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Madina Lake - Attics to Eden Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 6.75
Musicianship 7.25
Lyrics 3.5
Production 5.25
Creativity 4
Lasting Value 3.5
Reviewer Tilt 4.5
Final Verdict: 50%
Member Ratings
Vocals 5.57
Musicianship 5.05
Lyrics 4.98
Production 5.77
Creativity 4.5
Lasting Value 4.45
Reviewer Tilt 5.11
Average: 51%
Inside AP.net

Madina Lake - Attics to Eden

Reviewed by: Klatzke (04/26/09)
Madina Lake - Attics to Eden
Release Date: April 28, 2009
Record Label: Roadrunner Records

"Bland" and "boring" are two words that often quell listeners' anticipation for a release, and unfortunately for Madina Lake, both of these suit their sophomore album, Attics to Eden. Their acclaimed debut album From Them, Through Us, to You was an excellent take on off the beaten path alt-pop, and the variety of styles the band explored gave it some serious replay value. Attics to Eden, however, pales in comparison to the ambitious debut.

One of the most noticeable things about Attics to Eden is the excessively glossy production throughout the album. The whole thing just feels far too clean and doesn't retain much of the charm that their debut was rife with. The mild production on From Them, Through Us, to You gave the album that "I found this band first" feel that Attics to Eden is wholly missing. Though every member of the band seems to have progressed individually, there's no feeling of overall progress. While the musicians may all be tighter, (especially the guitarists), the album seems less accessible and not nearly as intimate. Frontman Nathan Leone's vocals have rocketed forward as well, but in many places they seem to be artificially enhanced, which once again detracts from any personal feel the album could have had.

On top of that, it seems that in quite a few places Madina Lake attempted to "experiment" with various instrumentation and effects such as random beeping and static-sounding feedback. While I'd commend most bands for their attempt at branching out, most of their additions work to little avail (such as the annoying screeches during "Never Walk Alone"), and I'd rather they had embraced the whole " if it ain't broke, don't fix it" adage before venturing off into experimentation that makes their sound less straightforward, and truthfully, a tad aggravating in places. These factors make the band less accessible, since in many places they overshadow the more than adequate guitarists with static, piano parts, or whatever effects they use at the time.

The biggest downfall of Attics to Eden is the saturation of the album with mediocre and sub-par tracks. Once you're past the first four songs, you've really heard all of the best parts of the album. "Legends" is probably the catchiest cut, but it falls short with its rather cliche lyrical ideas ("Let's burn this town/right to the ground/and we'll get down like every legend before us"). "Let's Get Out of Here" is edgy Madina Lake in top form, but the lyrics, again, serve as its downfall due to the band's laughable passages such as, "I'm ready to go/where palm trees always blow/I wanna go where there's no one we know/start moving like a 70's disco."

The other two songs from the first third of the album are well developed too, including the single, "Never Take Us Alive," which would have felt right at home on their debut and showcases the guitarists' impressive progression. However, the album quickly dips with "Through the Pain" and doesn't hit upon another redeeming track until "Welcome to Oblivion," which just barely escapes skipping. After this, "Silent Voices Kill" remains the strongest track until the closer, "Lila, the Divine Game," which is the only slower number worth anything from the album. While Attics to Eden has a few songs that make it redeemable, most of the tracks aren't memorable. As far as replayability goes, there's virtually none except for a few scattered songs that manage a favorable impression.

It seems as if Madina Lake have stumbled upon the feared sophomore slump. Attics to Eden doesn't progress too far from their debut album, and the band still seems unable to recapture the catchiness and ambitious desire of From Them, Through Us, to You. While the album has its moments ("Legends," "Let's Get Out of Here," "Lila, the Divine Game"), overall, the repetitive nature and excessive filler give the album little to no replay value, and it just can't hold my attention. Hopefully Madina Lake can rediscover what made their debut album so enjoyable with their next album because Attics to Eden simply didn't live up to expectations.

Recommended If You LikeMy Chemical Romance; Spoken's A Moment Of Imperfect Clarity; Escape the Fate; The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus


Myspacehttp://www.myspace.com/madinalake
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 109.
07:36 AM on 04/28/09
#2
S9Dallasoz
Knows the words to 'Bye Bye Bye'
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I was a huge fan of the debut, and want to love this one so badly, I just can't
You're right, certainly way too many sub-par tracks.
O well, gives me hope for a rebound record the 3rd time around.
07:38 AM on 04/28/09
#3
Klatzke
Don't give me no hand me down love.
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I was a huge fan of the debut, and want to love this one so badly, I just can't
You're right, certainly way too many sub-par tracks.
O well, gives me hope for a rebound record the 3rd time around.
Yeah, I really wanted to like it as well but just could not get into it.
07:50 AM on 04/28/09
#4
zubinmoosa
Tonight I'm Burning Star IV
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Ouch. I agree though, major disappointment.
08:50 AM on 04/28/09
#5
Yellowcard2006
I'll buy you a raincoat
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This is only $7.99 at Best Buy (when it comes out on 5/5/09) but even at that price I'm not sure I can justify a purchase. I picked up their debut late last year and got pretty excited about this release. Excellent review, you stayed completely neutral and didn't shit on the album like many people on this site would (just to show how expert their music tastes are). I got a free download of "Statistics" yesterday from their site and that track is pretty good. From the first time I heard "Never Walk Alone" I began to lose hope in this album. Looks like Closure in Moscow and The Dangerous Summer are the ones to get on 5/5/09.
08:53 AM on 04/28/09
#6
Klatzke
Don't give me no hand me down love.
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This is only $7.99 at Best Buy (when it comes out on 5/5/09) but even at that price I'm not sure I can justify a purchase. I picked up their debut late last year and got pretty excited about this release. Excellent review, you stayed completely neutral and didn't shit on the album like many people on this site would (just to show how expert their music tastes are). I got a free download of "Statistics" yesterday from their site and that track is pretty good. From the first time I heard "Never Walk Alone" I began to lose hope in this album. Looks like Closure in Moscow and The Dangerous Summer are the ones to get on 5/5/09.
I thought this came out today?
09:12 AM on 04/28/09
#7
Yellowcard2006
I'll buy you a raincoat
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I thought this came out today?
Today was the original release date. It got pushed back a week about a month ago. It's on the website http://www.madinalake.com/
09:26 AM on 04/28/09
#8
Klatzke
Don't give me no hand me down love.
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Today was the original release date. It got pushed back a week about a month ago. It's on the website http://www.madinalake.com/
I'll have to edit it then when I get home. Everywhere I looked said today. Oh well, a week early doesn't matter too much.
12:41 PM on 04/28/09
#9
inyoursea
crazy for you baby
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Nicely written review, pretty much hit the nail on the head for me. I gave the band a shot but couldn't get past the lackluster lyrics and filler.
04:36 PM on 04/28/09
denissuxx
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I really disagree with this review. I greatly enjoyed this album.
08:20 PM on 04/28/09
skyphoenix
One Among the Fence
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I dont agree with this review at all but its well written. I thought their first album was bland and thought this one was much better. I might be the only one who thinks this though.
08:27 PM on 04/28/09
Klatzke
Don't give me no hand me down love.
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I dont agree with this review at all but its well written. I thought their first album was bland and thought this one was much better. I might be the only one who thinks this though.
Exact opposite of what I think haha.
08:30 PM on 04/28/09
skyphoenix
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haha, the joy of opinions. I can definitely see where you are coming from but I am also a fan of the bands you listed in the recommendations (aside from RJAs latest album that I thought was terrible). I felt the different key signatures (from what I could tell) made it interesting. My favorite track being Friends and Lovers.
08:36 PM on 04/28/09
Klatzke
Don't give me no hand me down love.
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haha, the joy of opinions. I can definitely see where you are coming from but I am also a fan of the bands you listed in the recommendations (aside from RJAs latest album that I thought was terrible). I felt the different key signatures (from what I could tell) made it interesting. My favorite track being Friends and Lovers.
You like Escape the Fate's new album? ewww.
08:37 PM on 04/28/09
skyphoenix
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I did when I first listened to it and now I dont. John Feldmann ruined them.
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