AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
 
Valencia - We All Need a Reason to Believe Album Cover

Valencia - We All Need a Reason to Believe

Reviewed by
8.9
Valencia - We All Need A Reason To Believe
Release Date: August 26, 2008
Record Label: Columbia
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Pop-punk is dead.

Okay, so maybe that isn’t as great or grand as the statement Nas made in 2007 about hip-hop, but it still applies here. Once a genre full of camaraderie, energy, and statements has become stale, as bands are more concerned with their neon clothes, swooping hair cuts, and which 17 year old groupie they are going to nail tonight. Pop punk is dead. And like Nas tried to resurrect his genre, we need a band that can breathe new life into pop-punk.

This band is Valencia.

The band’s debut, 2005’s This Could Be A Possibility, was overall a good album, displaying themes and vibes that brought back memories of quality pop-punk, but their Columbia Records debut, We All Need A Reason To Believe takes the Philadelphia quintet’s sound to the next level. Produced by Ariel Rechtshaid (We Are Scientists, Plain White T’s), We All Need A Reason To Believe features eleven tracks that are fast, raw, and pack an emotional punch the majority of the bands in the genre fail to generate.

Like a wave crashing into the shore, “Better Be Prepared” kicks off the album with huge guitars and big vocals from Shane Henderson. It’s a kick in the seat of your pants, as you’ve just been buckled into the ride. “Holiday” is a catchy toe-tapper, as the duel guitar riffs from Brendan Walter and JD Perry anchor the track.

Valencia does a great job of delivery throughout, as they fuse the slower, quieter parts with the big and fast, thus avoiding little monotony on the album. Strings and bells blend beautifully with the huge outro on “Where Did You Go?,” while “Carry On” channels some Ben Folds.

The one song that screams “I’m a huge single!” is “All At Once,” a dramatic song that’ll sweep you away. Henderson’s vocal delivery is absolutely perfect on this track, the vindication in his voice is sharp and frantic. And when the strings join the “whoa-oh’s” and frenetic riffs in the bridge, it gives me chills.

There are very few missteps on We All Need A Reason To Believe,, as the album never lets up. “Can’t See Myself” follows the formula seen on the entire album, yet still remains fresh, as the rhythm section of bassist George Ciukurescu and drummer Maxim Soria give the song personality. “Free” closes the album in huge fashion. Soria is unrelenting on the kit, as the track is full of moxie and needlepoint guitar riffs. And once again, Henderson’s vocals just absolutely kill, as this final track is just the icing on the cake.

So maybe pop-punk isn’t dead yet, as long as bands like Valencia are producing music, we can always have hope that heart, passion, sweat, and intensity will still be pouring out from the genre. We All Need A Reason To Believe is a great album; it can be light and heavy at the same, invoking all of your emotions during its 40 minute run time. Perhaps the genre has never been dead, and Valencia provides the reason for us to believe in it again.

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. Better Be Prepared
2. Holiday
3. Where Did You Go?
4. Head In Head
5. Carry On
6. All At Once
7. Safe To Say
8. Listen Up
9. Can’t See Myself
10. The Good Life
11. Free
Produced by: Ariel Rechtshaid

Valencia are:
Shane Henderson – vocals
JD Perry – guitar
Maxim Soria – drums
George Ciukurescu – bass
Brendan Walter – guitar

Official Website; Official Myspace; Official AP.net Profile

 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 128
10:53 AM on 07/18/08
#2
pand75
@pand75
Offline
User Info.
pand75's Avatar
You didn't happen to get 3 copies of this album now, would you? . And that was a great review, love the ending line.
11:03 AM on 07/18/08
#3
sjb2k1
4-3, the kyle orton show
Online
User Info.
sjb2k1's Avatar
cannot wait to hear this.
11:07 AM on 07/18/08
#4
carsancalor1es
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
can't freaking wait..
12:11 PM on 07/18/08
#5
hockeyguitar99
Prison Strength
Offline
User Info.
hockeyguitar99's Avatar
This is a fabulous album.
01:00 PM on 07/18/08
#6
G apostrophe Ra
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
Good review, Drew. I've always thought their first record showed sparks of huge potential, but ultimately failed to deliver with consistency. Stoked to hear the improvements on this record.
01:41 PM on 07/18/08
#7
zubinmoosa
Tonight I'm Burning Star IV
Offline
User Info.
zubinmoosa's Avatar
So Excited!
02:04 PM on 07/18/08
#8
eucademix
is ridiculously busy
Offline
User Info.
eucademix's Avatar
can't wait!
02:20 PM on 07/18/08
#9
Sic Transit Zeb
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
Sic Transit Zeb's Avatar
so pumped. I liked their first album, and I really like the first 3 tracks I've got of this one. I can't wait.
02:30 PM on 07/18/08
zubinmoosa
Tonight I'm Burning Star IV
Offline
User Info.
zubinmoosa's Avatar
so pumped. I liked their first album, and I really like the first 3 tracks I've got of this one. I can't wait.
i decided not to do the 3 track thing. I like to listen to albums as a whole, and i think it would ruin it for me to get a portion early. But from how good people are telling me the songs are, i am beginning to regret it...
02:55 PM on 07/18/08
Sic Transit Zeb
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
Sic Transit Zeb's Avatar
i decided not to do the 3 track thing. I like to listen to albums as a whole, and i think it would ruin it for me to get a portion early. But from how good people are telling me the songs are, i am beginning to regret it...

i understand what you're sayign and I'm the same way, except I can't wait ha
03:46 PM on 07/18/08
Alex DiVincenzo
www.alexislegend.com
Offline
User Info.
Alex DiVincenzo's Avatar
Glad to hear that it's living up to the hype. Can't wait to finally hear it.
04:46 PM on 07/18/08
NoSurprises
Regular Member
Offline
User Info.
NoSurprises's Avatar
I cannot wait for the album.
05:07 PM on 07/18/08
dat scene kid
omg wtf lolz
Offline
User Info.
dat scene kid's Avatar
Nice. Been awhile since TCBAP so I'm stoked to hear some new stuff, especially after this review. Well-written and definitely got me even more excited.
05:50 PM on 07/18/08
DI Pistola
tune in Tokyo
Offline
User Info.
DI Pistola's Avatar
Good review, Drew. I've always thought their first record showed sparks of huge potential, but ultimately failed to deliver with consistency. Stoked to hear the improvements on this record.

Exactly how I felt about it too. Why August??
Why not tomorrow?

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
PropertyOfZack
UnderTheGun
Purevolume
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate