It was suggested to this site that I obtain and review A Day To Remember’s latest album release, “What Separates Me From You”. Previously, I have not been familiar with the group in detail. I had of heard of them, but never exposed to their music. What Separates Me From You was release on November 15 of 2010, obviously to catch the Christmas buying season. This is the fourth release from this quintet from Ocala FLA. These guys are considered punk/pop/metalcore. Interesting designation. I find this quite descriptive. The band has a full sound laced with heavy guitars that anchor each song. As is consistent with the metal side of this designation, there are few guitar riffs or leads in the music. With each offering, there seems to be a a formula for the song that includes the metal portion on the song followed by a much more melodic and listen able chorus that drives the song home. The punk designation is not entirely fitting in my opinion. Outside of the fact that most of the songs are shorter overall and consistent in length, I hear few indications of punk in the music…..I guess I can see it somewhat, but really, this is much more metal and melodic metal than anything. From my perspective, this is good. Once again, the sound is full, vivid, and the musically, the group is very together in their their sound.
As with most true metal bands, the vocals are not the charismatic souring voices of rock. It does contain the usual gravel growl voicing that is normal for Metalcore offerings. I am OK with this, but in the end, I would rather have strong vocal that drive the music rather than the what we see from lead singer Jeremy McKinnon…But I quickly admit I come from another era of vocals in rock music. Also, harmonies are non-existent as well….consistent with metal and punk designations.
Stronger offerings on this album are those that do offer a strong pop choruses coupled with the strengths of lyrics in the versers of the songs. ”All I Want” is one that stands out on the album. This appears to be the most downloaded song from iTunes from this album, yet I am not convinced this is the strongest of the songs on the album. I thought “Better Off This Way” was the clear winner on this album. Again, it followed the same formula I discussed above. The album turns much heavier in sound with “Sticks and Bricks” and “2nd Sucks” and “You Be Tails I’ll Be Sonic”. These balance out the more poppy side of the sound in the others, although Sticks and Bricks, although considerably heavier than most on the album, follows the formula of a more pop ridden chorus as well.
The lyrics are strong, and the album loosely contains a theme. The beginning entry starts with McKinnon growling “I am fueled by all forms of failure”. I like that. Other song titles and themes follow suit to a degree. Of course, you will have to get a hold of the liner notes in order to review the lyrics in more detail, as they are not easily discernible in the metal voicing on the songs, sans the choruses. The strong lyrical content lends credence to the band’s credible musical approach. It would seems these songs were not necessarily written with the goal of getting airplay….that always makes for better music.
That said, I believe this band should received good airplay. When researching the sales of this album, one of the designations noted was that this week, it was marked by billboard as one of the albums that have received increased airplay over the last ratings period. It was listed #64 in the Billboard hot 200. Up from #117 from the prior reporting period, it is apparent that airplay must be making a difference. The album peaked at #11 during its release “bullet”, so the momentum seems to be reversing based on this airplay. I apologize, I do not have total sales figures.
Overall I give this album a 7 out of a total of 10. Good offering. I am happy I invested. If you would like to purchase, the link here (immediate following this sentence) takes you to Amazon for truly the lowest price for this CD. Or if you prefer, go through the the iTunes link below this post. What Separates Me From You
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