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American Dollar, The - Awake In The City Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals N/A
Musicianship 8
Lyrics N/A
Production 8
Creativity 6
Lasting Value 6
Reviewer Tilt 7
Final Verdict: 70%
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American Dollar, The - Awake In The City

Reviewed by: PeeDster (04/26/12)
The American Dollar -Awake In The City
Record Label: Yesh Music
Release Date: 24th March, 2012

The American Dollar releases their fifth studio album Awake In The City on the back of arguably their strongest album to date; Atlas. Whilst most discussions still seem to revolve over their earlier material, notably The Technicolor Sleep and A Memory Stream, their sound seemed to reach renewed depth and ambition with Atlas. So how does this latest offering stack up? Quite nicely indeed…Whilst it doesn’t knock your socks off by any means it will capture you with relative ease and before you know it you’ll have listened to the entire album.

From the outset you are given an immediate impression of what lies ahead. “Faces In The Haze” bursts forth in commanding fashion with a neat piano melody woven on top of a tight drum beat. Tucked in the background are synths fleshing out an entire scene of sound in front of your…ears. Guitars join in carefully picked moments and voila, there you have it; The American Dollar. I distinctly remember listening to the first track for the first time and being in two minds. One half was in a dream, twisting and weaving through the sonic landscapes brought forth by beautiful instrumentation…whilst my other half was thinking “hang on…which album is this?” There is a really cool moment in the track where it winds down like a dying battery, imploding in on itself before unleashing the song again a split second later in a different tempo – a fresh welcome but moments that really pick your ears up are relatively few and far between.

“Heavy Eyes Ignite” slows the pace – dragging the melodies along slowly building the song up to a slow but powerful piano laden victory. The album name suddenly feels very apt as I can’t help but feel that this would be the perfect music to listen to on those long nights where sleep seems to elude you completely.

The next moment on the album that truly caught my attention again was “First Day”. A spacey number which begins with twilight zone sound effects backed by electronic drum beats and strings whilst the ever constant piano is lingering in the back as if scheming away…and then before you know it the song simply orgasms into a moment of sheer beauty. The second half of "First Day" might just be the finest minute and a half of The American Dollars career.

"Steeltown (part two)" is lively and hits a lot harder than the other tracks with every instrument taking turns in the limelight. "Strings" brings more of the electronic drum beats which really add to their sound…it’s nothing new in light of their catalog but adding more electronic dimensions into their work adds depth to a sound that risks sounding rather repetitive.

"Urbana" teases you into new pastures with different synth effects and deep bass tones and slick beats…but when the song bursts into life it just ends up sounding like the rest of the album…that sounds negative but it isn’t really meant to be, or not completely at least. The track is excellent, classic by The American Dollars standards: Crisp, tight and magically woven together to usher you into somewhere between waking reality and a dream and it all sounds really, really nice…but when do we start wondering if bands can ever change their sound? Should they even? Are ‘one trick ponies’ a bad thing? I suppose that is a debate for another day…but at least with The American Dollar you always know what to expect and that is that the product is always of a high quality that not many in the genre can match.

7/10

tracklist1. Faces In The Haze
2. Heavy Eyes Ignite
3. Ether Channels
4. First Day
5. Steeltown (Part One)
6. Steeltown (Part Two)
7. Strings
8. Crossing Asia
9. As We Float
10. Urbana
11. Friends of Friends
12. Oracle


RIYLGod Is An Astronaut, instrumental music in general


Album listening and purchaseListen to Awake In The City here and buy it!
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 25.
06:43 AM on 04/26/12
#2
dash64
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Great review Alex and I think that Atlas still is their strongest album to date. I was hoping this one would surpass it, and it comes pretty close, but some of the sounds in the songs seem to blend together.
07:13 AM on 04/26/12
#3
Shakriel
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Really love this album. Need to go back and listen to Atlas more though.
09:53 AM on 04/26/12
#4
MXP
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Just started listening to them and wasn't sure where to start album wise, but now I know to start with Atlas. Thanks for the review Alex!!!
09:56 AM on 04/26/12
#5
PeeDster
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Great review Alex and I think that Atlas still is their strongest album to date. I was hoping this one would surpass it, and it comes pretty close, but some of the sounds in the songs seem to blend together.
Thanks! Yeah Atlas is the strongest.

Just started listening to them and wasn't sure where to start album wise, but now I know to start with Atlas. Thanks for the review Alex!!!

Hey no problem, glad you're checking them out Let me know what you think.
11:20 AM on 04/26/12
#6
MXP
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Thanks! Yeah Atlas is the strongest.



Hey no problem, glad you're checking them out Let me know what you think.

Atlas is pretty damn amazing!!! Any other instrumental artists or bands I should check out?
11:27 AM on 04/26/12
#7
PeeDster
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Atlas is pretty damn amazing!!! Any other instrumental artists or bands I should check out?
So many... I'll send you a PM.
11:30 AM on 04/26/12
#8
MXP
aka Max Phillips
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So many... I'll send you a PM.

Thanks, I REALLY appreciate it!!
01:56 PM on 04/26/12
#9
plns
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Thanks, I REALLY appreciate it!!
Check out Hammock.

02:05 PM on 04/26/12
Sean Rizzo
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So many... I'll send you a PM.
Great review. Mine will be up by the end of the night Pacific time.
02:48 PM on 04/26/12
MXP
aka Max Phillips
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Check out Hammock.


I like! Thanks! :D
02:49 PM on 04/26/12
MXP
aka Max Phillips
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Great review. Mine will be up by the end of the night Pacific time.

Hey Sean, Align in Time is in the Recommeds section of Alternative Press this month!! Thanks for telling me about him with your reviews.
02:51 PM on 04/26/12
Sean Rizzo
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Hey Sean, Align in Time is in the Recommeds section of Alternative Press this month!! Thanks for telling me about him with your reviews.
That's AWESOME! This is exactly what I had hoped for. That album is freaking great and I'm glad it's getting attention.
02:54 PM on 04/26/12
MXP
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That's AWESOME! This is exactly what I had hoped for. That album is freaking great and I'm glad it's getting attention.

Yeah, I had a geek out when I saw his picture. I sent congrats in FB. I listen to it everyday since it came out!
02:56 PM on 04/26/12
Sean Rizzo
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Yeah, I had a geek out when I saw his picture. I sent congrats in FB. I listen to it everyday since it came out!
Link me!!!
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