First Impressions of the albums I bought this week:
Anberlin - New Surrender
The album rocks, straight up. "The Resistance" makes me want to kick some ass. "Blame Me, Blame Me" can't get out of my head. "Disappear" is powerful. "Soft Skeletons" is dark and deep and amazing. There are a few misses on the album, or at least tracks that don't immediately steal my soul like almost every track on Cities did. I hold Anberlin to a higher standard because they really are that great of a band. That said, this album is nothing short of a successful, amazing album. Will it make my top 10 of the year? Hard to say.
Gym Class Heroes - The Quilt
Definitely the most versatile album GCH has put out. It lacks a true identity, but their various styles all succeed for the most part. I don't understand a lot of the hate for this album. The lyrics aren't poetic by any means, but the music is much deeper than their last album. I really enjoy the different styles, I just hope to see a more focused effort next time. "Guilty As Charged" is infectious. "Catch Me If You Can" is a sweet jam. "Live a Little" is straight up pop-punk which is confusing but delightful. "Don't Tell Me It's Over" is a sick hip-hop gem. "Kissin' Ears" is silly, but extremely fun. I like to listen to listen to Gym Class Heroes to get silly and hear a good beat, and this album more than fulfills that.
House of Heroes - The End Is Not The End
What is going on with these lesser-known bands putting out the best albums this year? House of Heroes is something fresh in a very tired-out genre. The album is versatile, accessble, rocking, melodic, fun, and deep in the same breath. The 16 tracks a bit much to take in at once, but I'm sure once I get the proper time with this album I will cherish every track in its own right. The vocals are so surprisingly crisp and strong and the instrumentals are unique and kick-ass. I can't get enough of this album.
Jack's Mannequin - The Glass Passenger
Immediately you can hear how much Andrew McMahon has changed. His voice is so much more alive and real. A lot of people are complaining that he doesn't sound as polished as he used to, but I hear so much life in his voice that it makes it okay with me. The lyrics are inspiring and the songs are accessible in a much deeper way than any other songs he has ever written. His style has definitely changed, evident in "Suicide Blonde" and "Annie Use Your Telescope", and the album as a whole is very well-crafted and beautiful. What is great is that the songs all immediately hit me and yet I still know that with time this album will seep in and become one of the best I've heard this year, maybe even in the past few years.