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Early November, The - For All of This Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 9.5
Production 8.5
Creativity 8.5
Lasting Value 9.75
Reviewer Tilt 10
Final Verdict: 88%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.75
Musicianship 9.69
Lyrics 9.44
Production 9.31
Creativity 9.69
Lasting Value 9.56
Reviewer Tilt 9.63
Average: 96%

Early November, The - For All of This

Reviewed by: flks511 (07/02/11)
The Early November -For All of This
Record Label: Drive-Thru Records
Release Date: December 6, 2002


In the early 2000's, Drive Thru Records and pop punk music in general was at a peak, in a way. Bands like New Found Glory and Something Corporate ruled the mainstream, while Drive Thru continued to have underground success with Midtown, Dashboard Confessional, The Starting Line, etc. Kids found the high-energy, lyrically honest music to be extremely relatable, buying in to the sense of nostalgia and unity these artists created.

Among the numerous pop punk bands to find success on the label was The Early November, led by frontman Ace Enders, a brutally honest lyricist and a passionate vocalist. Their debut, For All of This, fit perfectly into the pop punk mold of Drive Thru, with a hugely nostalgic atmosphere and an aura of togetherness in a small underground community. At the same time, the record was a breath of fresh air for the genre. Instead of sticking to the glossy production similar to that of The Starting Line's Say It Like You Mean It or the sugary hooks and nasally pop vocals trademarked by New Found Glory, The Early November created a stripped down rock record, maintaining a surprisingly raw sound for a band in a genre full of sugar-coated production.

Aside from the production, the album stands on its own by way of Ace Enders' vocal delivery, and his unfiltered, impassioned lyrics. Ace carries the record, embracing his imperfect vocal ability and straining his voice to deliver his lyrics. His delivery is gut-wrenching, both physically and emotionally. At the end of album opener "Every Night's Another Story," which showcases a soaring chorus and muddy guitars, Ace rips apart his vocal chords delivering the final screams of the song. His emotion pours into the listener with his lyrics: "I will wait for you for days/I will wait for you forever". The song packs a punch, but doesn't shy away from hooks, as the chorus is as catchy as it is dark. Enders manages to be painfully emotional even on the less aggressive tracks, completely nailing the final screams on "Sunday Drive," an mid-tempo acoustic song. Enders even manages to bring his angst and aggression into the sonically distortion-less "Come Back," giving an impassioned cry as the rest of the music broods quietly. Throughout the album, Enders pushes the limits of his voice, coming across as more genuine than his nasally, high-pitched peers.

Lyrically, For All of This fits in pretty nicely to the pop punk/Drive Thru mold, with a lot of emphasis on teen heartbreak and nostalgia. In the hooky chorus of "I Want To Hear You Sad," Enders gives his bitter lyrics, "For all of this, I'm better off without you/Do you regret all your loneliness?" The earlier mentioned "Sunday Drive" is a lyrical high point of the album, containing well written as well as emotional verses. "What could you be doing that is so much fun/Without me by your side?" Enders screams overtop his acoustic strumming, after a long buildup, well worth the wait. Enders' lyrics contain a certain youthfulness, and a lot of them seem to invoke nostalgic images, and a general sense of intimacy with fans and with his fellow band members. The soaring chorus of "All We Ever Needed" is a great example of this, the lines "Love and love and happy afternoons/Watching TV from your room/While you're laying in my arms" conjure many types of nostalgic images, supported by full sounding guitars and drums. "On and on we sing this song the entire day/That's oh so long/Every night we sing this song for you," from "I Want to Hear You Sad," is another great example of this, giving off a strong sense of togetherness.

That sense doesn't just stop with the lyrical content of the album; the rest of the band manage to come off as a strong, cohesive unit on their debut. Gang vocals on "Every Night's Another Story" and "I Want to Hear You Sad" further push that mentality of unity into the music, while providing great counterpoint for Enders' vocals. Despite the music not being very aggressive for the most part, Enders and guitarist John Dubitsky maintain a sort of crunch to contrast Ace's vocals. The rhythm section (Serge Anello on bass and Jeff Kummer on drums) shines on the dirty sounding "Take Time and Find," their timing greatly accenting the strange harmonic guitar riff, and provides a homey, intimate feeling rhythm for the more passive, pop-oriented songs ("I Want to Hear You Sad," "All We Ever Needed," "Ashala Rock"). Together, the band puts together a great track in the nine-minute closer "We Write the Wrong." Though it's lyrically and musically simple, the band gives the piece enough life for the listener to remain interested during the long, ambience-focused outro.

A Drive-Thru Records classic, and a pop punk staple, For All of This manages to fit in greatly with much of the underground pop music released around it, yet still comes off as way more passionate and cohesive than many of the other albums. The album has a certain longevity that has lasted a long time, and hopefully will last long into the future. The emotion and energy that the band poured into their debut made it an incredible album, and the nostalgic and united feel is responsible for its longevity and continued relevance.

Recommended If You Likeearly Drive-Thru Records; New Found Glory; Dashboard Confessional; any Ace Enders project


www.myspace.com/theearlynovember
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 18
10:55 AM on 07/03/11
#2
fallingapart101
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Good review, just got my vinyl of this. I don't want to be that guy, but Bill Lugg and Joe Marro did not record on this album.
11:13 AM on 07/03/11
#3
flks511
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Good review, just got my vinyl of this. I don't want to be that guy, but Bill Lugg and Joe Marro did not record on this album.
Thanks, I'll change it as soon as I can.

Kind of bugs me though that no staff member caught that before it was published. Seriously, are the user reviews even being looked at for editing anymore?
11:16 AM on 07/03/11
#4
fallingapart101
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Thanks, I'll change it as soon as I can.

Kind of bugs me though that no staff member caught that before it was published. Seriously, are the user reviews even being looked at for editing anymore?

Haha, it's either that or its because I am a big fan.
01:15 PM on 07/03/11
#5
Spartan789013
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Been spinning this a lot lately, I love the crap out of it.
01:29 PM on 07/03/11
#6
Matthew Tsai
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Thanks, I'll change it as soon as I can.

Kind of bugs me though that no staff member caught that before it was published. Seriously, are the user reviews even being looked at for editing anymore?
Kind of bugs me though that you didn't double check that before it was published. Seriously, are the user reviews even being proofread before being submitted anymore?

Come on now, staff has to sort through dozens of reviews every week and can't be held accountable for that tiny detail sandwiched in a big block of text in the second to last paragraph. I'm not a big TEN fan so unfortunately there's no way I could've caught that error. Ultimately, it's solely your responsibility to get the facts verified before submitting.
04:01 PM on 07/03/11
#7
jordalsh
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I love this record.
07:51 PM on 07/03/11
#8
f00te
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outside of blink 182 or NFG, this album was my gateway album
07:57 PM on 07/03/11
#9
flks511
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Kind of bugs me though that you didn't double check that before it was published. Seriously, are the user reviews even being proofread before being submitted anymore?

Come on now, staff has to sort through dozens of reviews every week and can't be held accountable for that tiny detail sandwiched in a big block of text in the second to last paragraph. I'm not a big TEN fan so unfortunately there's no way I could've caught that error. Ultimately, it's solely your responsibility to get the facts verified before submitting.
I wouldn't have said anything if this was the first time I'd been upset with the quality of the user reviews. There's been little to no quality control for quite some time now. I used to get reviews sent back to me because of small things in your "Getting Your Review Published" page, and it made my reviews better. Now, I submit it and it's up in a day with no corrections, no suggestions and (seemingly) not even a glance at it.

Reading most of the user reviews at this site lately, it's clear that the staff members aren't really following the guidelines/FAQs when editing. I see so many instances of incorrect and lazy reviewing nowadays, such as reviewers mentioning themselves too many times, wrong usage of "is/was" according to band names, telling the reader what they are feeling as they listen to the album, complete absence of RIYLs and myspace links, etc. Not to mention basic grammar corrections are being ignored as well.

Yeah, you probably shouldn't have to research the band members to publish the review, but the quality control on the reviewing recently is something I've complained about multiple times to different staff members, and I'm kind of getting fed up, so that's why I posted that irrational comment. Sorry.
10:13 PM on 07/03/11
Matthew Tsai
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I wouldn't have said anything if this was the first time I'd been upset with the quality of the user reviews. There's been little to no quality control for quite some time now. I used to get reviews sent back to me because of small things in your "Getting Your Review Published" page, and it made my reviews better. Now, I submit it and it's up in a day with no corrections, no suggestions and (seemingly) not even a glance at it.

Reading most of the user reviews at this site lately, it's clear that the staff members aren't really following the guidelines/FAQs when editing. I see so many instances of incorrect and lazy reviewing nowadays, such as reviewers mentioning themselves too many times, wrong usage of "is/was" according to band names, telling the reader what they are feeling as they listen to the album, complete absence of RIYLs and myspace links, etc. Not to mention basic grammar corrections are being ignored as well.

Yeah, you probably shouldn't have to research the band members to publish the review, but the quality control on the reviewing recently is something I've complained about multiple times to different staff members, and I'm kind of getting fed up, so that's why I posted that irrational comment. Sorry.

That's a more legitimate complaint. There are two of us currently contenting user reviews, and I can only speak for myself, but I can tell you I send back at least 5 reviews every time I content due to grammatical, spelling or formatting errors. I can tell you we're very committed to going through reviews with diligence and only approving ones that reach a certain standard of quality.

That said, things have somewhat changed in that there's more freedom with the kinds of reviews we approve than what's strictly outlined in the FAQ these days. The main things still must be in the review, those being a proper AP heading, proper AP punctuation, an RIYL, as well as a quality review. Other than that, there's some flexibility. If you want to include a myspace link, fine. If you don't, fine. It's optional. If you want to mention yourself or how you think the reader ought to feel, that's fine too, as long as you do so in a cohesive and competent manner. Some of the best reviewers in the world do this (Roger Ebert, cokemachineglow.com, just to name a few), and their reviews turn out pretty brilliantly.

Regarding "is and are's," staff doesn't even have a consensus on which one is standard at the moment, as is evidenced by a quick look at the front page. There should be a consensus, but we've been taking it more as a case by case basis at the moment. Until we come to a conclusion, though, we'll let reviews be flexible as well.

Grammar problems are an entirely different issue that demand more attention. It'd be great if you could point me in the direction of a review that's lacking in grammar, as that's something we take seriously. Ultimately, we don't expect world class grammar, as some writers are better than others, and some are just starting out and will improve in time. But we do hold reviews to a certain standard.

As for general improving, due to the spike of submissions, and the fact that staff have lives outside of AP, it's become difficult to give every reviewer suggestions on how to improve. There are, however, other tools in daily life that don't rely exclusively on staff you can use to improve. My suggestion? Get a trusted writer to proof-read your writing. Also, read lots of reviews by writers you respect, be that Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Sputnik, whatever. And if nothing else, always feel free to approach me individually at matthew.tsai@absolutepunk.net and I'm always willing to give you tips.

Hope that helps. You do bring up some legitimate concerns and I hope I addressed most of them.
03:04 PM on 07/08/11
tylerschnizzle
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shhh
07:35 PM on 07/09/11
3ver So Sweet
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bravo for a great review.my favorite ep of all time , for my favorite band of all time.cant wait for the reunion!!!
09:59 PM on 12/25/12
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