Originally Posted by Dyldo
I've had the CD sitting in my room unopened for the last 2ish months. I need to get on that.
I finally did and have been listening to it for the last week-ish and, while I wanted to sit with it for awhile before I said anything about it, I think the album has sufficiently sunk in and I've finished forming my final thoughts about it:
I'm a big AiC fan, so I was just as much apprehensive about the new album as I was excited. I knew it wasn't going to blow though because, as mentioned above, Cantrell, who still sings and did a good majority of the song writing, is still alive and well and I have good faith in his awesomeness.
First off, DuVall did a very good job filling the size 45¾ shoes that were left and he complimented Cantrell's voice pretty well while being able to contributing to AiC's haunting vocal melodies, a beloved quality that I was worried would be lost or dampened with the absence of Layne. Of course he's no Layne, but he's worthy to be with the remains.
The album itself, as in the actual song writing, production, and performance, is just 'okay'. Its definitely the weaker of their releases, but that's to be expected when a crucial element of a band is lost. It definitely has its moments, but I also can't help but feel that it occasionally suffers from that cheesy "hard-rock" vibe that I think DuVall's voice may play a part in due to how he sings and phrases certain words and melodies during specific parts. I find myself digging the Cantrell-dominated songs much more than the others. The production, or moreover the guitar tone, is a little too muddy for me. However it is mixed like a good grunge album should be with my other complaint being the bass needing more presence. While reading over this, this all kinda sounds a bit negative but I'm just being critical here because I want to feel important and smart because I'm so very special and, because my parents never gave me the attention I oh so
deserve(d!), I must seek it out from the world and.. oh fuck, sorry! I must have been channeling the entire staff from Buddyhead or [place pretentious, whinny, self-aggrandizing indie magazine review staff here].
Anywho, glad to see they've collected themselves after Layne's earthly departure and are doing something productive with the remnants. While I'm not totally thrilled by the release, I'm very happy that I don't feel like they should have not done anything at all. I look forward to seeing what else they have in-store as DuVall and the band really start to build chemistry.