Brand New - Deja Entendu
Record Label: Triple Crown Records
Release Date: June 17, 2003
Normally I would start a review with something that would define the rest of the review. I might start with something that is funny or inspiring. Maybe I would start with something that would make you buy or not buy this album. I feel that starting this review with anything like that would be wrong and unfair to Brand New. This album shows me everything that is right about the industry.
Deja Entendu is French for "already heard." I find that entertaining, because whenever I listen to Deja Entendu, I think of how I've never heard anything like it before and probably never will again; it amazes me that an album of such diversity can flow so well together.
If you are thinking about picking this album up the answer is simple: buy it. The song "Sic Transit Glora... Glory Fades" starts out with one of the best bass lines I've heard in the past ten years. The song starts out with vocalist Jesse Lacey singing in a hushed tone, even a whisper. Right before the chorus, he can be heard singing "Up the stairs / The station where / The act becomes the art of growing up." Then, with one powerful chord, Lacey's hushed tones turn into loud and impassioned singing as he then screams "Die young and save yourself!" After the chorus, with a snap of the fingers, Brand New fall back into their whisper that engulfs the verse.
The next song, "I Will Play My Game Beneath the Spin Light," goes in an entirely different direction. With mostly an acoustic guitar, the song is still quick and catchy. Lacey's voice really shines on this track, as does his lyrical versatility. He reflects on the music scene and himself with lines like "I am paid to make girls panic while I sing." The track "Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don't" starts out similar to "I Will Play My Game Beneath the Spin Light," except with an electric guitar in place of the acoustic. When it hits the chorus, the sound is cranked up, and it becomes a big rock song. "The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows" starts out with a single guitar line then is played over heavy chords that lead into the verse. The vocals on the chorus trade off between Lacey and himself; each line ends with a certain bite that seems small but adds so much to the song. "Me vs. Maradona vs. Elvis" starts out with a hopeful and quiet guitar, and Lacey's voice fits so well on this song; it sounds somewhat happy yet has a sad tone he carries throughout.
"Guernica" starts out with an epic drum-and-guitar intro that flows into the line "Ever since I was young / Your word is the word that always won." Lacey's voice sounds anxious through the verse; when it hits, Brand New bring their signature sound into a powerful chorus. The second chorus finishes with a passionate scream that has been virtually unheard since the opening track.
With Deja Entendu, Brand New made something special; they made an album that cannot be put down. An album like this is hard to find, and they only come around every so often (if we're lucky). When an album like this is released, it would be an injustice not to listen to it over and over.
Good review. BUT you could've touched on some other aspects of lyrical content that are really important to the album.
I.e. Me Vs. Maradona - a lurid commentary on one night stands. Maybe a completely honest commentary.
Guernica - a family member's battle with cancer. "My lungs are fresh and yours to keep. Kept clean, and they will let you breathe."
Play Crack The Sky - an "on-the-ship in a storm" metaphor about love and relationships.
There's so much more to it, but just off the top of my head, these things should've been mentioned.
Brand New is such a great band. The next album is going to surprise us all. I can't wait.