AFI – Sing The Sorrow
I’ve never listened to AFI; I’ve only heard their radio singles. To be honest, I was never intrigued by their radio play. As stubborn as it may sound, I choose whom I listen to by either hearing their radio singles or if I happen to catch a song of theirs I like in a friend’s car, in a movie, or somewhere else. I never go to a store and blindly buy the album. The singles are usually what get me hooked. So, when I initially heard AFI a couple years ago I must say I wasn’t impressed by their radio single. I do, however, like to give any music and artists a fair chance by listening to the album before I bash it or claim it sucks. I’m not a mindless follower and I’m not trendy. I like to form my own opinions, even though I do enjoy the information and opinions of others on the same matter. So, without further ado, let’s get to AFI – Sing the Sorrow.
1. Miseria Cantare – The Beginning: This song begins on a depressing note. It eventually erupts into a stronger phase and Davey Havok (vocals) begins his not so pleasurable whining. It sounds as though he has nasal congestion. The general feel of the song isn’t too bad though; it’s a mystical “stand up and be proud” style of song and carries a strong chorus, “Love your hate, your faith lost. You are now one of us” to back Davey’s whining. It’s a good listen.
2. The Leaving Song Pt. II: I like this song. It combines good melody with a well-vocalized set. One thing in particular I liked about this song was the use of Spanish. I immediately called a friend of mine whom speaks Spanish well and asked him the meaning. “Yo he estado aqui muchas veces antes y regreso” was the Spanish. It translates into “I have been here many times before and will return.” I thought it was a unique mix, at least for the genre they play. The song presents a good tune but I’m still not a fan of Davey’s vocals.
3. Bleed Black: This song came close to being catchy on many occasions. It came to that point where you say to yourself “If they just do a beat change this way or that way, it will kick ass!” and it just never made that key change that fulfills your need. It still carries good melody and yet I still find Davey’s voice a hazard to the music. I guess it won’t get any better, but we shall see.
4. Silver and Cold: This is the song that stands out to me most as it is the one I’ve heard being played on the local radio stations here in Atlanta. I like this song. The instrumentals are clean and the beat is catchy. The chorus is the really catchy part. Amazingly I’m not bothered by Davey’s vocals through out the chorus in this song. This music isn’t my cup of tea, but I honestly enjoy this song.
5. Dancing Through Sunday: I can feel the Punk roots of this band in this song. To be honest, when I look at the guys in this band I don’t see any Punk. I see Emo. I must admit I hate Emo trash. It’s all whiney shit to me. This song is comprised of quick beat and semi-screaming lyrics. It holds true through out the song, which is great. I can’t stand a song that starts out one way and ends in left field nowhere near the original idea. Watch out for the cool guitar solo midway through also.
6. Girl’s Not Grey: Terrible song. The vocals are whiney, beat is pop esque, and it reeks of bad 80’s influence.
7. Death of Seasons: The song starts out strong. Nice deep dark tune… Then Davey starts screaming like a fucking child. He sucks at screaming… Unless he puts distortion behind it, which he did eventually. After his initial screaming tantrum the song kicks into some silly upbeat trash. Then it takes this massive swerve into a trance style beat that you would hear at a rave. A heavy bass note thumps while Davey screams like a maniac. His scream is severely distorted and it sounds great. That’s the only way I see his childish scream working. Back to the upbeat shit we go and I’m pissed again. Then they bring it down a notch to a cool deep note guitar picking and drum ensemble, which I enjoy. That lasts all of 20 or so seconds before Davey starts screaming like a bitch again. This song has more ups and downs than the stock market. It ends with what sounds like a cello and violin playing out a sad note. More screaming from the big bitch muffled behind the orchestra. End.
8. The Great Disappointment: The song title describes the song. It was a great disappointment. My ears were telling me that there is nothing special about this song, at all. It’s 5 minutes and 27 seconds of failure. The tune was mediocre, the vocals were weak as is the case with every other song on this album, and for Christ’s sake, say something else besides “I was wasting away!” Got old.
9. Paper Airplanes (makeshift wings): This is the kind of song I expect to hear in a goofy 80’s movie. Perhaps a knock-off movie of Rocky. It’s a cheesy sounding song and Davey does more of his terrible screaming, not quite as angry this go around though. There was one cool thing about this song: It ended.
10. This Celluloid Dream: Not a lot I can think of to say about this song. It sucks. I find nothing interesting about it and I find it terribly repetitive. Well, there was an intermission about half way through the song which changed the tempo for a brief moment, but that lasted not long before it was back to the same pop beat. The end of the song presents Davey having another screaming fit. Stop that Davey.
11. The Leaving Song: It’s a miracle! I liked Davey’s vocals in this song. The song is a great composition with nothing more than guitars. No drums. The melody along with Davey’s not so whiney vocals combined to form a great piece of work. Possibly the best off of the album.
12. … But Home is Nowhere: This last track is 15 minutes and 8 seconds long. The song is actually about 3 minutes and 45 seconds followed by some silence and then into a piano composition. The song is comprised of more shitty screaming and predictable beats. Not too great of a song. The piano composition that follows is rather odd. A faint humming of a bass note all while a voice mumbles out some words in which I couldn’t understand backs it. 9 minutes in, an entirely new song begins. Davey sings some lyrics with his childish voice to a good guitar tune. Drums eventually kick in and the song convinces me to tap my foot. The remaining few minutes winds out with a repeating sound that I find hard to explain. Nothing interesting though.
I must admit that I came into the CD review “knowing” I wouldn’t like this music. On most levels I was right. I did find some of the music pleasurable though. I hate Davey Havok’s voice as he is whiney a lot of the time and I find that annoying. The music isn’t terrible; it’s just not something I would not listen to it in my car or at home, or anywhere for that matter. It’s a solid CD and they obviously have a big fan base, it just doesn’t peak my musical interest. My advice would be to first drop the lead singer. Get someone who sounds older than 12. The CD and its contents have a nice clean look and the CD, if popped into your computer, offers extras. That’s always nice. My final word on this album would be: If you’re Emo and you like to cry and whine a lot, this is the thing for you. If you don’t care for the entire crybaby shit, stay away!
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