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 Straylight Run "The Needles, The Space"

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LeeRain
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PostSubject: Straylight Run "The Needles, The Space"   Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:45 pm

[SIZE="3"]Straylight Run "The Needles, The Space"[/SIZE]

Label: Universal Records
Release Date: June 19, 2007
Genre: Pop-rock
Tracklist:
1. The Words We Say
2. The Miracle That Never Came
3. Soon We'll Be Living In The Future
4. How Do I Fix My Head
5. Who Will Save Us Now
6. Cover Your Eyes
7. We'll Never Leave Again
8. Take It To Manhattan
9. Still Alone
10. This Is The End
11. Buttoned Down
12. Track #12
13. The First Of The Century

I was encouraged to try this out because my friend insisted it was so different from their other stuff and a huge step up for them. I was skeptical because having heard their earlier work it was basically like a weaker version of Taking Back Sunday trying to be an "indie" band with an also weak female vocalist but yeah here it goes.

The opener track made it quickly apparent it was different, they aren't trying to be slow and piano driven, it's more upbeat. However Nolan's bland vocals are too hard to get into for me, he doesn't sound any different from when he was the back up vocalist in TBS. Michelle's vocals however have improved though it sounds like shes trying too hard to be Jenny Lewis or that chick from Eisley most of the time, but when she takes over vocals on songs like "The Miracle That Never Came" is a step up from the rather bland opening track. The annoying slow wannabe circus sounding breakdown towards the end was a tumor on the song, and it doesn't work when they repeat that same vibe in "Still Alone" where the horns seem way too out of place. They also throw in an out of place instrumental filler "Track #12" at the end that doesn't even sound like anything on the album or serve any purpose, thats cool. Songs like "How Do I Fix My Head" which sadly make up most of the album are a terrible combo of borrowed radiohead electronic sounds and an acoustic guitar. When done right it can sound beautiful, however in this case each instrument sounds oddly placed with eachother and when coupled with lyrics like "I'm listening / What they say / Feeling less and less okay/ But it's the same old story / How do I fix my head?" its just awful. Now you'd think a song where they take away one of those elements would be better, but the one track "We'll Never Leave Again" where they return to their sappy piano slowly building up while repeating a phrase over and over roots without any electronics sounds like a song that was cut off their last album for sounding too much like Coldplay.

The better parts of this album are the songs in which Michelle takes over vocals and Nolan sticks to what he does best, being a backup vocalist but since she isn't much more of a captivating vocalist it doesn't help much too much. All in all, the album is different but it still seems like an mtv "emo" trying to make an "indie" album but failing. I'd much prefer to them going back to slow piano driven songs like Existentialism On Prom Night that are at least okay for the 3 minutes they shout the slightly above average line chorus over and over. The only positive note is they moved on from bitching about how much they hate Taking Back Sunday in every song. I would've enjoyed the album more if there went misleading song titles like This Is The End, because thats what I was waiting just after listening to 30 seconds of the first song.

Rating: 2/10

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