The Spill Canvas – No Really, I'm Fine
Record Label: Sire Records
Release Date: October 2, 2007
The Spill Canvas are a band I have come to rely on. I know what to expect from their albums, and they never fail to deliver. They deliver both as Nick Thomas alone, or as a full band, with the latter being my personal favorite.
Like One Fell Swoop, the first song sets the tone for this album. "Reckless Abandonment" starts with the usual catchiness, becoming an instant favorite after the first listen. With a few more spins (and car rides), other gems start to emerge. "Hush Hush" is one of them with its crushing guitars picking up the pace. "All Over You" screams radio single with its catchy, lively chorus. The stand out song of the album is "Low Fidelity," which has a guitar and drum combo that bursts and swells as the song continues. “Battles” is reminiscent of their previous releases - it even borrows a line from “Drunken Ballerina Waltz” off of The Concept EP. This version of “Appreciation and the Bomb” is accompanied by a full band instead of the acoustic version on the Denial Feels So Good EP. The acoustic version of the song actually works better, allowing less distraction to take in the haunting lyrics.
This album complements the progression of the band. It is slower and doesn’t have the tempo that One Fell Swoop has, but lyrically it improves from where One Fell Swoop left off. On No Really, I’m Fine, Thomas touches on new subjects, not sticking to his usual song topics. In “Reckless Abandonment” Thomas addresses his thoughts on the current music scene, spitting out the line, “I'm not concerned with pleasing all those little pricks and all their little scenes.” Thomas also gives his thoughts on politics (“Don't get distracted by the puppet show of politicians / They put one on every single year”) and religion (“Take all division from religion and just throw it out / Whatever you believe, you're welcome here"). The production of the album is immaculate, but with Neal Avron doing the knob twiddling, it is what we have come to expect.
No Really, I'm Fine also has this year’s must have for a new album - guests. Anthony Green howls in the background on "Bleed, Everyone's Doing It" as the song slows to a low tempo. Andrew McMahon is featured in a re-recorded version of "Saved," which was originally on the Superman Returns soundtrack. The sound of the keyboard adds an extra dimension to the song.
Fans will have plenty to love about this album. The usual dark, edgy lyrics are present and Thomas’ faultless voice flows effortlessly. This album has instantly likable songs that drew me in, and once it did, all the other songs attacked my ears, demanding my attention. The songs on No Really, I'm Fine confirm The Spill Canvas are heading in the right direction by sticking to what they know while not being afraid to try out new things.