Group: Brand New Album: The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me Year of Release: 2006 Why I like the group: Their growth from Emo Pop Punk also rans: 1st single off of 1st album "Your Favorite Weapon" "Jude Law and a Semester Abroad" To more developed songwriters who learned catchier hooks and restraint in the same album: Singles off of second album "Deja Entendu": "Sit Transit Gloria" "The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows" Example of the more restrained style that meshed into the third album: "Okay I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don't" "Me Vs. Maradona Vs. Elvis" Which leads to..... Why I love THIS album: Nothing could have prepared me for this c.d. even though the second c.d. got me back on track with this group! I bought this still figuring it was a gamble and I found the closest thing to a classic album in a long time! Everything from the cover: Artwork To the lyrics and storytelling: To say you know everything the artist intended even with the lyrics is impossible but this album seemed to keep a theme going and I loved it. It tied the album together without being an overly complicated concept album. Throughout, I can see characters struggles with their faith, where they'll be in the afterlife and what kind of road their decisions have left them. Like a good movie it doesn't make judgments. It just leads to question and ponder! To the tone: This album is dark and moody but uplifting at the same time! It takes elements of their prior work so you still know it's Brand New but it's almost like the band took a course on classic rock for this one and just put their stamp on it. They took the restrained vocals they had and while they would still put a catchy chorus (especially noticeable in "Degausser") in usually they would let the huge guitars have the spotlight in this one. Often the acoustic would strum slowly into a huge guitar blast! Maybe that's not reinventing the wheel but I think they utilized it well! To the vocals: I think he has a songwriter voice which means he has the range and knowledge of how to serve the song vocally. His almost spoken vocals are very soothing as well until he breaks into a scream! I love how in his screaming you can mostly understand what's he's saying! It's an emotional scream where you can hear every scrape and scratch in his voice without going into nasally and whiny territory. His vocals really tell a story! Sometimes foreboding, sometimes regretful and often times very sobering! To the instrumentation: I don't want to go into territory I don't know but here is a list of what is used: rhythm guitar lead guitar bass drums percussion theremin percussion cello viola So a lot of traditional rock instrumentation with unique touches added in! Just like the music, touches of the classic familiar mixed with what I find to be unique choices in sounds! So that's it! I really want you to judge for yourself but warning: "THIS IS NOT A SINGLES ALBUM!" It must be listened to in the right chronology and experienced as a whole. One song compliments the other so check out and make your own decisions on your own based on my links or download it yourself (even better)! I will post them in the next post below! I promise I will put this album to rest now and move on! lol Peace!