The Anberlin File:
Reviewed by Cory Clubb
Cities by Anberlin
"...their best and most talented work to date."
It’s time for round three with breakout rockers Anberlin. For their third and final studio recording with Tooth and Nail Records, they give us Cities. After such acclaim and positive reviews from their first two albums, Blue Prints for a Blackmarket and Never Take Friendship Personal, there’s a lot of anticipation surrounding Cities. Sometimes though, living up to the hype can be a hard thing to deliver on. Yet Anberlin does not fail us; they bring their best and most talented work to date.
Starting off with a static montage of whining guitar feedback and passing sirens in the first track “Debut”, the song provides a tingling transition straight into the explosive single “Godspeed”. From there each track moves into the next flawlessly. Prominent songs like “Adelaide” and “Reclusion” keep up Anberlin’s diverse style and sound. Frontman Stephen Christian’s voice is so versatile it impresses whether he is blending with a melody on “The Unwinding Cable Car” or yelling out his passion on “A Whisper and a Clamor”. The final two tracks, “Dismantle. Repair” and “*Fin” are arranged so well, they titer on epic. Although Anberlin’s lyrics are hard to decipher, they don’t offend or use distasteful anthems. Most songs are about relationships loved and lost. Other topics touch on loneliness and desperation as heard on the track “Hello, Alone”, and calling on us to rise and move on in “A Whisper and a Clamor”.
When released, the album Cities also offered a special edition cd/dvd option that added three bonus tracks. Although these tracks have been re-released on the band’s compilation album Lost Songs, they don’t seem to fit too well with this record. The DVD is a behind the scenes look at the making of Cities and a rare insight at the members of the band. It shows what kind of togetherness and hard work it is to put together an rock album.
Cities is a driving, hard hitting album that doesn’t disappoint. Anberlin does what few bands only dream of on this release. Having signed recently with Universal Republic Records for their next release in 2008, this reviewer hopes that Anberlin’s edgy style and musical passion don’t get deluded into the mainstream merge and ruin such a fantastic band.
Cory Clubb is author of the novel Saved by Grace and currently working on his first thriller. He holds a degree in Graphic Design and is always seeking to advance his talent as a writer. He is an avid reader, movie buff, and music enthusiast, tools he uses to infuse his imagination. He lives in central Illinois with his wife and three sons. You can find out more about his projects at his blog.