Far from the melodrama of teeny soaps and Jason Schwartzman, Phantom Planet is alive again and back with their newest album, Raise the Dead. Tragically, the past will always follow the band but they are content to move forward with vigor and purpose. As most listeners will carry “California” into this record, it will soon be forgotten. Raise the Dead responds as vocalist/guitarist Alex Greenwald’s obsession with cults, their leaders, and the music which drives them. This opus will help deter the listener from the “California” pop and even garage rock tendencies of past Phantom Planet albums. Throughout Raise the Dead, it is evident Greenwald immersed himself into the studies of cults and such leaders as David Koresh, Jim Jones, and Charles Manson. The album’s upbeat and raucous sound is highlighted by double meanings and haunting orchestration. Several tracks strike with circus-like rhythms, luscious strings, subtle horns, and atmospheric effects. Upon their underlying themes, Phantom Planet have created an indelibly, grander record.
Raise the Dead opens with the title track in a booming anthem intensified by strings and Greenwald’s wailing, reminiscent of The Walkmen. “Leader” stands out as a track with joyful pop melodies streamed by a children’s choir and features excellent lyrics, which delve deeply into the album’s theme. While their first single “Do the Panic” harkens back to garage rock, the song forges ahead strongly behind Greenwald’s erratic vocals and the striking guitar riffs. “Ship Lost at Sea” contains bright horns and vaudeville rock which will send the listener reminders of 60’s pop. Indeed, the atmospheric blends of “Confess” offer a likeness to the excellence of Radiohead. Alas, the album closes with a serene ballad “I Don’t Mind” which gently slides beside lowly horns and a steady acoustic line.
Phantom Planet will surely surpass the listener’s expectations and their progression should only offer brighter hopes for future records. Raise the Dead is a wonderfully, haunting display of Greenwald’s (unhealthy) obsession with cult-life. Maybe now, he can leave “California” behind.
Standout tracks: “Leader”, “Raise the Dead”, “Ship Lost at Sea”
1. Raise the Dead
4. Do the Panic
6. Ship Lost at Sea
7. Demon Daughters
9. Too Much Too Often
11. Leave Yourself for Somebody Else
12. I Don’t Mind
Fueled By Ramen has posted a preview video of their upcoming release for 2008. Check it out below.
Check out a new album teaser for Phantom Planet‘s upcoming release, Raise the Dead, below.
Panic! At The Disco are set to headline the 2008 Honda Civic Tour which starts April 10th in San Francisco. According to Billboard.com, Motion City Soundtrack and The Hush Sound will be joining Panic! for the tour. Full dates and supporting acts will be announced in February.
Panic! At The Disco’s new album Pretty. Odd. is set for a March 25th release through Decaydance / Fueled By Ramen.
Paramore has now sold over 500,000 copies of their album, Riot! Congrats to the band and everyone at Fueled By Ramen.
Powerspace’s recently released album, The Kicks of Passion, is, for lack of a better word to describe a mostly indescribable band, phenomenal, especially considering this is the power pop band’s first full-length album. The album combines the upbeat, melodic qualities of pop and the modern-sounding quality of techno to create a refreshing, unique sound. Frontman Alec’s voice is wide-ranged as far as pitch, clear, and overall appealing. The instrumental music, guitar in particular, is very well written and meshes very well with the vocals and lyrics to create a very distinguishing sound. The optimistic sound that all of their songs, even those set out to express negative feelings, seem to carry, sets Powerspace apart from a lot of bands currently popular in the rock industry that seem to come off as more angst-filled. The lyrics on this album are clever and thoughtful, and thoroughly relatable and enjoyable. Some especially notable songs off of this album are Ã¢â‚¬Å“AmplifireÃ¢â‚¬, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Prologue: Adam BeckettÃ¢â‚¬, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Dancing in the FutureÃ¢â‚¬, and Ã¢â‚¬Å“Right On, Right Now.Ã¢â‚¬ I heavily recommend this album to anyone interested in a very unique and equally likeable sound!
1. Prologue: Adam Beckett
2. Quarantine My Heart (Baby)
3. Powerspace Snap Bracelet
4. Right On, Right Now
6. Be Aggressive
7. This Is Not What You Had Planned
8. Dancing In The Future
9. Choose Your Own Adventure
10. It Smells Like Electricity In Here
11. I Met My Best Friend In Prague
12. Sleep, Everyone…
During the space between their debut and new album, I’ve seen a bass player leave and an old one return as well as the departure of two guitarists. Paramore has been through more members in their short time than any band I can think of. I can’t help but wonder if their new switch to a four-piece lineup in the studio helped make “Riot” what it is.
The album is more of the same straightforward nu-emo rock backed by a powerful female vocal presence. Unfortunately, I was expecting so much more. That’s not to say the album is bad. As a matter of fact, the opener “For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic” brings on the rock so much that I was pretty stoked to listen to this disc.
A new recording of “Hallelujah,” a song that’s been in the band’s repetoire for some time really knows how to tug at your emotions as well. The heartfelt “That’s What You Get” also makes my ears happy. Then there’s lead single “Misery Business.” I liked this song a lot at first. I even got over the fact that the video made me cringe, but I skip this song every time now. What I don’t get is how leading lady Hayley Williams gets so much crap for this song? I’m sorry that ten year olds(yeah, no joke) are listening to this band now, but they didn’t dumb the content down for them. I don’t get why she needs to apologize for the lyrical content of this song every time it’s brought up.
There are a few more songs (“When It Rains,” “Crushcrushcrush,” and “Born For This”) that I enjoy hearing when they come up on shuffle, the rest didn’t do anything for me. The album was really good at first listen, but the replay factor just wasn’t there for me this time. This was one of my most anticipated for the summer and it ended up mediocre. Maybe if there had been some input from a new guitarist, there could have been some variety to make the tracks stick out more. A solid effort, but it doesn’t stack up to their debut.
1. For A Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic
2. That’s What You Get
4. Misery Business
5. When It Rains
6. Let The Flames Begin
9. We Are Broken
11. Born For This