Disturbed has tossed the trash from their old sound to the curb and retained the positive energy and creativity that helped them become the biggest underground metal band to ever go double platinum.
The remnants that make up Believe show a world of evolution packed into a ballsy 12-track effort of straightforward and dynamic grim hard rock.
The most notable change is frontman David Draiman’s delivery method. Throughout the disc he takes listeners to the extreme.
While the deep gritty grunts and screams that he is recognized for make appearances through the medium-toned disc, it’s his choice to sing that gives this disc the needed muscle to hang in today’s world of stale new metal.
Draiman is the heart of Believe.
He still urges people to think on their own and avoid the fears of asking questions, but he’s also buried some deep and personal thoughts on life and society in the lyrics.
When it comes to singing them, he sings in what sounds almost like a whisper in the light melodies that accompany each track’s heavy chorus.
The album is spiritually driven towards promoting tolerance through cryptic methods.
Tracks like “Rise,” “Liberate,” and “Believe” each demonstrate these themes while showing Draiman’s determination to utilize every element of his vocal range.
“Darkness,” the disc’s last track shows Disturbed’s maturity the best.
The song employs the usage of classical vocals, acoustic guitar, and piano and strings, something few metal bands have the balls to even think of trying.
Disturbed still has the same confrontational power that made their debut so contagious, but these new twists of melody, vocal styles and insightful lyrics have given this disc the needed provocativeness to make a difference.
– Chris Powell
Hailing from the UK (known to many as an electronic-music-making mecca) the world-renowned producers, Barry Jamieson and John Sutton, are destined to flex their influence over the dance floor with the recent release of Unnatural Selection.
The album will be the duo’s debut as Evolution, and they couldn’t have chosen a more suitable name.
Sutton and Jamieson have been producing music for house-heads ever since the genre’s explosion onto the scene in the late 80s.
Through the years their music has only improved with the changing dance culture of London and the world. Naturally, they have led an evolution of sound to produce a house-y hybrid with progressive trance.
Each track progresses at a unique pace.
The appropriately titled “Better House Music,” the album’s third track, starts off slow and sounds like background noise for an old Atari game, but a quick transition turns it into a dance-floor hit.
Songstress Jayn Hanna sings like a seductive angel on the album’s next track, “Walking on Fire.”
The single is already a must-have for many headlining DJs (Sasha and John Digweed for example) even before the album’s release.
– Caitlin Ryan
After fronting the alt-country band Old 97’s for almost a decade, Rhett Miller has temporally put his bandmates aside.
The Instigator, a solo album years in the making, came to fruition in response to an unscheduled move to Los Angeles.
Miller lived just three blocks from the World Trade Towers in New York City, and after the attacks decided to move to L.A., spending his first three weeks there in a West Hollywood hotel.
The move and the hotel prompted him to record the tracks that until this point had only been ideas, as well as inspire him to write the stand out ballad “Your Nervous Heart” and the album’s first single, the soul-searching “Come Around.”
For The Instigator, Miller has put together a collection of poppy love songs, seemingly less challenging then his work with Old 97’s.
But his songwriting ability should not be questioned; It’s simple, yet smart, and comes together well in the end.
– Heather Duffy
Power In Numbers
If you are a big Jurassic 5 fan then listen to Quality Control, the band’s first LP, and jot down everything you didn’t like or thought could have been performed better.
After that, play Power In Numbers, the group’s second and newest LP, and you can learn, yes, learn, how a music group makes a legitimate follow-up album.
Like a kindergarten kid not wanting to screw up on the alphabet re-test, J5 reviewed their errors and went into their latest album knowing what needed to be fixed and did it.
The result: nearly 60 minutes of uncut, in-your-ear music that will slap you in the face lyrically and damn near put you in body shocks beat-wise.
DJ’s Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark, along with MC’s Chali 2na, Zaakir, Akil and Marc 7, make up the group that continues to push the progression of hip hop with an actual societal awareness.
J5 also bought along JuJu, from the Beatnuts, to produce the track entitled “If You Only Knew,” which pretty much sums up what the album is about.
The song speaks about fake images and the choices people make. And as rhymed, they certainly took rap “back to its primitive state” with its old-school beats.
“We’re humble, but don’t mistake us for some corny ass crew/What we do, is try to give you what’cha ain’t used to/ Soul music something we can all relate to.”
If everyone can relate to J5’s music and message, then that’s real power in numbers.
– Chris Silva