Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
AFI CRASH LOVE Davey Havok - Vocals Jade Puget - Guitar Hunter Burgan - Bass Adam Carson - Drums "Crash Love is certainly not a concept album or rock opera by any stretch, but the songs are generally connected by a great... more »
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AFI CRASH LOVE Davey Havok - Vocals Jade Puget - Guitar Hunter Burgan - Bass Adam Carson - Drums "Crash Love is certainly not a concept album or rock opera by any stretch, but the songs are generally connected by a greater theme... The album title itself can be construed as a command, as a destructive kind of love, or as a desire for a relationship that's heading inevitably toward disaster or flameout. The lyrics of some songs trace an arc from adoration to the desire to tear down the object of affection. These songs are written from perspectives both sympathetic and critical, as well from both the inside the relationship and outside."--Davey Havok Crash Love, AFI's eighth full length studio album, due out September 29, 2009 on DGC/Interscope, is indeed informed not only by the ever-evolving chemistry between the musicians in the band but also by the members' personal lives and perhaps most of all by the always intense relationship between AFI and its fans. The latter has intensified considerably over the most recent of AFI's 18 years as a band, with 2006's decemberunderground entering the chart at #1 with first week sales of nearly 200,000 and subsequent sold out shows at the Long Beach Arena and Bill Graham Civic as well as appearances on Saturday Night Live and at Live Earth--not to mention 2003's Sing The Sorrow going platinum. These experiences were bound to have an impact on four kids from Ukiah, California who formed a rudimentary punk band in 1991 with aspirations of playing in the SF Bay Area and possibly releasing a few singles and an LP or two. "The record is really more about how the great attraction to inappropriately shared intimacies, carefully constructed personas, and the loss of a sense of self can affect an entire world," Havok explains. "As well as how this loss of self is sought after rather than resisted... With today's media, we have such quick and pervasive access to the trivia of anyone's lives. Everything is intensified and indulged, this desire and ability to know everything you possibly can about anyone, from what thread-count bedsheets they sleep in to whether or not they believe in ghosts." While Crash Love is the first AFI record to feature such prevalent sociopolitical and observational perspectives, the darkly personal AFI lyrical strain is distinctly present on standout tracks like "Medicate" and its stark portrait of a user/enabler relationship, as well as throughout the ill fated death ride scenario of "End Transmission." Elsewhere, the newer approach shines on the self-explanatory "Darling I Want To Destroy You," "Veronica Sawyer Smokes" with couples Jade Puget's Smiths-esque guitar signatures with a tale of heartbreak brought on by disappointment with a teen idol, "Beautiful Thieves" with its privileged characters whose actions carry no consequences, and "Too Shy To Scream" which sets yearning, distanced adorations against the backdrop of a drumline-inspired shuffle propelled by Hunter Burgan's bass and Adam Carson's drumming. Crash Love, it has to be said, features AFI's Puget, Burgan and Carson playing at their most focused and direct. Where Sing The Sorrow and decemberunderground saw the band's compositions increasingly steeped in atmospherics that created a moody-heavy realm that often threatened to engulf the songs, Crash Love is, according to Carson, "the sound of the four of us playing in the same room. It's by no means stripped down but you really hear the band. Sing The Sorrow--and to certain extent decemberunderground--gave us our first experience with big budget recording, which led to some really dense arrangements, electronics, overdubs and so on. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but this time we came in with 14 songs we were playing really well and wanted to capture that energy."
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No singing in sorrow this time
R. R. Johnson | 10/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"So, AFI has done it again. They're taken a step in another direction with their latest work. While this step my be slightly backwards, it is in no way back to the year 2003. As a relatively new "fan" of AFI, I came to know the band via "Girl's Not Grey" and "Silver and Cold" but it wasn't until "Miss Murder" that I outright had to buy what they were selling. Therefore, unlike most people who have an opinion of AFI that is chronologically past to present, mine is a bit more present to past. After exposure to DecemberUnderground's... 'uniqueness', I had to see what else the California quartet was offering. Weeks after buying DecemberUnderground, I bought AFI's Sing the Sorrow [STS] and found musical euphoria. Hard hitting guitar riffs, overly epic choruses, and an atmospheric intensity unlike no other, Sing the Sorrow was magical. From there, I chronologically worked my way backwards all the way to Answer that and stay Fashionable. Along the way, I became fond of Black Sails in the Sunset[BSITS] (possibly my second favorite AFI release) and The Art of Drowning. More than once, on long car rides from college to home, I'd listen to AFI from Answer That to DecemberUnderground [DU], trying to figure out the evolution and understand how they went from "I want a Mohawk (But mom won't let me get one)" to "The Interview", two completely different songs. Although I do enjoy some of their earlier work, I began to feel at home somewhere between "Clove Smoke Catharsis" and "Now the World". With that being said (and my credibility verified), I can now review Crash Love.
I liked parts of DU, "Miss Murder", "Kiss and Control", the fantastic "Summer Shudder", and even the song most often labled as the abomination of DU, "Kill Caustic". "Love Like Winter" was great too and "Endlessly, She Said" was intense. Overall DU was a solid release and the same can be said for Crash Love.
The first noticeable difference between Crash Love and DU is the apparent lack of extra (dare I say 'electronica') effects. This is by no means some kind of dance party pop fest. Everything is more of a straightforward instrument-driven affair. I liked it. Jade Puget plays some outstanding guitar while Adam and Hunter do what they do. Davey's voice is greatness (as always) and stays consistent.
Problem 1. No screams. I miss those intense screams. Not so much the DU screams (I didn't want to put down "Kill Caustic" but yes, those weren't the great screams I want) but more so the STS screams. "Death of Seasons", "The Leaving Song Pt. 2" and somewhat in "Dancing Through Sunday". Those intense moments just kind of empowered the songs. It doesn't happen with Crash Love. Davey doesn't even give you one of those half-screams aka "Bleed Black" - And ground them all to dust! -. Besides that, from start to finish, Davey's voice is excellent.
Crash Love features solid songs from start to finish. "Torch Song" is good starter. "Beautiful Thieves" I decided was beautiful indeed, after a couple of listens. "Too Shy to Scream" is possibly my favorite, although its already being criticized left and right as being a lame attempt at something upbeat, sucky, etc. I like it. "Medicate" is clearly the "Miss Murder" of Crash Love, being catchy, sing-alongy, and most of all, sellable. From there, "Sacrilege" takes us back to the Art of Drowning days, "Darling, I want to Destroy You" is awesome and my recent favorite "It was mine" closes it out. The other tracks I didn't mention are all solid. Trust Me.
Problem 2? Crash Love almost has no clear stand-out track. They're all good. I mean like, the worst song in my opinion is "End Transmission" and it would still be a top 20 song on the charts if it was released as a single. If it wasn't for the weird effect added to Davey's voice in "Darling, I want to destroy you", it would clearly be the best. Besides that, "Beautiful Thieves" sits well next to "Torch Song" and "Too Shy to Scream" fits perfectly before "Veronica Sawyer Smokes". Maybe I'm picky but I'd like to see atleast two definitive 'best songs'. Something magical, something like STS's "Silver and Cold"/"Girls Not Grey". Recently, "It Was Mine" has become this song for me, the one I can play over and over, yet it lacks the epic-ness that would make it truly great. This brings us to a third problem.
Problem 3? Crash Love doesn't have the overly epic ender, the conclusion that makes you think - I just listened to something brilliant -. Lets recall the last few enders since Jade Pugets permanent arrival, "God Called In Sick Today/Midnight Sun" closed out BSITS. It was greatness. "God Called In Sick Today" is one of my all time favorite songs ever, not just an AFI favorite. I rank it up there with some legendary pieces like "Black Hole Sun" [Soundgarden], "Smells Like Teen Spirit" [Nirvana], and "Jeremy" [Pearl Jam]. The Art of Drowning brought "Morningstar/Battled", another epic closer. Sing the Sorrow (US Version) ended with "...But Home is Nowhere/This Time Imperfect". As if "...but Home is Nowhere" wasn't already a perfect end to one of the best albums of all time, the hidden song "This Time Imperfect" just magnified its glory. DecemberUnderground didn't follow the closer/hidden song closer formula but it still finished strong with the significantly epic "Endlessly, She Said". I don't think that song receives enough credit. Crash Love closes out with "It Was Mine". I believe the lack of some powerful scream toward the song's end (aka "Endlessly, She Said" and "...But Home Is Nowhere) or just a roaring emotional waterfall of a bridge ("This Time Imperfect"), "It Was Mine" just falls a tad short. I noticed it the first time I listened to Crash Love and, although it is not as apparent anymore, it is still slightly noticeable. None-the-less, a good close.
All in all, Crash Love is full of sing-along chorus lines - Will you pause to break my heart? ["Too Shy to Scream"] - saw you while you shared that cigarette ["Veronica Sawyer Smokes"] - strong epic chorus bits - I'd tear out my eyes for you my dear ["Torch Song"]- and just plain catchy tunes. Crash Love may not satisfy that DU itch, or that STS thirst, or that BSITS/ArtOD rash, but it touches upon them. "Sacrilege" shows some BSITS/AOD. "Torch Song" and "Cold Hands" scratch the surface of STS, mostly from a guitar perspective. "Okay, I Feel Better Now" and even more so "Darling, I Want to Destroy You" could have been DU pieces with a few more effects. "It Was Mine" can pass as a weak version of "Endlessly, She Said". Maybe from our view, the ones just sitting back and buying their music, the worst part about Crash Love is what it doesn't sound enough like. It doesn't sound enough like STS. For some it may not sound enough like DU. For others, it doesn't sound enough like BSITS or AoD. But, what we should appreciate is what Davey, Jade, Hunter, and Adam probably appreciate- Crash Love DOESN'T sound like their other stuff, it sounds unique. It sounds different. It is a step in another direction, slightly back, but like back and to the left. Maybe we'll never get another "Love Like Winter" or "Miss Murder" but we will get something AFI. Something new. I've come to realize that AFI will never impress me like they did with STS but I'm sticking with them because I know they'll always have good stuff. Crash Love is a definite buy. For those who hated DU, they won't be singing in sorrow this time.
Timberwolf | Louisville, GA United States | 12/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've only been listening to AFI for about three years, but I've gone back and picked up the old stuff. Now, even though I'm new to AFI, I'm certainly no newcomer to rock music. I've noticed something pretty unique about AFI fans though... they are the most name-dropping, nit-picking, tight-wound bunch of music consumers in the game. Some other bands' fans are that way sometimes, but AFI fans, WHOA! Seriously, try an experiment. Scan all the other reviews for this album and the previous two, and see how many reviews you find that DON'T (1) rank AFI's whole catalog, (2) directly compare each song on this album with a "counterpart" song on another, and (3) try and justify the similarities or lack thereof with either selling out or maturing.
Hey AFI fans: GIVE IT A REST.
What kind of service are you offering the band with this kind of behavior? If I were a member of AFI, I'd be a basket case after reading a page of Amazon reviews. The guys have made the clearest statement you could ask for, and they've made it repeatedly: "Every album they make is different than the others." Why is that so hard? If you hate this album, just keep spinning your preferred album and stop poisoning the well for everybody else.
Crash Love is, without any comparison to another album, a very good listen. I was lukewarm to it on my first pass, but after a few more times the intricacies began to show, and I could appreciate how each song is finely crafted and carefully detailed. Each track is strong, and there's a wide variety of moods and energies. Any fan of rock music can find plenty to enjoy here.
If you're a stranger to AFI and you're put off by the schizophrenic rambling in these reviews, just ignore them and listen to the album without all the baggage. I promise you can like AFI and not have to engage in all this."
R.I.P old AFI ~ 1994-2000
Jennifer Shaw | GPW, Michigan | 12/17/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"For those of you familar with AFI's older albums, you know that they've switched up their style on each album following the release of Very Proud... So the continued evolution of this band should come as no surprise, right? Wrong!! This music just downright sucks.. It's truly sad to hear such terrible sounds coming from one of my ALL TIME favorite bands. Very repetative and boring. I thought "medicate" sounded decent, but one single can't hold up an entire album. Fans of late 90's AFI run away from this album...far, far away.