Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Story Like a Scar (Dig)
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
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Great tunes, a little short
jordan | texas | 03/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Before you bring down this album for sounding different, know that it is actually in many ways, the first album by this band. All the other albums have been basically just matt solo with studio and touring band. The others were all side project material to the Get up Kids; this is his main project now, so he has a new band that contributes to the song writing. This is unlike all the other tracks on other album. This album is a new band trying to find a sound and blend style. This is kind of an experimental album in many of ways. It might strike you as odd at first, but give it a couple listens and it will eventually make sense. As I type this right now, they are already working on another album.
OK, this CD has some of the best track I think the band has done yet. Death of Us, Turn Out the Lights, Small Crusade, Bad Liar, and Past the Pines are amazing. These all have a really nice smooth vibe, mellow, and wonderful guitar and bass work. The lyrics are touching as well.
Your ghost is indeed a good song, great but so different. If you like jazzy blues like tunes, this one is for you. Calendar Days & Beautiful Mistake are really poppy tunes, both good for some pop music, but I have always been a fan of the mellow tunes but these guys.
The only songs I think that are worthless have to be Intelligent Design & Turn Out The Light(reprise) ID is some sort of old school punk song that does not at all fit on the album and should have been left off and replaced with one of the b-sides. TOTL is just kind of dumb.
On awesome thing about this album, is the secret site. You get an excellent b-side titled Mike & Beth, plus to redone versions of older songs form older albums, but done with the new band. Picture in the Paper & Every Double Life.
You might want to try this, I made my own track listing that I think works much better.
1. The Death Of Us
2. Turn Out The Light
3. Turn Out The Light (reprise)
4. Bad Liar
5. Past The Pines
6. Your Ghost
7. Calendar Days
8. Beautiful Mistake
9. Mike & Beth
10. A Small Crusade
Hope this review has been somewhat helpful.
The New Amsterdams grow up.
Sarah A. Moews | Riverside, CA | 03/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'd like to give this album four and a half stars, but Amazon does not offer me that option. Four and a half for being so New Amsterdams and yet so wholly different.
The New Amsterdams were once described as "...what you might get if stripped the Get Up Kids music down to its pop essentials." There's nothing wrong with that description, if you apply it to their debut album, Never You Mind. In 2000, Matthew Pryor had been penning Get Up Kids songs for nearly six years, and the New Amsterdams sprung from songs that the Get Up Kids had discarded. Therefore, it's believable that New Ams sounded like Get Up Kids songs sung by the Get Up Kids singer over alt-country guitar. What I think I enjoy most about this album is that it sounds as if Pryor has finally shed that coil and emerged with a New Amsterdams that sounds the way he has always imagined it would sound. It sounds like the New Amsterdams, not the Get Up Kids.
There are several points of criticism - that the album is too short, and filled with songs that have been previously released. That is in fact why I would remove half a star, but I have two counterpoints to make:
1. It's been interesting to see the blueprints for these completed songs. Sure, the original Death of Us sounds different, but isn't it fascinating to see the bare bones (demo) and how they build the creature (finished product)?
2. New Amsterdams songs/albums are always short. I've always wanted to ask Matthew Pryor why, but I imagine he'd say that the songs are only as long as they need to be. If it takes 1:58 to get the songs to come to life, what's the harm in that?
On Story Like a Scar, it's as if Matthew Pryor took the songs that he might have previously released and fleshed them out. These songs breathe with musical layers and poignant lyrics without coming off as pretentious. The vocals showcase harmonies Pryor's never flexed before; the songs paint a complete picture of his life and experiences. The last point I have to make is that if this is your first New Amsterdams album, you might try to listen to the progression the albums have made first. The New Amsterdams have come into their own.
As a side note, Turn Out the Lights (reprise) makes me want to be barefoot on a porch somewhere in Missouri clapping my hands and harmonizing, and that's a good thing.
This is an album I dearly love
K. Willy G | 07/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm sorry people, but I love this album too much to let the reviews which question it's quality (for reasons I can't totally argue with, I admit) stand unchallenged. So I'll address the parts of this album which I think are so amazing that any flaws aren't enough to matter.
First of all, "Turn Out the Light" is my favorite song on this or any New Amsterdams album. I would contradict that other reviewer and say that the DEMO is the version which does the tune injustice, stripping the beautifully wholesome song to a catchy melody with stomping and clapping. Even the demo makes you appreciate just how catchy the melody is though, so it's not all bad. Really you can't go wrong with that song. And every New Amsterdams fan I know feels the same way about at least one of the other songs from this band, and a good many of those are off of this album.
I would also say that the lyrics are amazing. The ease that they come off with is a wonderful thing. Almost no artist can make the flow of thoughtful/emotional words sound as natural as Mattew Pryor does. And the music goes along perfectly with the same flow. I love it. But if it's the wrong flow for you, then it won't matter how easy and natural it is, and you'll want to head elsewhere.
Another achievement of this album (and band) is that there are a lot of great guitar effects on here, and their weirdness doesn't detract from the songs, which is very hard to pull off. There's also a ton of great use of straight up guitar/base/trap set/vocals, the standard combination being used in very quirky ways, and yet sounding just like they were always meant for it.
The lyrics are great, but need some attention to be appreciated. The reviewer who labeled "Intelligent Design" as annoying seems to have missed it with that song. It's a reaction to the Bible literalists trying to get the "scientific theory" of intelligent design taught in schools instead of or along with evolution. The song bashes around, because he's pretty much tired of hearing it and is saying "put a lid on it." The lyrics make a satisfying listen, especially if you agree with them. Like I say, if you pay attention, the lyrics are very clever and worth listening to.
The music is incredibly laid back and easy to listen to. None of it gets too heavy. If you need a band to rock, these guys never will and you'll be dissatisfied, but if you can appreciate the infinite chill of this album you'll be a very happy person for a half an hour.
I'd like to say too that if Story Like a Scar was longer it would be better. But taken together with the rest of the New Amsterdams' music, this is good stuff you'd be missing if you were without it, which makes the album worth it. Even if it isn't as much all in one chunk, it is certainly an essential part of the band's discography. I guess if you're not a fan this may not be a great album for you, but in that case you wouldn't like the music as much, which I'd say is your loss anyway.
And if you don't like Matthew Pryor's voice, then you're in a very poor position to appreciate this music in any way, or even give it a fair shot. For fans, it's one of the biggest attractions. It's very distinctive and you'll either love it or you'll hate it. If you love it, it adds an awesome powerful rawness to the words he's singing and sets off the low key music they're set to perfectly.
Though this isn't the best album by the New Amsterdams, I think it certainly deserves five stars. All in all, everything just adds up with this music and, to the right kind of listener (which is not everybody!), it makes the New Amsterdams one of the best musical experiences going recently, and Story Like a Scar is a key part of that experience."