Deas Vail - Deas Vail
Record Label: Mono Vs Stereo
Release Date: October 11, 2011
Has anyone else been disappointed with this year's crop of new albums? Between the new States album falling flatter both in my ears and on its face than a piece of paper, and the new Lydia album sounding like Leighton and Matt Malpass essentially decided to take a bunch of The Cinema b-sides, slapped the Lydia name on it, and called it done, I'd say that we fans are justified in being upset when the bands we love appear to be falling short of themselves. As a result, I have had to placate myself by delving into the depths of the internet's unexplored diamond mine of years past in search of gems that the usual dealers couldn't get me. Despite that, I had hope for the new Deas Vail album. I really did. Arguably the most successful act to still live in the shadow of the greats: Copeland, Mae, The Reign of Kindo, and Lydia, one would think (and usually does think subconsciously) that a third album titled with their name would capture their essence in a more unprecedented and powerful way than their previous albums, and finally thrust them forth into the sunlight as a band which doesn't create immediate comparisons in the minds of its critics and fans. Unfortunately, Deas Vail does not move the band that put their name on it forward--and like any other poor sponsorship choice, might cause some reputation problems.
It's not that the album is bad by any means, it's really not, and is actually decently enjoyable, hence the score being above 50%. Wes Blaylock's vocals are as sweet and soothing as ever, Andy Moore's guitar work takes a similar direction to Bryan Laurenson's work in States and his songs in Copeland, and Laura Blaylock's piano mastery continues to sparkle brilliantly. The album takes a more rough, rockier approach overall, akin to Mae's later work. The problem is that it's all been heard before, both from Deas Vail, and from the other bands they are similar to. Indeed, Deas Vail may as well have re-worked All The Houses Look The Same into a slightly less cheerful version, and would have created an identical product to this album, which I'm sure the devoted fans would have loved unconditionally just as they do with this. The general monotony that disallows each track from freeing themselves from the others doesn't exactly help the situation. Examples of individual identity between tracks are nearly non-existent.
In my mind, the question is not whether this album is comparatively worse or not: it undeniably is. The real question is whether or not Deas Vail's true essence is flat, dull, and boring. To answer it: No. But the sad reality is that this album most likely will immortalize them trudging in circles behind the shadows of their predecessors when considering that the shelf life of many bands ranges between one to three albums. That's not to say Deas Vail is breaking up, I don't know any more than you do about what their plans are, but priorities change, especially in bands whose members have strong religious identity, so the chance is there. Despite that, I hold onto the hope that Deas Vail will carry on and go out with a progressively stronger bang with each new album they release before they do break up. Though possibly irrational, the true believers like myself feel that Deas Vail have much more potential than has been conceived in this album, and it would be a disservice to everyone to leave it unexplored.
TBH I think this album is better than Birds and Cages. They were aiming for a natural sound and I think they nailed it on the head. Birds and Cages gets too over the top at times and repetitive, I don't find this in this album.
Birds and Cages was way too good. I too was disappointed by this release, but I think as many others I compared it unfairly to their previous efforts. On its own it's not too bad of an album. 7.5 overall though, I'd say; definitely not a 6.
I think the quality of their music has been going down with each release, although I can't call any album of theirs "bad". Hope they can knock their next record out of the park, and honestly I wouldn't mind another album along the lines of their debut
I actually almost entirely agree with this review. Unfortunately, this record has had no lasting value with me - which is sad, as a record like this would normally be the perfect record for me for this time of year.
I really like this album although I can see why it could be lackluster to some people - there's actually a few too many slow songs for my taste, especially when they're so good at the more up-tempo songs.
"Sixteen" is one of my favorite songs of the year.
The "Summer Forgets Me" video is worth a look if anyone hasn't seen it yet.