Album Review
The Rocket Summer - Of Men and Angels Album Cover

The Rocket Summer - Of Men and Angels

Reviewed by
The Rocket SummerOf Men and Angels
Record Label: Island/Def Jam Records
Release Date: February 23, 2010
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.

After releasing his major label debut Do You Feel? in 2007 on Island/Def Jam Records, which included breakthrough hits “So Much Love” and “Do You Feel,” Bryce Avary has returned with The Rocket Summer’s fourth album, Of Men and Angels. Avary again recorded all the instruments and produced the record himself, and as a result, his sound is far more superior and improved than ever.

“Roses” begins Of Men and Angels and without delay shows just how much The Rocket Summer has progressed. The chorus is monstrous, as Avary can sure craft an exceptionally catchy pop song. “You Gotta Believe” shows a more faith-based side of the album, which continues to be ubiquitous throughout the album. Second single “Hills and Valleys” slows down the record, with infectious “oh-oh-ohs,” while lead single “Walls” is a definite highlight on Of Men and Angels. From Avary’s stunning vocals to inspiring lyrics, “Walls” is a true gem.

Title track “Of Men and Angels” is one of the best tracks on the album, projecting the overall premise of the album with relatable, faith-based lyrics “Here I am, dear Lord, tasting hints of fame/and I don’t want it anymore/If it’s not you that I gain.” The track is Avary’s reflection to all of his sudden fame and carries a powerful message apparent throughout the record. “I Need a Break…but I’d Rather Have a Breakthrough” and “Nothing Matters” pick the pace back up; full of pure fervor and intensity, these tracks are some of the catchiest on Of Men and Angels, showing just how much Avary has grown as a musician and songwriter.

“Japanese Exchange Student” is simply captivating and exceptionally unique lyricwise about Avary’s fame, while, on the other hand, “Tara, I’m Terrible” is an intricate, stripped down acoustic love song written for Avary’s wife. “Hey!” changes gears and is as upbeat as it gets. “Let You Go” and “This Is a Refugee” set up closer “Light” perfectly, a track that highlights phenomenal vocals, closing Of Men and Angels with a feeling of hope and optimism for the future.

Of Men and Angels debuted at number 1 on iTunes back in February, and rightfully so, as it is easily The Rocket Summer’s strongest record to date, a perfect follow up to 2007’s Do You Feel?. Avary’s vocals are hands down the pinnacle of this record; the man simply sounds better than ever and unlike many in the saturated genre, does not rely on autotune for his sound. With Of Men and Angels, Avary has further expanded the sound and abilities of The Rocket Summer with progression vocally, lyrically, and instrumentally. From ballad “Walls” to the poppiest “Hey!”, Avary has made himself limitless with The Rocket Summer.

Recommended If You LikeThe Rocket Summer’s Do You Feel?; Jack’s Mannequin’s The Glass Passenger; The Almost’s Monster Monster

Listen ToRoses; Hills and Valleys; Walls; Of Men and Angels; Light

Additional Information
Track Listing:
1. Roses
2. You Gotta Believe
3. Hills and Valleys
4. I Want Something to Live For
5. Walls
6. Pull Myself Together (Don’t Hate Me)
7. Of Men and Angels
8. I Need a Break…but I’d Rather Have a Breakthrough
9. Nothing Matters
10. Japanese Exchange Student
11. Tara, I’m Terrible
12. Hey!
13. Let You Go
14. This Is a Refuge
15. Light

Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 15
06:14 AM on 05/18/10
don't ask
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Agree about the title track. Easily my favorite on the album.
The EP tracks were some of the best though.
06:22 AM on 05/18/10
AP.net's Resident Staryu
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Smeee's Avatar
Japanese Exchange Student might be the weirdest song of the year haha.
09:39 AM on 05/18/10
Tec Mason
Christian. Market Anarchist.
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always respected Bryce, but never got into his vocal style. I will definitely give this a listen.
10:23 AM on 05/18/10
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pnkhrdwndr's Avatar
I really like do you feel but I wasn't gripped by this album. I did like the title track though
12:43 PM on 05/18/10
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FallOutWeeze's Avatar
Some songs are forgettable, but its still a solid album
02:03 PM on 05/18/10
Ryan Gardner
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Ryan Gardner's Avatar
Some songs are forgettable, but its still a solid album
My thoughts exactly.
05:39 PM on 05/21/10
a face to call home
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falloutpanicboy's Avatar
Was only able to listen to the album from top to bottom, once. Since then only, "Walls", has been getting listens from me. Probably the only song I like from this guy.
11:59 PM on 05/21/10
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randys950's Avatar
i really cant get into christian based music for the life of me...i heard a few songs off the album...not bad.
03:25 PM on 05/23/10
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eatbabiesyum's Avatar
i think people write the rocket summer off too quickly, i know i did, but then i gave them another listen and realized he's not another sceney-bopper, and there's definatly talent here
09:53 PM on 06/24/10
will and life
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will and life's Avatar
this album was the most disappointing thing i've ever listened to. it was dreadful listening to 15 tracks of crap that bryce already wrote in "do you feel." not to mention that only 3 or 4 songs bothered to be repeatable.
i'm ready for him to humble up and go back to the more diverse, stripped down, and honest sound he had back in the "hello, good friend" days.
10:03 PM on 06/24/10
Ryan Gardner
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Ryan Gardner's Avatar
this album was the most disappointing thing i've ever listened to. it was dreadful listening to 15 tracks of crap that bryce already wrote in "do you feel." not to mention that only 3 or 4 songs bothered to be repeatable.
i'm ready for him to humble up and go back to the more diverse, stripped down, and honest sound he had back in the "hello, good friend" days.
I would love another record of his similar to Hello, Good Friend
12:02 AM on 08/03/10
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this album is definitely more polished than his previous ones, but i don't think its a bad thing. I like how his voice has matured and has a deeper ring to it.

i completely agree with eatbabiesyum that people don't give bryce a chance, they hear his high-pitched voice and shut down. I own every rocket summer album, and it has been the same with every album, you listen to it once through, and your like "ehh solid album, but nothing spectacular" then you REALLY listen to it a few more times, and then you actually start to feel the emotion and analyze the lyrics.
For me this album was medicore at first listen, then with a couple more run throughs, I have come to love all the songs, with the standouts being "Hills & Valleys" "You Gotta Believe" "Walls" "I Need a Break.." and "Light." Yet all the other songs are good, with Japanese Exchange Student having a weak and weird ending, and "Tara I'm Terrible" being weaker than his previous acoustic songs.

This album is more religion based and also deeper in comparson to Calendar Days and HGF. He has already said a sound from his first couple albums is never gonna happen again, because he always wants to sing whats in his heart and how he really feels and no longer is he a young teen, so were never gonna get that type of album. Yes, his sound has changed, and matured but for the best in my opinion.
05:44 PM on 04/27/11
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phillipjacob's Avatar
For me personally, someone who goes through doubting their faith sometimes, this album is a pick me up. I hope for people who aren't christian can find something to relate to in this though.
09:55 PM on 06/12/12
Doing weird things.
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Stereocascade's Avatar
It pains me to see this album so lowly rated by members. Excluding his new 2012 release, Of Men and Angels was his best record. The Rocket Summer is my favorite artist of all time, and he is seriously underrated.

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