"Is it my favorite moe. album? Probably not, but you have to give the guys credit for coming off of a tour and heading right back into the studio considering The Conch was just released a year ago. The songs are well-written and inspiring, especially "Cathedral", "Conviction Song" and "All Roads..." and I've already found myself singing/humming them through the day. Can't wait to hear the new material live. A great effort! Thanks, Guys!"
Huck Finn | Atlanta, GA | 01/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a funky record. The guitar tone is rich and the percussion is nicely interspersed. The big surprise is the addition of strings and slide guitar which are quite nice if I may say so. 202 is worth the price of admission. There's no Rebubula, Mexico, Happy Hour, or Meat here but the chemistry for live improvisation is all over the place. Track 7 sums up the overall vibe this time out and if a slowed down moe. is what turns your crank, this is it."
J. Oneill | Hinckley, MN | 01/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's not what you are used to from moe. but it is pretty good none the less. It is much more polished than moe. usually is in studio and it doesn't really sound like them upon first listen.
But listen to it a few times, these songs will grow on you quickly and you'll start hearing the moe. sound within. The quality of the song writing is better than ever, and it actually sounds like a studio album for once. Now they can take some pretty good standard songs and turn them into gems on the road. Darkness, Queen of Everything, and Raise a Glass are the best songs here. Cathedral, Deep this Time and All Roads Lead to Home are also very good. 4 starts, solid effort from moe."
Matt Sekkes | West Chester, PA | 01/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I just got this CD today and have gone through it twice so far. Overall I like this CD very much, it is different then classic moe. that you may be used to but is a very good CD. My only problem with it is that its only 40 minutes long, then again its only $10 so I'll get over it. Has a lot of good tunes but would defiantly recommend checking out older moe. to get the real feel of the band if you are just getting into them."
Another great rocker from moe.!!!
Christopher K. McCann | White Plains, NY | 03/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, let me address the "true fans"(you know who you are). If you don't like this album because it is a "Non-jamming" or "Rock album", then please stop going to shows and stop listening to a band that you know nothing about. moe. has always been and will always be a rock band with a knack of writing catchy songs first, and a "jam band" second. They are not "going commercial", "selling out", or doing any other such thing. Also, stop taking pot-shots at "new fans". You were once a new fan, and most of you were NOT "there since the beginning", so leave them be.
(REAL FANS accept good songs by the bands that they like and are not threatened by the "appearance" of commercial acceptance. Also, they embrace newcomers and ease their transition into the community.)
Now to address the album. moe. adds a sequel to last year's Conch, which showcased a mature, and much tighter, moe.. There's no doubt that moe. has always progressed from album to album, but this album actually sets the framework for what I can imagine will be epic jams.
Here's the Play by Play:
I love the melodic wordplay that bounces around the music in "Cathedral". A great way to start the album.
"Sticks & Stones" seems like a close cousin to The Conch's "Blue Jeans Pizza", just a little more laid back...
...whereas "Darkness" uses the Jim-on-vibes sound, with a bit of a sing-a-long 'la la la' part... (Brilliant!)
"Conviction" (?) ehhh, I could leave it...
"Z02" showcases the new-moe.-jam-sound(think "Crab Eyes"-esque)... (and more instantly likeable, though I'm not a huge fan of instrumentals normally*)
So, I'm listening and HOLY SH-T!!... One of the best songs ever, by any band (arguably). "Deep This Time" is a bluesy, Northern Rocker. Who wouldn't like this?
Alright, well there's no way they could... Nope, wrong, they did it again!!! "All Roads Lead to Home" is another classic.
"September"? Hmm... still growing on me. I think I like it.
"Queen of Everything" is actually unnecessarily hyped by too many people. It's okay, but not a standout by far. (SEE "Conviction")
"Raise a Glass" is the best way to end an album ever by anyone(arguably). It features Umphree's McGee on background vocals, and sounds like an old Irish drinking song. I can see this being sung as a second set ender or encore as a way to really bring the house down with the audience singing along with the band.
*Instrumentals are like having scripted jams or a jam-in-a-box with no way out of what's been laid. Also, in the case of other albums, they serve no purpose but to segue two different songs and are lost on the live experience.(Tell me when you've gone crazy to "Organs" or "Rumble Strip" live?) I appreciate the fact that the albums are tight, so that the concerts can be that much more loose. Scripted jams ruin the experience, so please stop calling for jams on albums!!! That's what the show is for. Save it for live! Give me the new verse in concert, throw in the cool jam then, and it doesn't matter where songs come out first, as long as the songs keep coming!"