AFI – Sing The Sorrow

So as we all know along time ago AFI decided to go Major Label as most bands decide to do after years of work. Why am I bringing this old news up? While undergoing a switch to a Major Label they’ve also undergone a change in their music and sound. That punk band that you once mashed to in the pit, or would listen to when you just felt like ignoring people or having a good time is gone in most of this album. Yes Gone. The one thing that I can promise you that hasn’t changed is Davey’s voice. Now don’t get me wrong at all this album isn’t horrible it’s a good album that’s just strikes you as a realizable change.

You’ve all by now have heard the released single “Girls Not Grey,” which practically sounds just like every other song compared to their last few songs. Makes you happy your thinking rox they haven’t changed mainstream on me. That’s the only song on this album that sounds like that. Comparing the sound of AFI today to their past albums from their very first one Answer That and Stay Fashionable to Very Proud of Ya to Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes to Black Sails in Sunset to last release of The Art of Drowning which gave you a little bit of a hint that this once so “Very Punk Band” as quoted from Rolling Stones Magazine was slowly maybe losing their punk or going to a softer kind of rox?

It’s undoubtedly noticeable that AFI’s edge is somewhat nowhere to be found in this album. The music’s not as hardcore, the drums stay somewhat quietly heard in the background, while the bass is every once and while loud, everything is mainly played out by the sound of an electric/acoustic guitar. Don’t think that it sounds horrible. The music still brings this album to a new kind of level for AFI if they were wanting to try something different…they did, and your probably hear more guitar solo’s on here then any other album that AFI has put out. Especially on the track entitled “Silver and Cold.” And in some cases like “Dancing Through Sunday,” all you mainly hear is an electric and the way the song is done kind of makes you think of such bands as Glassjaw and even Thursday.

They put more emotion into the music more then ever now especially when setting the mood for the song like “Silver and Cold,” is first opened with a piano playing softly and slow while you hear rain falling in the background setting the mood. Just the music alone plays out the albums song title Sing the Sorrow this album is most definitely full of sadness. What struck me dead onto my ass though is the unexpectedness of the techno they used in “Death of Seasons,” along with a violin and somewhat of a small orchestra. I had to play the song 3 times until I realized I wasn’t hearing things. What really surprised me though was how all that into that one song making out it to be the best on this album. I will tell you this though that all the pain that was released all into that one track as in the end Davey screams with an undeniable sense of pain and sorrow really gives the title of this album true meaning.

Your more then likely realized that when listening or paying close attention to the lyrics. Davey is very emotional in this album even more then in The Art of Drowning which the lyrics were more that of a pain filled sadness. He lets it all out in this album, without giving second thought to anything else. He sings with more passion then ever before, but always of course like every album AFI has ever done leaves you a chorus you can sing along to. Although his voice is more lowly soft toned in this album when he wants something to be heard he’ll scream it out with all his might and everything within him. Never once giving you a headache or making you want to turn this off his lyrics drag you into the music and make you feel so much while some songs can just make you feel so much sadness. As in “The Leaving Song Pt. II,” you may sink into that of a little bit of a depression. Which is also why this album is so unique it can make you feel exactly how it wants you to.

I guess although most fans will not be ready AFI has made a big change in the way they play. But after listening to Sing The Sorrow eight times I realize that the transition they made was a unique and enjoyable one at that. This album well deserves some recognition. You probably won’t like what you hear the first time you listen to it. Or you probably won’t understand what you’re hearing because it’s not like every AFI album you’ve heard. But after you give it a couple of listens you will realize that the change they made was in growth and development which makes this album one of AFI’s best. They have dared to move away from the same ole thing and on into something new.

As one of the most anticipated albums set for release on March 11, 2003 this album is one worth having and one that will most definitely surprise you.

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