2002 album including 'Across The Night', 'The Greatest View', 'Without You', 'Tuna In The Brine' and After All These Years' (includes the hidden track 'Outro'). This is an enhanced CD including the bonus short film 'The... more » Making Of Diorama'.« less
2002 album including 'Across The Night', 'The Greatest View', 'Without You', 'Tuna In The Brine' and After All These Years' (includes the hidden track 'Outro'). This is an enhanced CD including the bonus short film 'The Making Of Diorama'.
Kristopher K. (blindeellee) from ORMOND BEACH, FL Reviewed on 9/23/2012...
Out of the entire Silverchair discography, this is by far the 'Sgt. Peppers' of Silverchairs career so far. Wonderful music and lyrics. Doesn't hurt to have Van Dyke Parks working on the album as well. You are missing out if you don't listen to this album at least once in your life.
Silverchair: Not Just a Rock Band Anymore
memorex | NY NY NY | 09/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Thrasher/metalhead/moshpit punk that I am, I was wary of Silverchair's fourth album after hearing on their official website that the hard-chargers from Oz weren't 'just a rock band' anymore. But considering Silverchair's basic assets (a versatile, ultra-roughouse bass and drums team and a splendidly expressive lead singer), I had faith that my favorite Aussie superband wouldn't let me down. I'm used to Silverchair putting out near-perfect albums where I love every track - I can't say that is true of their latest. There are a couple of overdone tracks on Diorama where songwriter Daniel Johns sounds like he's begging music critics to finally take him seriously. But overall, my faith in Silverchair is confirmed. At the heart of Diorama are a handful of stone-cold musical knockouts. Breath-taking, beautiful music from a still young prodigy who aspires to greatness. The best songs are 'Without You', 'World Upon Your Shoulders', 'My Favourite Thing' and 'After All These Years'. (Another superb track from the Australian import, 'Asylum', is not on the U.S version.) Listening to past, more furious Silverchair records, you might think Daniel Johns was a hopelessly distressed young man. On Diorama, we find out that the singer uses music to amplify his emotions. When Johns is mad, he is really mad. And when he is feeling good, his exhilaration can just sweep you away. This is a great album to listen to at the ocean, surrounded by white waves crashing over rocks. Or even better, standing on a long, fog-banked fishing pier. Take it from a rebellious, cynical moshpit thrasherpunk like me, if sometimes you are just feeling a little too cynical, rebellious and all-around bummed out, this album can really improve your mood.Which isn't to say that Silverchair can't still pull out the sledgehammer with the best of them. Flanked by his rough-and-tumble bandmates Chris Joannou and Ben Gillies, Johns shows on 'One Way Mule' he can take on that Korn guy for scary metal monster honors any night. Funny, though, I can't imagine Korn or Bizkit or Helmet breaking into a sacred, luminous ballad like 'After All These Years'.Early in their career, some critics accused Silverchair of imitating Nirvana. More than ever, I'm convinced that was a load (and a cheap shot), for one basic reason. Silverchair do not hold their fans in contempt the way Kurt Cobain did. No band could make music like Diorama unless they loved and cared about the people they are making music for."
Thoroughly Well Done
David C. Adams | Texas | 06/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Quick overview of the album: Intricate orchestration, fantastic chord progressions, an apparently new style of songwriting/composition, with intricate melodies and harmonies, and the angelic vocals of Daniel Johns, come together with pristine mixing and production, culminating in a totally cohesive, outside the box journey through possibilities in music. Diorama is easy enough on today's ears that any layman should enjoy it thoroughly, yet complex enough to tickle the finely tuned senses of any musician. To call it progressive would be inappropriate only as there are already connotations attached to the word. (The album is not progressive compared to, say, Dream Theater's "Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory.") Daniel Johns, singer, guitar player, and songwriter, has described the album as "escapist," adding that he wanted to take the listener out of his/her world and into the colorful realms you will find in this album.
Johns' lyrics, generally simple and straightforward earlier in his career, have come to the point of poetry and intriguing riddles.
Tracks to hit: "Across the Night", "Tuna in the Brine", and "After All These Years" are the most intricate and wonderful, followed by "My Favourite Thing" and "Luv Your Life."
Track reviews: 1. Across the Night A sweeping two-part epic, in which Johns sings of his coming to peace/falling in love with the world which for so long seemed only to haunt and hurt him. Beginning with a nice harpsichord and vocal intro, the orchestra comes in with a bang and away we go, escaping into a "world within a world" (Johns' definition of diorama). In the glorious second part of the song, Johns perhaps expresses his feelings about being in a serious relationship.
2. The Greatest View The first single of the album, melodic and relatively simple, a pleasant rock ballad.
3. Without You Rock with poetic imagery, written in three, or six. The Chorus is a straight up rock waltz. A cool song, noteworthy on its own, though in this album, it may be considered a sort of lull, although its bridge is particularly nice.
4. World Upon Your Shoulders A climbing, sympathetic, and encouraging piece, urging the listener to do what [one] can when one can bring one's self to do it, only put much more nicely. Ye of waning spirit, find an understanding soul reaching through these words! Perhaps this song shows us how Daniel climbed out of his bleak world view into a broader, more loving and accepting state of being.
5. One Way Mule Dirty, Sexy, Gravel-voiced, Heavy, Slow, Sweaty. Hot. Good work. (Swoon)
6. Tuna in the Brine Wonderfully, intricately, articulately orchestrated, this aquamarine epic dares to explore the dark, briny depths of addiction, deception, and fear. Sunlight trickles in through the surface from time to time, but we are definitely underwater here. This wonderful piece turns the listener around so many times with unexpected, disorienting, sophistocated changes that both chill and delight, putting shivers to the bone and goosebumps upon the flesh, that, pummelled by the crashing waves, we find ourselves near ocean floor, amongst the kelp, floating upright, captivated by bubbles rising, so deep that it may be difficult to tell which way is up; mercifully, Johns, Gillies, Joannou, Mac, and Parks guide us back through the murky, benthic depths to the sunlit surface; the build toward the climax a gulp of fresh air, but in the end, we are not off the hook...Johns leaves us with a haunted warning, and we are left floating...
7. Too Much Of Not Enough A brief guitar intro soothes the unease and washes the palate clean of saltwater. A pleasant, yet burdened beginning builds to a chorus that is one of the hardest on the album. Lyrics also suggest that addictive behaviour was an inspiration for the song. Ends hauntingly.
8. Luv Your Life One of the (Australian) radio favorites of the album, beautiful, charming. ('Doot Doot's even!) Lots of beauty between vocal harmonies and orchestra. More insightful than ever, words take us deeper into ourselves, with Johns lighting the way, teaching what he has learned, sharing his perspective. Uplifting, bordering on sappy at times, but if you let it be, this song is really nice. Parks' tasteful composition fills out the sound perfectly. Interlude is simply gorgeous. Tears form as though by command...
9. Lever Hardest song on the album, and, oddly, the most like S&M orchestrally. Go figure. Gravel-voiced, hard rockin, a throwback to the angry days, perhaps; shows that Silverchair can still paint blacks, reds, and dark purples...when they want to.
10. My Favorite Thing Way down from 'Lever', we are treated to a midnight lover's lullabye. Soft woodwinds and strings provide beautiful shading for this delicate, resolute, and passionate carress. Symphony, accoustic guitar, winds, strings, piano, and snare support and intertwine while Johns' precise, exceptional vocals complete the kiss. A beautiful, heartfelt song.
11. After All These Years Piano and vocal, then orchestra. This is probably the most touching song on the whole album. Gentle, reflective, and reassuring, this gorgeous piece feels like it could have been written hundreds of years ago. In this arrangement, Daniel is both soloist and choir of angels. This is also by far the longest track on the album, but most of it is silence...bonus, a curious piano exploration awaits the patient (or those who fast forward), and takes us out of this 'world within a world.'
I can actually say that this album changed my life. huh.
afterthoughts: Actually, my silverchair fanhood is a strange affair. my little brother bought frogstomp in 95 (6?), and i listened to it a fair amount then. i remember hearing quite a bit of 'abuse me' on the radio a little later, but i pretty much fell off the boat. i remember looking at freakshow at the record store, wanting it, but eventually not buying it. i have since listened to freakshow(2nd) and neon ballroom(3rd), and they are both good albums, showing the progress and growth of the musicians. "Cemetary" off freakshow and "Emotion Sickness" off ballroom seem to me forshadowing for diorama.
At the time I first heard this album, i thought Johns was the composer of all the orchestral parts, and was so thoroughly impressed that i was convinced he would be remembered for centuries as one of the great composers of our time.... which still may be true, but i was very seriously disappointed when i found out about Van Dyke Parks, who did the orchestration.
i had wanted to believe that Johns was truly the mastermind, but i suppose, in a way, he still was, for finding the right people to come together to bring out most completely his vision, even the parts that were relatively obscure/veiled to him.
To this day, the album has had an incredible effect on me as an artist. Certainly, it is some of the best modern music I've heard in my lifetime."
Rshock | Pennsylvania | 07/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From start to finish this is an uplifting album that totally rocks. I really appreciate bands who are open and don't put walls around themselves as far as - experimenting with different tunings (Daniel does some crazy ones), instruments, vocal styles or techniques. This is musical excellence. Also, buy the live DVD- it's another must have."
Best album of 2002
B | Rochester, NY United States | 01/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A couple months ago, I came across a review for "Diorama" on -
of all sites - a wrestling site (which also featured columns on
music, videogames, etc.). The person who reviewed it compared it
to The Beatles' Sgt. Peppers in the sense that it was such a radical departure from their previous music. Apparently, I've been really out of touch with music for the past few years, because I didn't even realize Silverchair was still around, let alone putting out a fourth album (I didn't even know "Neon Ballroom" existed at the time I read the review). The last I heard of Silverchair was a song called "Cemetary", and after that, their popularity seemed to fade when all the boy bands and manufactured pop stars came into the picture. Anyway, I downloaded a couple songs ("Across the Night" and "The Greatest View") off Kazaa, and I was really intrigued. THIS is Silverchair? "Across the Night" in particular sounded unclassifyable (is that a word?) in terms of genre, but nonetheless, I was intrigued. So I went out, and bought the album. After a the first listen, I thought to myself, "Wow..they HAVE changed!" I immediately listened to the album again..and again..and after about 5 listens, I knew two things:
1) That "Diorama" is easily the best album of 2002
2) I'm now a HUGE Silverchair fan.The experience opens up with "Across the Night", one of three tracks arranged by the legendary Van Dyke Parks (who worked with the Beach Boys on "Pet Sounds"). A fantastic track that pulls you in from the opening seconds, and makes you want to keep listening to hear what could be next.The next track, "The Greatest View", was apparently the first single even though I never heard it played on the radio. It starts off with some heavy guitar chords, but turns into a soulful love song with an irrestibly catchy chorus."Without You", the second single (which again, I've never heard on the radio) is next. Another very catchy, powerful love song. Daniel Johns sounds eerily like Johnny Reznik (or whatever the Goo Goo Dolls frontman's name is) during the chorus, but in this case, it's not a bad thing. Another feel good song, "World Upon Your Shoulders" follows. At this point, the album is "4 for 4" in terms of excellent songs. The next track, "One Way Mule" is a departure from the "New Silverchair", and sounds more like the grunge infused Silverchair of the 90's. I suspect this was one of the first songs written for the album, perhaps leftover from the Neon Ballroom sessions. It's certainly not a bad song (in fact, I like it a lot), but it really doesn't fit in with the rest of the album. The second half of the album so to speak kicks off with "Tuna in the Brine", my personal favorite song on the whole album. Like "Across the Night", this one has a lot of orchestral arrangements in the background. The song also changes tempo many times throughout. This song didn't grab me right away like "The Greatest View" or "World Upon Your Shoulders", but while the latter songs kind of stayed the same upon each listen, this one has so many layers, and like wine, gets better with age. "Too Much of Not Enough" is similar to "World Upon.." in many ways, yet they sound nothing alike. Accoustic verses lead into a pretty heavy chorus, and a nice bridge in the middle leads to a heavy finish. "Luv Your Life" is just a BEAUTIFUL song, and I fell in "luv" with it on the first listen. I believe this was the third single (even though the album just came out in August here in the states, it's been out since March in Australia, which explains all the singles released already). If I'm ever in a bad mood, or just stressed out, I listen to this song. This is the third song featuring Van Dyke Parks arrangements, although they're not quite as conspicuous on this track."The Lever" is the other "grungey" track on Diorama that doesn't really fit in much, but it's still an excellent song, and I'd rather have it on the album (despite not fitting in) than not have it. The French Horns (?) midway through are cool touch. "My Favorite Thing" is a really slow, but beautiful song. Finally, "After All These Years", which features Daniel Johns on piano rather than guitar. I think this was the recently released fourth single, which boggles my mind. I mean, it's a great way to close the album, but it just doesn't seem like something you'd hear on the radio. And that's "Diorama". Basically, if you like GOOD music, you should buy this album. Anyone who still compares Silverchair to Nirvana needs to get out of their cave, and listen to Diorama. I love Nirvana as much as the next person, but after hearing this album (and Neon Ballroom, which I went out and bought a couple weeks after I bought Diorama) I would put Silverchair way over them."
Andy Reynolds | England | 12/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lots of people have said this album "isn't Silverchair". It is.... Silverchair started progressing to this sound when they wrote songs for Freakshow. Petrol and Chlorine, for instance. When I first popped Diorama into my player, I thought, hmmmm... this is brave. I wasn't sure whether to like it or not; it's so much different to anything else around at the moment. I'm glad I gave it the time I did. If I hadn't, i'd have probably missed out on the most musically talented, important album to be released for years.This isn't an album you can like from the very time you listen to it. It's impossible; there's too much to capture. People who have critisized this album either haven't given it enough time, or purely don't have any musical appreciation (no offense...!)Living in the UK, our music industry is caught up in manufactured "pop idol" music. Either that or some cheese-ridden novelty song. Diorama is was the UK needs. It would make people realise there is so much more music can offer. It's not going to happen, mind you. Money making major record labels will se to that....Long gone the so called Nirvana impersonations, Silverchair have delivered a sound that very few bands on the planet can. Daniel Johns is one of the greatest songwriters around at the moment. Standout tracks on the album are "Across the Night" and "Tuna in the Brine". Tuna in the Brine has the most climatic ending to a song I think I have ever heard; truly astonishing. "My Favourite Thing" is acompanied by the the most fantastic orchestra. This really is the greatest record to come our in the past 10 years. It's just such a shame it hasn't hit off in the UK, it's what we, and indeed the world needs to hear.If don't buy this record, then i'm sorry. Sorry you have missed such a powerful, important and fresh record. Well done Silverchair, you have shined."