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Dropkick Murphys - The Meanest of Times Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 7.75
Production 9
Creativity 7.75
Lasting Value 6
Reviewer Tilt 8
Final Verdict: 78%
Member Ratings
Vocals 7.33
Musicianship 7.6
Lyrics 7.55
Production 8.25
Creativity 6.95
Lasting Value 8.88
Reviewer Tilt N/A
Average: 78%
Inside AP.net

Dropkick Murphys - The Meanest of Times

Reviewed by: Tony Pascarella (01/15/08)
Dropkick MurphysThe Meanest of Times
Release Date: September 18, 2007
Record Label: Born and Bred Records

Living legends in their hometown of Boston, heavily lauded by award-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese, and some of the hardest-working musicians in the business, if Dropkick Murphys decided to cut down on their events calendar, most critics and fans wouldn't flinch. Instead, the band did as they've always done and kicked it up a notch. They've released six studio albums, a live album (recorded on St. Patrick's Day, no less), and a few EPs in the last 11 years without missing a bagpipe-laden beat. The Meanest of Times is the band's first album since (gasp!) 2005, and we get a healthy dose of the Murphys' finest Irish whiskey, although there are a few moments where it feels as though it might have aged just a bit too long.

Fittingly, the band launched “The State of Massachusetts” as their first single from The Meanest of Times. The track is a mandolin-tinged Celtic romp that tugs at your heartstrings as the traded vocal lines, specifically incorporating the trademark Murphys shouted chorus, offer a unique structure to the song. It's by no means a happy song, but it comes across as very real, something the band has always done well—bringing the music home to the listeners. The first half of the album is laced with sing-along punk rockers that spit a lot more fire than you'll realize upon first listen.

“Tomorrow's Industry” and “Vices and Virtues” prove eerily reminiscent of the aggressive yet cleaned-up punk tracks from Blackout, their fourth studio album, where “Surrender” seems to be a bit more full-bodied and wouldn't be out of place on their fifth, The Warrior's Code. That's not to say every song on The Meanest of Times can be pegged as at home on a previous Murphys album. “God Willing” is a hopeful, albeit somewhat chilling song that fuses the band's frenetic dual-guitar attack and Scruffy Wallace's bagpipes into what may prove to be one of the most entertaining songs in their entire discography.

So what else can we learn from The Meanest of Times besides that Dropkick Murphys are becoming more and more popular as their career charges on (the newest effort charted at #20 on the Billboard 200, by far their best position ever)? The album is well above-average but not nearly the best they've ever done. If you enjoyed The Warrior's Code, the new one shines similarly but delivers a heavier kick in the ass that just might catch you off-balance. Crank the volume and raise a glass to the Murphys, who show no signs of slowing down.

Buy Dropkick Murphys' The Meanest of Times on iTunes

Track List01. Famous for Nothing
02. God Willing
03. The State of Massachusetts
04. Tomorrow's Industry
05. Echoes on “A” Street
06. Vices and Virtues
07. Surrender
08. Flannigan's Ball
09. I'll Begin Again
10. Fairmount Hill
11. Loyal to No One
12. Shattered
13. Rude Awakenings
14. Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye
15. Never Forget
16. Jailbreak (Bonus Track)
Listen to Dropkick MurphysMyspace | Official Site

 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 33.
07:46 PM on 01/15/08
#2
handlikesecret
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amen to that.
fantastic review.
long live the Murphys!!
12:10 AM on 01/16/08
#3
ilovesofie
was I good to you, wife of my youth
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much better record than the warrior's code!
07:27 AM on 01/16/08
#4
whyte39
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favourite band of all time. Own every record/EP, and this one certainly holds its own.
07:28 AM on 01/16/08
#5
whyte39
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and it translates amazing live
07:49 AM on 01/16/08
#6
Gin
What'd those animals say to ya?
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Can anyone tell me which DM Album is the best?
I´m going to get one but I´m not sure which one(would be my first ;))
08:09 AM on 01/16/08
#7
Short-Lived
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Great review. I agree, not their best but still a damn good album.
08:41 AM on 01/16/08
#8
CellarGhosts
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great review, I love DKM, and was not at all disappointed by this album.
09:23 AM on 01/16/08
#9
Bongi5788
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i like sing loud, sing proud but Blackout! is damn good too
10:34 AM on 01/16/08
Mase714
Just a dab'll do ya
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This was a far better album than Blackout, and thats saying a lot. I'd prob rate this in the low to mid 80%, but otherwise, great review.
10:47 AM on 01/16/08
ACA
Next Show: Silverstein @ NYC 4/25
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Good review man.
10:55 AM on 01/16/08
Rest_Easy
accidentally on purpose
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Good review.
I'm a little surprised to hear no mention of Flannigan's Ball in the review. I think that may be the best track on the cd.

Love dropkick, if you ever get the chance see them live. I caught several boston shows when I lived there (st. pats weekend) and they are incredible.
12:51 PM on 01/16/08
thebarrelboy
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I would give the "originality" bracket a 0, but still give the album a 9.
01:03 PM on 01/16/08
zooyorker182
Johnny Quest thinks we're what?!
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Flannagan's Ball is an amazing track
01:14 PM on 01/16/08
Steffan
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Good review, this CD may be a little less accessible to the average fan than the warriors code, but still a great CD. More like old school dropkick.
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