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red untilwehavefaces
Artist: Red
Title: Until We Have Faces
Genre: Alternative Rock/ Christian Rock/ Hard Rock/ Post-Grunge
Release Date: 8th July 2011
Label: Essential Records (Sony Music)


Album Review

American RED formed in 2004, before the new album ‘Until We Have Faces’ that came out earlier this month there were two already, ‘End of Silence’ and ‘Innocence & Instinct’. They call themselves a Christian band, but their faith is not in your face in any way though they seem to be more confined to the Christian Rock scene, I’m not sure if it’s their choice or the branding themselves as a Christian band limits them. Their lyrics contain comments on the world of today more from a humanistic and universal point of view; many centre just simply on life’s reflections and the issue of faith is present in the shadows and only to be picked up if desired so and thus suitable for both religious and secular audiences.

The album is quite diverse regarding the styles they employ. It’s great to see that they’ve chosen cover that does suit what they wanted to convey with the album; it indicates an intensity and passion, the image itself for the theme of the album, which is searching for one’s authentic self. This edition also contains 6 more songs from the previous two albums to introduce their previous work to the world beyond the borders of USA, hence quite a generous release counting 17 songs. A lot of the tracks bring LINKIN PARK to mind, ‘Already Over’ [originally incl. In ‘End of Silence’] is one of the best examples of the fact, and one of my gripes lays here - it contains far too much of the LP’s influence not to pick up on that. Nu metal is not the only touch from the Metal sphere, but it is certainly predominant and obvious. Their older material is in fact the part that this addresses the most.

Positively the heaviest opening track ‘Feed The Machine’ combines the LINKIN PARK reference with RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, there’s even a slight of touch of A PERFECT CIRCLE, the orchestral and choir elements especially make it into a more of their own territory with better absorbed influences though obviously since still distinguishable not fully so. ‘Not Alone’ is one of the most generic sounding songs, not to mention there’s a little cringe-worthy cheesiness (bit of a boy-band feeling), albeit redeemed by a close edge (more sincere) to dismiss it entirely as such. I like the fact that ‘Watch You Crawl’ is different to what the title’s expectation makes one anticipate - it’s not as raging, ripping and angry musically, however it does have fragmented feel which spoils the cohesion of the song. ‘The Outside’ is one of the songs I enjoyed the most here; it just sounds as one of their very own and defining ones.

‘Who We Are’ may have promised to deliver the message of the album the best, but sadly it’s the most commercially appealing track, in that aspect straying from what one could call an authentic self. On the other hand I think that their quirkier edges might infect that audience with a want of something more. ‘Hymn For The Missing’ has a wonderful piano approach and the strings section make it for an emotive balladic song. The generic feel in some songs lets RED down, as they can achieve a lot more than pleasing the market, also smoothing out the influences would help. Still, it’s an enjoyable album to listen to, although not one to come back over and over to and not particularly fulfilling the band’s promise yet.


Tracklist

01. Feed The Machine – 5.10
02. Faceless – 3.23
03. Lie To Me (Denial) – 4.14
04. Let It Burn – 4.57
05. Buried Beneath – 3.46
06. Not Alone – 4.08
07. Watch You Crawl – 3.42
08. The Outside – 3.14
09. Who We Are – 3.54
10. Best Is Yet To Come – 4.04
11. Hymn For The Missing – 5.38
12. Breathe Into Me – 3.36
13. Already Over – 4.24
14. Fight Inside – 4.08
15. Death Of Me – 4.19
16. Never Be The Same – 3.46
17. Ordinary World – 4.57


Line-up

Michael Barnes – Lead vocals
Anthony Armstrong – Lead guitar, backing vocals
Randy Armstrong – Bass, piano, backing vocals
Joe Rickard – Drums, percussion


Websites

http://redmusiconline.com/ / http://www.myspace.com/dropofred


Cover Picture

red untilwehavefaces


Rating

Music: 6.5
Sound: 7
Total: 6.75 / 10


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