Search - Anberlin :: New Surrender

New Surrender
New Surrender
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

This is the major label debut for the Central Florida pop-rock stalwarts, Anberlin. The new album features 13 tracks that further expand on Anberlin's signature sound. Stephen Christian's distinct vocals backed by Joseph ...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Anberlin
Title: New Surrender
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Universal Republic
Original Release Date: 1/1/2008
Re-Release Date: 9/30/2008
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, Indie & Lo-Fi, Adult Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 602517802957, 0602517887466


Album Description
This is the major label debut for the Central Florida pop-rock stalwarts, Anberlin. The new album features 13 tracks that further expand on Anberlin's signature sound. Stephen Christian's distinct vocals backed by Joseph Milligan and Christian McAlhaney's driving guitars and the rhythm section comprised of Deon Rexroat and Nathan Young on bass and drums respectively is the foundation for the band's success. New Surrender, produced by Neal Avron (Fall Out Boy, Yellowcard, New Found Glory), demonstrates the band's natural progression as musicians as well as solidifying their place as some of music's most creative songwriters. With all out rockers like "Feel Good Drag" and "Blame Me! Blame Me!" to the introspective "Still Counting Backwards," Anberlin have created a record that is sure to propel the band to the next level. Universal Republic signed the band off of the success of their highly lauded breakthrough indie pop scorcher, Cities. The record debuted on Billboard's Top Albums chart in February 2007 at #19, and passed the coveted 100,000 indie-sales milestone fueled by their riveting hit single "Godspeed." It has been Anberlin's emotive pop/rock chemistry that has excited fans and critics ever since their Polk County, FLA launch six years ago, rising through the indie ranks with a magnetic collection of releases on Tooth & Nail Records, including their memorable 2003 debut Blueprints For The Blackmarket. Their 2005 release, Never Take Friendship Personal, saw them gain even more indie traction, (the band has logged combined album sales of more than 400,000 albums) with the single "Paperthin Hymn" peaking in the Top 40 of the Modern Rock Radio chart. Their touring, coupled with a loyal myspace following, cemented their reputation as one of the bands to watch in 2007. Anberlin delivered on that with the celebrated Cities. Cited by many critics as indispensable to the modern rock scene, rock forecasters have bookmarked their upcoming album New Surrender as one of the truly viable indie-to-major success stories ready to blow in 2008.

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CD Reviews

New Surrender
Ben Dugan | Flying Monkey Killer | 10/02/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Anberlin's last record, "Cities" was one of the best records of last year. Not a flawless record by any means, but a strong collection of songs that showed that Anberlin was one of the few groups that were not willing to sit in and stay with a chosen formula, but were willing to build on it and make it stronger.
"New Surrender", the eagerly awaited followup to that record, is, oddly enough, the opposite. Though not a terrible record by any means, "New Surrender" may very easily be the weakest overall Anberlin record so far in their still young career.
What's funny about "New Surrender" is that, with the exception of a not so much bad as worthless re-recording of "Feel Good Drag", there is really nothing bad here. All the songs are fine enough, performed with vigor and talent, and nothing here feels false or boring.
But on the flipside of that, there is also nothing here that I could remember after hearing the record through a few times. There are no really clear, strong melodies here, and the lyrics, though themselves never bad, aren't interesting enough or clever enough to really, truly grab your attention.
"New Surrender" is not a waste of money, nor is it a sound investment. The record is perfectly good background noise, well produced and played, but it is never more than that.
And knowing that these guys can do so much better than that, it's hard to see "New Surrender" as anything but a disapointment."
Review from
Ryan Matthews | 09/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

A year and a half after the release of the monumental Cities, Anberlin is back, backed by a new record label, and are eager to introduce you to New Surrender. The release of their compilation project, Lost Songs, in November 2007 marked the end of their contract with Tooth and Nail Records- the band's label home since the early days of Blueprints For The Black Market. Now, they are partnered with Universal Republic, and their evolution is evident.

New Surrender initially doesn't seem to reflect the "Anberlin" sound fans have come to know throughout their past three albums. However, that doesn't mean the quality of this music is anything less than what they would consider their best. Every song on this album has a beautiful story to tell. The opener, "The Resistance," is one of the more solid rock songs found on the album and serves as a really great introduction to the album. "Breaking," formally known as "Bittersweet Memory," follows. Our first glance of this song was through the acoustic videos and the digital download package that was available at Warped Tour. It was promising as an acoustic alone, and in this electric format, it doesn't fail to deliver. "Blame Me Blame Me" is a very up-beat tune reminiscent of "A Day Late." The chorus sings, "Blame me, blame me, blame me for mistakes you make but you can't own. Hate me, hate me, hate me for every honest word that you postpone. Leave me out of this; lights on sinking ships are gleaming, gleaming, gleaming for mistakes you've made but you can't own." This is definitely a highlight of the album and is sure to stand out among fans. After "Blame Me Blame Me," the album takes a more mellow turn for "Retrace" - a sweet love song which displays Stephen's clearly matured vocals and, lyrically, his ability to create amazing imagery. Next up is the new, yet not completely improved, "Feel Good Drag." This song first made its debut on their sophomore album, Never Take Friendship Personal. At first listen, the song sounded drastically different. However, with each listen, the differences between the two seem to disappear. It still has its edge, even though they have discarded the screaming vocals. Lyrically, this song is all about angst and is really emotional. New Surrender's version doesn't seem to capture that intense emotion like you were able to hear and feel in NTFP's.

At the half-way mark is "Disappear"- the first song we were officially introduced to by the band in mid-July. It speaks of the homeless and the neglected, and out of the whole record, it sounds the most like the Anberlin we know. It is one of the most memorable tracks, by far, especially with its unique subject matter. "Breathe" is a light, romantic song. It is simplistic in structure, but completely fits the tone and direction of the song. "Burn Out Brighter," "Younglife," and "Haight Street" are all less memorable than those previously mentioned. However, they are pleasant and tend to reminisce on care-free days and one's youth. "Soft Skeletons" is a beautiful song about a girl who doesn't seem to have the strength to carry on a fight against pain and addiction. Stephen's vocals are spot-on, sounding almost like melodic whines and cries, as he sings, "I just wish that I could heal all the hurt you feel tonight. There's life in your veins. These needles are chains to hold you down. How can you expect to win this war when you're too afraid to fight?" It's become a tradition for Anberlin to close their albums with an epic, exceptionally prolonged, finale. New Surrender's "Miserabile Visu" is no different. Though it lacks the intensity of "*Fin," its beauty seems to test the boundaries of eternity with intimate vocals and electric guitars.

The overall quality of the songs is very strong and demanding. This is a new chapter for the band, and while there are obviously still elements of the old Anberlin, the new ones will undoubtedly have a powerful reign. Some might notice vast differences; some might think they are pretty subtle. These changes could be their evolution or, simply, Universal Republic's generic influence on them, unlike Tooth And Nail's indie fashion.

Musically, it seems they were more conservative with this debut on Universal. It is evident the immense talent they've portrayed in the past isn't completely made known. A lot more keys are involved, hence the addition of a new keyboard player from the late band Acceptance. Stephen Christian's voice improves more and more with each album. This was most evident with the release of the acoustic videos of "Breaking." Yes, this album might be more produced than the past ones, but when you hear him all stripped down, he still has a very powerful, smooth voice that demonstrates his remarkable abilities.

The lyrical quality has also seemed to have improved tremendously. As a whole, it definitely deals with similar themes found throughout their previous albums, just in new approaches. "Miserabile Visu" is a lyrical highlight, and the growth in Stephen's writing is very noticeable. The amount of spirituality seems to decrease with each album, however, two songs highlight this theme to a very respectful level. "Burn Out Brighter" deals with wanting to live your life not for yourself, but for "something higher than myself." Also, the closer, "Miserabile Visu," is filled with spiritual references from Revelation - from mentioning the antichrist, to the mark of the beast, and even the second coming of Jesus through beautiful symbolism and an intense amount of detail.

Much respect is deserved and given to Anberlin for making the always-risky move to a major record company to further their music career and, ultimately, reach and move larger audiences with their music. This was the tell tale sign if they could stand up with major record labels and still maintain their integrity. Through the differences you will find, you will see these changes are not necessarily negative. At the heart of this album, you know it's still Anberlin. And I think that says a lot about their dedication to their fans and the integrity of their music.

- Review date: 9/28/08, written by Lindsay Wiseman"
Anberlin's New Surrender to a bigger label.
Aaron Levesque | Connecticut | 10/09/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Keep in mind I consider Anberlin one of my favorite bands, and while my first impression was not too great, it is growing on me. So forgive the harsh criticism to follow.

This is overall not the effort I would expect from the band that brought us Never Take Friendship Personal and Cities. The music itself isn't all that different, even with the addition of Acceptance's guitarist Christian McAlhaney. In general, I'd say this album is a testimony to the importance of good vocal melodies; Stephen Christian's singing is still amazing as always, but the melodies themselves are sadly unimpressive.

While the re-recorded version of "The Feel Good Drag" is still enjoyable, it is not by any means superior to the version recorded on Never Take Friendship Personal. It appears to be a transparent attempt by the band to ground the album with at least one extremely well-written song. In my opinion, it simply is an blatant indication of how Anberlin's song-writing abilities from the past two albums overshadow the effort of New Surrender.

The biggest problem with the album is how the choruses don't sound nearly as uplifting or catchy as they were on previous albums. The first track is a weak opening for the album, in spite of it's heavier sound, because of this.

Another disappointment is the band's failure to recapture the same magic heard in songs like "Inevitable" (from Cities) and "(the symphony of) blase" (from NTFP). The two ballads on New Surrender, "Retrace" and "Breathe," fall short of expectations.

The last song, "Miserabile Visu (Ex Malo Bonum)" is the epic song a lot of Anberlin fans are looking for. Sadly, I don't feel there is anything epic about it other than the length.

Where the album shines: Breaking, The Feel Good Drag, Younglife, Haight Street (my favorite song on the album), and Breathe.

That said, the album itself is worth a buy for long-time Anberlin fans, but give it time to grow on you."