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7800 Review: Young and wired, set to explode in the heat

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  #11  
Old 03-16-2007, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Kathleen View Post
Silent night is one of my favorite on the album - it is so obviously personal. They don't get that personal these days and that may be why it feels like some of the emotion is missing. I don't think it's a particularly great song but as you said - very different from what came before and most of what came after too. I think that song in particular gets it's message across in the emotion department rather than the musical department.

Now I gotta go listen - and for some reason I always crank this one up.

Kathleen
Hope you enjoyed your listen

Tokyo Road – Absolutely genius opening, with only a spine tingling music box and a female voice singing what appears to be a Japanese nursery rhyme which sets the song up beautifully; but it isn’t too long before a typical riff kicks it aside. The story to this song is a bit unclear to me: it seems to be about the protagonist being sent to war in Tokyo, but quickly becoming disillusioned with it, and instead of fighting having the time of his life getting drunk and screwing prostitutes. The thing is though, unless the war is World War II, it can’t be a real war, unless the point is that the protagonist comes from Tokyo and has been sent to war elsewhere, which is possible I suppose. Or it might just be another metaphor for being on the road; in which case the whole Tokyo concept just confuses me. Anyway, as a whole, this song is a bit lacking. It follows the hard rock sound of In & Out Of Love, but is far too mid-paced to make it work properly. The lyrics in general aren’t great either: although there are some clever phrases (“Snorting whisky, drinking coke”); as a whole the writing seems rather undeveloped. The vocal production is again substandard, especially noticeable on the flat backing vocals in the chorus; which is a poor chorus anyway. The guitar isn’t too special either: there’s a lot of bending and an outro solo that are pretty good; but for the most part the guitar is uninspired, with the tone and the tempo being completely at odds. There are however two absolutely great bits in this song: the introduction; and the incredibly atmospheric bridge with tinkling synths, huge drums, mesmerising guitar, and an intimate vocal performance from Jon as though he’s just telling you this story in a bar somewhere. It’s difficult to review songs like this: they’d be fairly poor; but a few moments of genius make it hard to rate them as such, so I’ll split the difference and call this an average song.

3/5
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  #12  
Old 03-16-2007, 10:11 PM
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Hardest Part Is The Night – Opening up with a very short and simple, yet awesome riff which is completely unlike anything else on the album; this song is actually more synth heavy than the rest of the album, although it doesn’t come across as overdone: the synth and guitar manage to complement each other perfectly. The strength of this song is not only that it’s a great hard rock song (all traces of pop-metal have definitely vanished here), but also that it also manages to be dramatic and harrowing, in much the same way that Aerosmith’s Janie’s Got A Gun would be four years later. Two major highlights are the building, multi-layered guitar solo which sees Richie at his most experimental; and Jon’s wordless vocal outro. Driven by atmospheric synths, unflashy yet perfectly judged guitar, and a relentless bassline; and with lyrics that highlight both the difficulties (“a young boy hides the pain”) and lures (“darkness fades, he’s the prince of his city”) of street life, while possibly relating it to being in a touring band (“these four walls they could tell you some stories / about lying and dying and fame / there’s a price that you’ll pay for the glory”); this understated gem is absolutely an album highlight.

4/5
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  #13  
Old 03-17-2007, 11:23 AM
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Always Run To You – Opening differently from most of the other songs, with a drum solo and a riff which doesn’t so much kick in as slide in; this is another dramatic heavy rock song. Probably the most interesting thing about this song is the synths: building up behind the prechorus, before breaking down into a simple pattern for the chorus; they are subtle yet really add to the intensity. Also noticeable are the heavy bass and loud drumming. The guitar, in comparison, is relatively restrained here, for the most part just playing repeating riffs; although the bridge solo is particularly effective, and the outro solo closes the song well. There are some reasonably decent lyrics here too; for example the opening (“the clock strikes ten / out on the streets again”) which contribute to the overall mood of the song; and another gun reference (“and when I give her the gun / you know she feels so right”), as well as what appears to be a drug reference (“we’ve done more white lines / than you’ll know”), and a reference to being in trouble with the law (“I stand accused”) ; all of which effectively builds up imagery of living on the streets; always in trouble with someone, be it the law or a rival gang member, and only having one person to run to. The chorus is particularly distinctive: it is sung in a very high register, which, while providing an instant hook, is a bit overbearing. Overall, this is an effective song: solid, but going by without making a huge impact; the medium pace of it sometimes failing to keep the attention.

3/5
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  #14  
Old 03-17-2007, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Kathleen View Post
I know people bash this album but I have always defended it. Yes - it's a product of its time rather than being timless but it has so much emotion it really speaks to me. Some people think it's depressing but I say that anybody that has been in an agonizing relationship can relate. And I don't care how young - or old - you are, most of us have had a relationship like that at one time or other.
AMEN KATHLEEN!!
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  #15  
Old 03-18-2007, 03:00 PM
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(I Don’t Wanna Fall) To The Fire – The most obvious continuation of the fire theme, and coming somewhat out of left field, this song opens with a hypnotic synth riff which carries on throughout most of the song and provide its main driving force. The atmosphere created on this song is astounding; just take for example the way the intro builds: first the synth riff; then the drums, with that massive 80’s sound, and with the bass drum being particularly prominent in this song; then another layer of synths and some percussion begin at the same time; then the guitar; and finally Jon starts singing over the top of all this. Another fantastic moment is the guitar solo: sounding particularly effective against the synthesized backdrop; it’s infact more of a duel between the synths and guitars; with Jon doing some awesome rock screams underneath it. Jon’s vocals are phenomenal; with the aforementioned screaming and forceful performance; and towards the end varying what looks on paper to be a repetitive chorus by changing emphasis and words to some lines. The lyrics are surprisingly mature; and understated yet effective. I’m not sure how to interpret the theme of the song: it could just be another state of the union – youth of America (a line that is mentioned at one point) – rallying call to arms type thing; but bits of it seem to suggest that it might be another war song, perhaps about the Vietnam War: lyrics such as “we would take no prisoners / cos there was nobody giving in / they came walking through my jungle / and met an angel about to sin” seems like it might be about the killing of innocents by soldiers in Vietnam, I don’t know. Anyways, overall this is a great dark, multilayered heavy synth rock song; sounding more alternative than the band perhaps ever would do again. I can see why a fan of more contemporary music would dislike it though: not only is it completely unlike anything else in the band’s catalogue; but the production is very very 80s; which could put some people off.

4/5
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  #16  
Old 03-18-2007, 03:04 PM
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Can't really follow your rating tbh.
If you rate for example, To the Fire 4/5, then all songs from next albums should get 5/5 without too much trouble...
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  #17  
Old 03-18-2007, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by The Walrus View Post
(I Don’t Wanna Fall) To The Fire – Anyways, overall this is a great dark, multilayered heavy synth rock song; sounding more alternative than the band perhaps ever would do again. I can see why a fan of more contemporary music would dislike it though: not only is it completely unlike anything else in the band’s catalogue; but the production is very very 80s; which could put some people off.

4/5
This is my favorite song on the record. I totally agree with your anlaysis on this record. Keep writing.

deb
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  #18  
Old 03-19-2007, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by TheseDays2005 View Post
Can't really follow your rating tbh.
If you rate for example, To the Fire 4/5, then all songs from next albums should get 5/5 without too much trouble...
Not really ... I like To The Fire as much as I like a lot of the songs from Slippery. I'm not going to be able to review Slippery for another couple of weeks or so anyways, due to the CD being at home

Thanks Deb Glad some people are enjoying these reviews!


Secret Dreams – The final track on the album opens with a workmanlike solo guitar riff, before the intro gives way to a stabbing synth pattern backed up by rhythm guitar. The very first two lines: “Riding high / then shot down / I load my guns to fire another round” bring an end to the album’s obsession with weaponry. The lyrics here aren’t too bad, and are brought to life by the conviction that Jon sings them with; but there’s very little that stands out. Musically, the song is very repetitive: almost completely being covered by a very short riff for the verses; and a repetition of the synth section of the intro for the chorus. What is quite nice about it is the little sound effects that are all over it: tinkling synths in the chorus; rolling cymbals at one point; it does add to the song well. The guitar solo is decent enough, but sounds almost to be completely divorced from the song as a whole. Much better is the later breakdown before the final chorus: it provides the only moment of difference in an otherwise fairly one dimensional song. The song suffers from the problems that a few other songs on the album do: for one the pace is far too slow for a riff–heavy rock song; and for another the chorus comprises mainly of poorly recorded droning backing vocals. An unfortunately nondescript closing track for the album.

2+/5
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  #19  
Old 03-20-2007, 12:04 AM
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Overall – A year of fame had clearly had an effect on the band’s sound. While the fire and spirit were very much still present; this album was the sound of a rapidly maturing band. More considered, more weighty, more cohesive, less frantic, less polished, and more willing to experiment. Some of the experiments were misfires of course, but a lot of them worked. Moving away from the pop metal sound and into harder rock territory was a brave move, and largely a successful one; although too often the pace of the song is just too slow, or the riffing too repetitive for the song to be as exciting as it should be. The production is also problematic; especially in terms of the backing vocals, which are given too prominent a place in the choruses of too many songs for them to sound as flat as they do. As a result of the production and prevalence of synthesisers, this is an album which is firmly a product of its time; but in a way this helps to give it character. Overall then, I’d say that it’s an album of hits and misses; however, the strong material is very strong. As a whole, it’s a very ‘real’ album, and it’s mainly this honesty; together with the fact that the songs hold together well, both in terms of repeated themes and a sonic unity of songs; the band’s willingness to experiment; and the overall atmosphere and intensity that are created that add up to make it what it is: a flawed ‘diamond in the rough’ of an album; and the next step in the ladder towards greatness.

8/10

Essential tracks: Price Of Love, Only Lonely, Hardest Part Is The Night
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  #20  
Old 03-20-2007, 12:04 AM
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Incidentally, I wonder what happened to that other guy (or girl) who was writing the reviews?
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