Anberlin - Cities Review

"I just want exposure, It doesn\'t matter how big or small. I\'m not trying to make money off of this. I\'m trying to save lives. I saw a nine-year-old who was pregnant, and a 10-year-old with a child. These girls are too young to even come to our shows, and they\'re having children. I\'d love to start a revolution so people are more conscious about the world around them and less about the little superficial bubble we\'ve created." *

Do the words of Anberlin front man Stephen Christian shake you up? Do they give you a chill? Take a listen to the band\'s third full length album Cities, and you\'ll see what he means. Everything\'s not rosy in the world today and you\'ll find that evident on Cities. This album definitely takes a much darker tone than in the bands previous efforts. Where as their older material dealt mostly with love and heartbreak, Cities takes stabs at society, religion, the rock and roll life style, their own fans, and even themselves. Accompanied by well executed soaring pop punk riffs, not to mention welcome acoustic guitar and synth touches, Cities shows if nothing else, undoubted musical and lyrical maturity for the group.

The opening song and first single "Godspeed" hits you hard. Fast and furious, the single sets the tone for what\'s to come. "Adelaide", the next track, has the same addictive effect as the worst narcotics out there; I found myself humming and singing it for weeks. The album overall rolls along beautifully from one song to the next, "The Unwinding Cable Car" is a stunning, acoustic filled, beauty of a song; with Christian\'s powerful vocals driving out the chorus to such effect that it never really bothers that the song is actually a bit repetitive.

The final song on the album is the true chef d\'oeuvre of this superb disc. (*Fin) as it is aptly titled, clocks in at over 8 minutes. Featuring hard hitting subject matter accompanied by Christian\'s heart felt ranging vocal, a slow melody that busts at the seems about halfway through, and a climatic ending featuring a children\'s choir singing the ardent lyrics, "patron saint/are we all lost like you?" while Christian continues to croon in the background. By the time the track comes to a close, you\'ll realize that you\'ve just heard one of the great emotional rock songs ever written.

As much as I\'ve fallen in love with this perfectly produced, addictive record, Anberlin really doesn\'t do anything overly ground breaking here. What they do is take an already created formula and master it. Sporting one of the great singer songwriters in modern rock today, we may be hard pressed to find a much better disc this year.

*Quote originally published in Chord Magazine

"Cities" is on sale February 20, 2007 from Tooth & Nail / Solid State.

Tyler Barlass • Editor

Tyler is passionate about Music, Sports, Beer, Comic Books, Food, Cocktails and other seemingly unrelated things.


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