Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Underneath returns East Lansing, Michigan's Verve Pipe to their very origins, rediscovering the simple power pop of "I've Suffered a Head Injury" and "Pop Smear," ridding themselves of all the guitar bombast, arty flourish... more »
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Underneath returns East Lansing, Michigan's Verve Pipe to their very origins, rediscovering the simple power pop of "I've Suffered a Head Injury" and "Pop Smear," ridding themselves of all the guitar bombast, arty flourishes, and dark shadows that producer Michael Beinhorn cast over their last album. This time out the band availed themselves of the talents of Fountains of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger--an underrated pop genius himself--to man the boards, helping them clean out the cobwebs and return the band to the engaging, almost New Romantics sound of their formative years. As a result the Verve Pipe has turned out a bevy of literate, tightly constructed gems that veer from the clever to the confessional, without ever being sappy. But stylish writing has always been this band's strong suit, as well as their full-bodied rhythm section that adds depth, texture, and an interesting complexity to harder-rocking songs. "Never Let You Down" is anthemic in its appeal, what with its stalwart message and dynamic chorus that are reminiscent of Foreigner at their most sincere, while "Medicate" is an earnest postgrunge solution to an age-old problem, moving into them into the territory that Bush used to occupy. --Jaan Uhelszki
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Coming Back to Life.... (4 STARS)
Janson Kemp | Dallas, TX USA | 10/05/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With seeing the helpful, yet woefully brief reviews of this CD and this band, I will try to make this as comprehensive and clear as possible. So The Verve Pipe release yet another album. Distraught first by the band's last release and its failure to sell a fraction of "Villians," Brad Vander Ark walked and is currently recording with another band in New York. Big Brother Brian and the band decide to move on, without the help of a permanent bassist and with their backs to the wall. The mission? To increase their fading fan-base and to get them back on the radio and their music back into willing listeners' lives. Did they succeed? Obviously only time can tell the answers to questions like those. But how does the music stack up when compared to their past releases? The answer is less simple than it seems.First, even before the release of "Underneath," Brian V. Ark admitted that "This will be the band's most commercial release," a natural turn-off for me personally. Yet, I still intended to give the album a try. After all, they ARE one of the most talented bands in the world currently. But inorder to gain the commercial success they were striving for, they forfitted the artsy aspect of their albums that made them in my mind, the forerunners of the fading alternative genre. Blood and guts honesty in the lyrics is painfully dampened, replaced with a more "personable" and acceptable message, mostly about love. The guitars are less cut, sometimes unnoticable altogether, with the pop tunes of Doug's keyboard shine through. Fortunately Vander Ark still has the voice, but only half of the songs on the album are by him, while a less artsy, and more pop driven drummer Donny Brown takes the helms.Don't get me wrong; the band remains the same, and the talent and potential are still there, but not full-blown a la "Pop Smear" and "Villians." That said about the album as a whole, the songs individually are actually pretty good. Of course TVP ALWAYS puts the rest of the pop world to shame, but this much more achieved and focused on becoming (hopefully) the top of the pop-rock charts. Here's a review of each:1. "Only Words" - 9/10; Ahhh, it's defenitely good to hear B. Vander Ark's guitar and his trademark album openers once again. This is one of the better tunes. 2. "Never Let You Down" - 8/10; An all-too-obvious pick by the band to be the first single from Underneath, filled with pop-hooks and a classic message of love. TVP is DEFINITELY trying to get back on the radio. But like I said, not a bad song, just not my Cup of Tea (get it?) 3. "I Want All of You" - 8/10; Probably more of a 9/10 song, but Donny's words just don't cause the magic that Vander Ark's do. Pretty darn good, anyway. 4. "Miles Away" - 10/10; Easily one of the best on the album and one of the best by the band overall. THIS is what I wanted to hear more of the first time around. Beauty of a song by B.V.A. 5. "Happiness Is" - 10/10; I guess pop's not ALL bad, eh? One of the best songs Donny's written. 6. "Medicate Myself" - 9/10; More classic Brian. I wish they had done more like this. Less commercial. 7. "Gotta Move On" - Another break-up song by TVP, but even Brian's lyrics seem to be struggling here. Less artsy than the band in past albums. 8. "Local Boys" - 7/10; Don't know why, but this one just doesn't do much for me. Worst on album, but still pretty good. 9. "Colorful" - 9/10; Congrats to Brian on his big screen debut. This song is also in "Rock Star" and it's a good pick to put in a big movie. 10. "Wonderful Waste" - 9/10; I guess Brian still has it in him to play the poet. Great song. 11. "Underneath" - 9/10; And finally, a good, quiet album closer. OVERALL - 8/10.I wish best of luck to the band and the individuals within to find what they're looking for. OF course I would like to hear something more artistic in the future, and hopefully a lot heavier. Nothing does for me emotionally what a raging electric guitar with introspective lyrics do. Solid 4 Star effort. Nice to have you back, boys."
The Verve Pipe Make Their Return
Jonah | 10/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Verve Pipe return with their latest release, Underneath, and I think that it's a commendable effort by the newly four-man band. From the first track to the last, the album definitely is an easy listen, and is truly better with each listen (and trust me, you will be listening to it nonstop). The band brings back the melodies and harmonies that made them so attractive. In no particular order:"Only Words" kicks off the bunch as a great jumpstarter to the rest of the songs. "Never Let You Down" is a good single choice because anyone and everyone will be singing along to it on the radio. "Miles Away" and "Gotta Move On" are beautiful tunes, both a testament to the power writing of Brian and Donny. "Happiness Is" and "Wonderful Waste" are wonderfully catchy and will make your feet tap and your head bob. "I Want All of You" is a sexy little number that is better because of its simple lyrics and throbbing beat. "Local Boys" gave me the feeling of their earlier work, which was refreshing, and lyrically entertaining. "Colorful" is amazing in its words and music, made up of heart and emotion, and is simply a tearjerker ballad that rocks. The ear-catching rocker, "Medicate Myself" is a delightful piece of Verve Pipe material that is fantastic, due to its heavy guitars and even heavier topic. "Underneath" sees Brian pulling falsetto and managing to sound pretty damn good. This album may be billed as simplier than the Verve Pipe's past offerings, but it will definitely manage to get inside your cd player (and your head) and stay there.Personal favorites: "Miles Away", "Gotta Move On", "Medicate Myself""
Eric Williams | Richmond, CA USA | 04/20/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I found The Verve Pipe when tracking down some favorite songs from movies I'd recorded. Two songs (from "Rock Star" and "Joe Somebody") came from this one band, and I bought this CD as well as Villains and Pop Smear. I can understand the less than complimentary reviews some long-time fans have logged. Some of the pieces on Underneath are a bit over-produced, with too many acoustic gizmos. (Case in point: "Happiness Is".) But I think the more polished presentation also allows TVP's talent to come through on this CD clearer than the others, showcasing catchy and innovative themes, multiple layers, tight harmonic vocals, and lyrics that are worth listening to. (A rare thing these days.) I think this is a good CD for listeners to start with, there are several excellent cuts here I find myself listening to over and over."