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Old 04-17-2006, 09:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Anberlin-Never Take Friendship Personal

Anberlin

Tooth & Nail Records-2005

Tracklist-
-Never Take Friendship Personal
-Paperthin Hymn
-Stationary Stationery
-(the symphony of) blasé
-A Day Late
-the Runaways
-Time & Confusion
-the Feel Good Drag
-Audrey, Start the Revolution
-A Heavy Hearted Work of Staggering Genius
-dance, dance Christa Paffgen


Anberlin is an alternative-rock act that formed in 2002. They released their debut album, “Blueprints for the Black Market”, not too long after having signed to Tooth & Nail Records. The album sold moderately well peaking out at the 60,000 mark. In February of 2005, Anberlin then released their follow-up album, and focus of this review, “Never Take Friendship Personal”. The key feature to the album is Stephen Christian’s lyrics, and vocals. Without either of the two the whole album would be a complete failure. Stephen’s singing is smooth, catchy, and goes perfectly well with the intelligently written lyrics. The guitar parts are simple, but every once in a while an impressive solo pops up. Sadly, the bass parts are inaudible for the most part. However, every once in a while it can actually be heard, but is usually playing something incredibly simple. The drums provide solid beats, and the occasional fill, but nothing more.

The title-track, “Never Take Friendship Personal”, is one of the more emotional songs, and features exciting guitar harmonization for the opening that is attractive. It is also contains some of the more in depth lyrics that I spoke of earlier. “Once a skeptic, now the critic, and you finally think you’ve found a place of your own amongst the cold, and timid souls, where only failure knows your name. Look around for the closest to blame, but look no further than the hands beneath your arms, and now you’re six feet down buried with your passing fame.” In the booklet under the title of the song it says in parenthesis, (You told me to “write a song about it” so here’s your song). This leads me to believe that someone who used to be a friend of Stephen betrayed him somehow, or they meet in a disagreement. This goes to show the passion that Anberlin puts into their writing of music, and lyrics.

Anberlin gets a lot of slack for supposedly being a Christian band despite the band themselves insisting they aren’t. Although it is easy to mistake they are a Christian band when their second single off the album, “Paperthin Hymn”, contains the lyrics, “When life is in discord, “Praise ye the Lord””. In spite of that, “Paperthin Hymn” is a great representation of the rest of the album because it’s catchy, and energetic. “A Day Late” is the first single, but it’s not that great of a listen. While it contains the basic Anberlin sound, it seems somewhat generic, and boring. There is no depth to it, and is rather simple. “Never Take Friendship Personal” wouldn’t be an excellent album even with powerful lyrics, and singing if that was all it had to offer. “(the symphony of) blasé” is a slow, and beautiful ballad that is placed in an excellent spot to stave off any feelings of repetitiveness. “the Feel Good Drag” is quite easily the heaviest song, and even feature a slow, yet breathtaking guitar solo. Stephen’s yelling packs so much power it makes this song the one to remember for all of the record. The final song isn’t necessarily different than most of “Never Take Friendship Personal”, but the fact that “dance, dance Christa Paffgen” is over seven-minutes long is something worth mentioning when almost every other song is only three-minutes long.

“Never Take Friendship Personal” is an exhilarating ride. Most songs tend to sound the same, but there are plenty of others that branch out, and make themselves be heard, as well as remembered. Stephen’s singing never falters, and while he is very catchy, he manages to not sound nasal. True, the music is simple, but the structure that some songs are written in is impressive enough. This is an excellent alternative-rock album.

4/5 Excellent
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Use the image code and you can get the album cover in the post, instead of a link to it.
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Haha, and for the poll, I think he meant to tell whether you like the album or not, but yours works to.
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Shouldn't the poll be about the actual album?

Anyway, the album was mediocre I like anberlin but they're nothing special and just have a generic sound. His voice isn't that great is rather bland and lacks..(for lack a better word) texture. The lyrics are okay I guess.
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Old 04-17-2006, 09:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bungalowbill357
Haha, and for the poll, I think he meant to tell whether you like the album or not, but yours works to.
I feel like such a fucking n00b right now.
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Old 04-17-2006, 10:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kripes
I feel like such a fucking n00b right now.
You've posted the best review so far, I wouldn't feel bad.
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Old 06-01-2008, 08:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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This record has one of the greatest songs ever written on it; Paperthin Hymn. The song is flawless.

The record as a whole is very well done and I think that it is the bands best offering to date.
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Old 06-01-2008, 09:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'll be honest. I kinda shunned Anberlin once I found out they were signed with Tooth & Nail, but I saw this in a record shoppe and I wanted to give it a fair listen. I bought it and it was a hit or miss album for me. Some songs were really well done, others were eh or not my thing.
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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This album is great but I'm not much a fan of Anberlin's other two
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Old 06-03-2008, 11:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pow R. Toc H. View Post
This album is great but I'm not much a fan of Anberlin's other two
It's definitely their best. I still like Cities, but Blueprints for the Black Market is pretty bad.
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