May 15, 2010

New Morning by Alpha Rev Review

image from Amazon

Artist: Alpha Rev
Album: New Morning
Release Date: 4/26/2010
Tracks: 11
Run-Time: 40:59

Track Rundown:
(All ratings out of 5 *'s.)

1) "New Morning" - A good first impression of the album as I can definitely see this fairly upbeat, primarily acoustic track ending up on a TV or movie soundtrack honoring a character who's getting a new lease on life. It would especially be fitting for a new born child. After listening to this song once I went out of my way to hear it again and again because there was something about it that really hooked me and I hope the rest of the album can live up to this track. If you like the band Brand New or Dave Mathews Band then this would be a song you should check out. 5 *'s.

2) "Phoenix Burn" - To my astonishment, this song actually tops the previous one! I'm a little scared that these guys aren't big names already just based off the strength of these two beginning tracks of the album. A bit more piano based but the vocals come out at you leaving you awe-struck! Almost a little Goo-Goo Dolls-ish. 5 *'s.

3) "White Fences" - Not a bad song at all but doesn't have the same epic delivery as the previous two tracks. A fair 3 *'s, meaning some will skip past it when it comes on and others will let it play.

4) "When Did I Wake Up" - A bit more Coldplay sounding than the previous tracks but that's no negative critique. Still not as great as the first two tracks and nothing that you'll probably even hear in a soundtrack to a TV show or film but I'd rank it slightly better than "White Fences". Only a hair though - 3 1/4 *'s.

5) "Face Down" - They don't get more experimental than this. We have... a disco tune playing behind the vocals. Yes, disco. But where this track fails is that the vocals don't match the disco music. It's sung just as all the rest - calm and interchangeable with most music. Kind of like Sting of The Police. High risk can lead to high reward but not in this case. 2 *'s.

6) "Get Out" - Both sensitive and hilarious in it's insensitivity. Basically the moral is the world is rough and everyone's going to keep giving you crap, so get out. Carve your own path, make your own life, get away from all the garbage. Good stuff, I must say. Very similar to The Fray at their best. 5 *'s.

7) "Alone With You" - Some great music but the vocals fall short. Especially impressed by the initial acoustic guiatarring but nothing else about this song really sticks out to me. Gotta give it a mediocre 2 1/2 *'s.

8) "Colder Months" - Distraught lover? Lost in the memory of a significant other you couldn't work things out with? If this is you, give this song a listen. It's very well constructed and both is wallowing in misery and hopeful for the future. The longest track on the album at almost a full 5 minutes but I still award it 4 1/2 *'s.

9) "Heaven" - Another song that's got great music but that the vocals feel like its missing an "it" factor. Maybe its a strong lyric that's MIA or maybe its just the theme of the song, but I can only give it a skippable 2 3/4 *'s.

10) "Perfect Love - Some great lyrics and a pretty good delivery but another song that's missing a certain something to push it to greatness. Certainly better than "Heaven" but falls quite short of the highlights of this album. Actually wouldn't be surprised to see it on a soundtrack though for a Rom-Com. 3 1/2 *'s.

11) "Goodbye From The Start" - A fantastic closer to the album. The age-old tale of a relationship doomed from the beginning, or at least the tale of a highly anxious lover who wants desperately for their relationship to work out. 5 *'s.

My Highlights
In the combination of "New Morning", "Phoenix Burn", "Get Out", "Goodbye From The Start" you get the next generation of Brand New, Dave Mathews Band, Coldplay, The Fray and other alternative pop bands. So these tracks are definitely checking out now so in the future you can say "Pff, I liked Alpha Rev before they were cool."

Overall Rating
The overall rating, comprised from the average of all the track ratings comes to 3 3/4 *'s out of 5. I don't typically recommend purchasing an album under 3 *'s but this is definitely worth the purchase, especially if you can find it for cheap. And speaking of, the Amazon exclusive MP3 album which comes with a twelfth bonus track, New Morning (Acoustic) is only $5.99. $5.99 people! You can afford it. This album's worth it. Give it a buy. If you don't like it I'm sure you know someone who will.

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