Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Superior and Younique.
Joe White | Layton, Utah United States | 06/30/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Younique (not "Unique") is the name of Superior's second album. I don't have their first album, Behind, but word is that it is a fantastic album and is Dream Theater-like in tone and texture. From what I understand, many fans of Superior were disappointed with Behind's follow-up, Younique. But, hey, I like it.Dream Theater comparisons are hard to find on this album. Sure, Younique is progressive metal but they also have industrial metal-like touches on Younique. The use of quiet piano combined with VERY heavy, crunchy guitar work is fascinating and captivating. The vocal melodies are odd but catchy and the vocalist is good though, at times, his voice is reminiscent of various alternative rock vocalists -- but don't let that scare you off, he isn't annoying. Superior also uses alot of interesting rhythms and electronic sounds -- I'm not sure how they achieve this but it is very cool.Comparable albums MIGHT be Damn the Machine's self-titled (and only) album and Reading Zero's debut The Actual. There are also little things scattered throughout this cd that remind me of Pink Floyd or Ayreon.With Younique, Superior accomplishes something that is seemingly difficult to achieve in progressive metal: They have their own unique sound and style. Plus, they avoid the progressive cliches and technical nonsensse that so many so-called "progressive" bands are fond of. And, though not every song here is great, this band knows what good music is about: It's the songs!"
Observe the contrasts...
Lord Chimp | Monkey World | 10/29/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A lot of Superior's fans were displeased with the band's second album, Younique. To sum up the derision, most folks found that it was less progressive and less interesting. While Younique is certainly different than its excellent predecessor (Behind), it preserves the core elements that made the first album so good: Bone-crunching rhythms, emotional vocals, progressive traits, and adventurous songwriting. Taking this point a bit farther, I would say that Younique is actually a better release. Here is a band not afraid to explore daring musical avenues, whereas most other artists would rest comfortably in a sound that people seem to like. Superior's audacity is laudable in and of itself, but the fact that they manage to write great songs is what is most praiseworthy. It seems that, from a broad perspective, Younique is an album of ambivalance. From song to song, you'll notice sharp contrasts between different tracks, and even among certain passages in the songs themselves. Common themes are the occasional alterna-metal riffing and prevalent piano usage, the whole story is much more. Aggressive metal crunchers like "Not With Me" and "Think" are balanced by the ballads "Be Mine" and the especially beautiful "This Promise." But within the songs, that sense of ambivalence persists. "God's Funeral" places heavy, chugga-chugga riffs over a lazy layer of Hammond organ, and mixes in a tastefully integrated flamenco passage. As the song approaches completion, a languid vocal melody glides alongside a hard-hitting rhythm - again, the dissimilarities."Free Minded" takes this variety to a whole new level. African-influenced percussion and sythesizers, chugging metal riffage, and a barrage of funky bass, jazzy organ solos, bombastic brass sections, sharp female backing vocals, and horn-like guitar blasts all come together in this song. At first I found the song's mix of styles jarring and even stupid. No longer - I now see the song as the fun, eclectic tune it really is. There's also "Stop," where verses are built around a sparse piano chords and lethargic electronic rhythms. For the chorus, a grunge-like guitar riff underscores a furious lyric. And how about "Detect: Myself"? It's sheer schizophrenia in music - again with the crunchy power chords, this time with a "lite-FM" saxophone accompaniment, and a weirdly textured chorus. Younique is certainly progressive metal - that's the only description that really fits - but it lacks the conventional attributes that characterize the genre. Forget long instrumental passages, inhumanly fast guitar leads, and soaring operatic vocals. Superior's vocalist, Michael Tangerman, is a great singer, but he sticks to middle and low ranges. Do I have any complaints? Not really. I guess I sometimes have hang-ups about the lyrics. "God's Funeral's" lyrics are kind of silly, and the ballads are a bit syrupy. Still, "This Promise" is so beautifully performed that it's easy to ignore a trite line like, "Then you took me by the hand | Soon you made me understand." Actually, when it comes right down to it, "This Promise" is one of my favorite Superior songs and one of my favorite ballads by any metal band.The import price is pretty steep, but I strongly encourage that all progressive metal fans get this, and Superior's first album too."