If you count the band's first offering as an album, based on the grounds that the Songs for Patience is only 15 minutes longer, then this is the classic difficult third album. As a fan of the band I found it disappointing as an album, despite several good individual tracks.It sadly screams of a band who are losing direction and struggling to find their true identity.
The Thief and the Heartbreaker hooked many fans into a band who could cross many genres such as folk and rock with ease, and produce their own originality.Broken Side of Time took the band to new levels, whilst upsetting some of the original fans with a generally louder set of songs finished off by the wonderfully atmospheric Ghost of City Life. I met them after their Bristol gig and then watched from afar as they toured the USA and seemed to be heading the right direction with a growing fan base across both sides of the Atlantic.
Songs of Patience starts with " Magnolia" which in itself is not a bad track and then continues with "Crate of Gold which seems like a leftover track from the previous album. "Lay Down" is a moody but typical Alberta Cross track which would grace any of their albums to date."Come on Maker" and "Life without Warning" both have overtones of Oasis, but there are plenty of worse bands to sound like, and are both very strong vocal tracks. "Ophelia on my mind" and "I believe in Everything" are both over produced and I would have liked to hear a rougher edge with far less polish.Hopefully these tracks may sound better "live" without the heavy over production? "Wasteland" is a little too pop music orientated, and appears to be trying too hard to capture a commercial sound. "Money for the Weekend" in my opinion is the poorest track on the album and would be better treated as an album filler. Closing the album is "Bonfires" which threatens greatness, but sadly only hits the bar. Saying that,Ghost of City Life is an extremely hard act to follow.
For fans of the band, the album is still worthy for the collection and easy to listen too in the car, but when you look back in a few years time it will not be termed a classic. The best thing about this band is that I still firmly believe that the best is yet to come, and when it happens I can say I told you so. Come on lads, stop trying too hard and just let it flow!