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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Track-by-Track: The Sounds - Something To Die For

As I've stated multiple times, I was a little underwhelmed by the Sounds' last album. They're one of my favorite bands (and one I've gotten the chance to see live on several occasions), so I was hoping they'd make a turnaround with this new, self-produced album. And guess what? They have! This is their best release in years and on par with their first two classics.

1. It's So Easy - Half a song, half an extended intro. What this does, mainly, is signal the new--more electronic--sound of the album. There's not a whole lot of melody here, but it's a wonderfully atmospheric energy builder. 8/10

2. Dance With The Devil - This is such an anthem-in-waiting. It's back to a huge pop sound for the band, and it ranks among some of their very best work. From the stampeding synths to the cathartic chorus, this feels like a sequel to the excellent "Dance With Me" from their first album. 10/10

3. The No No Song - Back to a punkier, rock sound. This reminds me of their last album and isn't one of the stronger tracks here. Still, I can see how this would please their more rock-loving fanbase. It's actually grown on me as well. 8/10

4. Better Off Dead - We first heard this a few months ago when the band released it as a teaser. While I think it would be more effective later on in the album, the hypnotic electro production and catchy melody make this an easy standout. 9/10

5. Diana - As far as I can remember, this is the first time that Maja has referenced her bisexuality in one of the band's songs. Luckily, she does so in a punchy pop/punk song that blends the band's dual sounds to great effect. That surging chorus is pretty impressive. 9/10

6. Something To Die For - The first single, and the band's best single in a few years. It's one of those simple, straightforward pop songs with great emphasis on excellent melody. It may not hit you over the head initially, but it sticks with you. 10/10

7. Yeah Yeah Yeah - Another highlight. I'd call it their "Tony The Beat" or "Boombox" of the album. Ridiculously catchy, buckets of attitude/swagger and heavy on the electronics. I don't see how anyone could resist this. 10/10

8. Won't Let Them Tear Us Apart - The third perfect track in a row, this is something quite different for the band. It's got an enormous arena-rock surge to it, from the chanted vocals in the verses to the huge, roof-busting chorus. This could end up being my favorite track when all is said and done. 10/10

9. The Best Of Me - This is a little less successful. I'm not sure what it is about this song. I love the sound, but for some reason it feels like filler. Excellent filler, for sure, but coming after the last few tracks I can't bolster much enthusiasm around this. 8/10

10. Wish You Were Here - The Sounds don't record many ballads, and they've never recorded one like this. It's a tender, acoustic track that put's Maja's excellent vocals at the forefront. And the melody is BEAUTIFUL. 9/10

Album Grade: 9.1/10

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