Anberlin - Cities.
Well, the much-hyped third disc from Florida's Anberlin is finally here, so let's take a good listen.
Usually, if an album like this one were released, I'd call it their "mature" album. However, Anberlin has always been mature. Cities is just taking that sound to its fullest extent.
The album opens with an abstract instrumental piece. The swirling guitars and ambulance sirens set the tone for the CD as it rips into "Godspeed." I know "Godspeed" is a good song because I've been listening to it constantly since it was released on iTunes in December and it still electrifies me.
I enjoy the next track, "Adelaide," as it reminds me of "Stationary Stationery," but it feels a little out of place with the rest of the album being so much darker.
I think one of the reasons I enjoy Anberlin so much is that they can have such heavy guitars, yet still maintain pop hooks. This is clearly demonstrated in songs like "A Whisper And A Clamour," "Reclusion," and "Hello Alone," which manages to be one of the most haunting tracks on the album. There's also a nearly '80s twist on "There Is No Mathematics To Love And Loss," and we get to see the gentler side of the band on "The Unwinding Cable Car."
I find "Alexithymia" and "Inevitable" to be the weakest tracks. They are by no means bad songs, but they just aren't as powerful for me. Luckily, "Dismantle. Repair" quickly makes up for those deficiencies as I've discussed in previous posts here.
Finally, "*fin" may be the finest song Anberlin has ever written. It easily overshadows the rest of the album, especially when the choir comes in about halfway through the song. This track alone is worth purchasing the album for.
Overall, while the album takes a few missteps, they are very minor. Cities contains the most diverse and advanced material of Anberlin's career thus far. If I were to meet the band, I would tell them congratulations.
Standout Tracks: Godspeed, A Whisper And A Clamour, Dismantle.Repair, *fin