix of shouting/singing and the music is as always brilliant.
Fightstar should be a lot bigger than they are, and this can only be because people are narrow-minded about the B-word, I recommend that anyone who refuses to listen because of that should think again.
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on 16 June 2014
i first heard on one of the tracks from this albulm being used as a clip on a tv advert. i like the music so much, i research until i found it was from this band. having got the cd, the song i wanted is on here, but the others on the disc are equally brilliant
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on 19 April 2009
I am blown away by the talent these guys have shown. From first track to last I have begun to understand what makes these rock genius's original. No on can replicate the soothing yet harsh vocals of Charlie Simpson, trust me, who are busted? They have left thier old ways behind but still found room to keep the hooking choruses and also omars huge pounding presence on the drums is second to none. If you are even pondering choosing this album, dont take my word for it, buy it! Its easily my best review i have given out and will tell you once and for all this is worth it.

Best Tracks-War Machine, Never Change, Calling On All Stations.
Best Download-Mercury Summer, Mercury Summer EP-Avaliable on iTunes, £1.99.
Worst Track-Wow, If I Had To Choose, Damocles, Bit Too Heavy For My Liking.

Overall Rating-9.8/10..GET IT

Matt.
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on 3 April 2010
Fightstar, yet again, share their brilliant musical skills with the rest of the world. If you have not heard of or listened to Fightstar previously, I would strongly advise for you to listen to this album to get a feel of what they are about.

Iconic tracks such as The English Way and Mercury Summer show the soft, yet strong side of Fightstar's genre, whilst the heavier tracks such as Chemical Blood, Damocles and Colours Bleed To Red contrast most other tracks and show how Fightstar have the pure talent to quickly change between harmonics and something of a more intense composition.

The three new tracks; 28k Resolution, Its Blood Is Black and Mvua Myusi, are both quickly lovable and memorable, such like all of Fightstar's songs.
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on 21 April 2010
Great album. The extra songs are good and the DVD of the live show is really awesome. Rare songs done in a way I haven't heard before.
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on 14 February 2010
Theres just something with this band they just cease to amaze me and thats very hard to do. When fightstar announced they were leaving gut instinct records alot of people (including me) thought that could be it for this band, but oh no its just the start. This album is just stunning it keeps the softer sound of one day son but we get some good heavy tracks but these tracks still vere away from grand unification.

The tracks:

Calling on all stations:It aint the best opener ever but with soft sounds from the orchestra moving onto heavy guitar riffs its still a mile away from bad.

The English Way:The first single realest for the album doesnt sound great at first but really grows on you, with a heavy chorus , soft verses, and a good job from the choir this is good.

War Machine: This track is how do I put it um its stunning just stunning thats all I can say.

Never Change: The third single on the album this is a bit different from fightstars usual ground but nevertheless its still grower and I now really like this track.

Colours Bleed To Red:My favorite song on the album and this is the first time we here alex properly sing. This song is one of the heaviest on the album to with alex softly leading the verses then charlie comes in with his growly screamy vocals to take the chorus this is deffiantely a must listen to track.

The Whisperer: This track is mehh probably the worst track on the album to soft and slow and it just doesnt work.

Mercurry Summer: The Second Single again a like never change a different sound more pop 0bviously aimed at the main stream fans.

Give Me The Sky: Another pretty good track

Chemical blood:excluding war machine this song uses the orcherstra the most and what a song this is screaming chorus with beautiful soft verses just amazing.

Tonight We Burn: The Only Song Alex leads another softer song this is a grower.

Damocles: Well where do I start like deathcar but oh so better a godd aggresive screamo witha growling chorus heavy guitar from alex just awsome.

Follow Me In To The Darkness: A pretty solid ending for a great album
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on 30 April 2009
The fact that Fightstar have created their own independant label means that they have really been able to stretch their creative legs on this record. Their hard work, effort and genuine talent shine through incredibly throughout.
The only gripes i have with the record are that Westaway has evolved his vocal talents so much in comparison with the previous 3 albums, he feels somewhat under used on this record. This is the first album where i have actually preferred westaway's vocals to Simspons and its just a bit of a shame he couldn't have more standout moments throughout the album.
Also the whisperer doesn't really seem to fit in with the rest of the album, even itself for that matter. It doesn't seem like they knew what they wanted from the track so its ended up as a kind of mesh of styles that never properly merges.
On to the positives;
'Calling On All Stations' 'The English Way' 'War Machine' 'Mercury Summer' and 'Follow Me Into The Darkness' are the definite high points here. All showcasing the range that the band have and are willing to express on a single record. I challenge you to find a two song on this album that sound the same.
There is a very cinematic feel to some of the albums more anthemic tracks that give it a real boost. Prely displaying that this is a band tat are meant to play stadium gigs (and i guarantee you, one day they will)
Other than that, this is a truly standout album, the guys (including producer Carl Brown) should be increibly proud of themselves for stepping outside of the box and creating something out of nothing.
However it looks to me like this record is only a stepping stone of whats to come. I predict that the next album could project them to true greatness now they have found their independant feet. so watch this space and i think you could be truly surprised at what they will produce next time round.
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