After seeing Eve 6 in concert last month, my interest in them was renewed, but I had heard “Think Twice” on the radio and really didn’t like it. I feared that the new album would suck, turning them into Creed. Fortunately, I was wrong for the most part. This isn’t as great as their previous albums, but it’s still a good release. I was happy to hear that they were making any new music at all.
The tracks are pretty varied, so it’s best that I just review them individually:
Track 1: Without You Here
It’s a solid opening track, although probably not strong enough on its own to be a single. The band opened both previous albums with similarly solid-driving tracks, so this is a welcome beginning for fans. It’s simple and catchy.
Track 2: Think Twice
This is the first single to be released from this album. When I heard it on the radio, I was extremely disappointed and feared that Eve 6 had turned “hardcore” and had lost their previous style. It’s not a terrible song, but it really shouldn’t have been the single that’s supposed to promote this album. It’s dark (both in style and lyrics) and not very musically varied. It’s very “mainstream” – it’s the sort of song that blends in seamlessly to modern radio playlists, but doesn’t really inspire you to remember it or want to hear it again. I’d expect this from Creed, but I expected more from Eve 6.
Track 3: At Least We’re Dreaming
Seemingly a step back to previous albums’ styles, this follows the standard Eve 6 formula. The observant listener will pick up many devices the band has used in the past, especially on Horrorscope. And this track is really good. Moderate tempo, heavy downbeats, strong vocal harmony, and a huge amount of variety in style and sound throughout the song. “At Least We’re Dreaming” stands firmly on its own as the best and most polished track on this album, and it really should have been the first radio single. I hope it’s released as the second.
Track 4: Still Here Waiting
A faster song, “Still Here Waiting” relies more on repetition and volume. It’s a decent Track 4. If the whole album was full of songs that sounded like this, I would hate it, but it’s a decent balance to have a couple of them. It’s also incredibly short, at only 2:15.
Track 5: Good Lives
This track begins with a slow and dark introduction and verse, and all verses duplicate this style. The chorus switches to major chords and establishes a stylistic harmony. Eve 6 can use “dark” styles perfectly well when they balance it out in this manner, and they probably should have considered this when writing “Think Twice.” The pace and style of the chorus and some other assorted sections of this song seem very similar to “At Least We’re Dreaming,” so of course I like it, but it’s not strong enough to stand on its own.
Track 6: Hey Montana
This track is strange. It sounds like they recorded it on the set of the TV show, Hey Dude, with a sparse background track containing too much tambourine noise and not enough music. I keep expecting the song to pick up and round itself out, and it never does. And this is very drawn out: the song is 5 minutes long, and the slow and boring pace makes it seem like a lifetime of not being able to reach the remote and hit “Next Track.” The album could have done without this one.
Track 7: Bring The Night On
Another darker track, this seems to occur at a good point to balance out the surrounding tracks. The lyrics fly by quickly, so you’ll probably have to listen to it a few times to catch everything. There isn’t anything spectacular or terrible about this one. It sounds strong, but it’s not going to jump out at a lot of people and say, “I’m the best track on the album, and as a result, you want to put the CD in and skip directly to track 7.”
Track 8: Friend Of Mine
Max wrote this song for a friend contemplating suicide. He put a lot of effort into it, and it shows. Not only are the heartwarming lyrics excellent, but they’re matched with an upbeat, happy melody that allows the words to flow flawlessly. If the song had been written for me, I’d feel great no matter how horrible my life was. This would also make an excellent single, although I would hate for the radio to overplay and kill it. It would be wise to release this to the radio a month or two after “At Least We’re Dreaming,” as this would be a good “finale” single for the album.
Track 9: Girlfriend
I guess they needed a good follow-up to “Here’s To The Night,” and this track seems to be the token slow-relationship-song of the album. I think all albums released since 1991 are required to contain one. It’s decent, but a little boring, as it lacks the musical variety present in many of the band’s other songs. It’s probably going to be a single, and this may attract a new group of fans just as “Here’s To The Night” did, but they’ll probably be disappointed when they hear the rest of the album (or the band’s previous albums) as this track resembles the others very little.
Track 10: Not Gonna Be Alone Tonight
This song sounds remarkably like a slightly lighter “Think Twice,” especially the vocal melody in the pre-chorus lead-up. Fortunately, this has been fleshed out and has a more well-rounded style than “Think Twice.” It’s still the new dark style, and it’s really nothing special when compared to the rest of the album. It’s unfortunately a typical Track 10.
Track 11: Hokis
Following a vocal style similar to Horrorscope’s awesome hit, “On The Roof Again,” but with more serious subject matter and a darker sound, this track still managed to sound uninspired. It lacks the spirit and catchiness that most Eve 6 songs have. But then again, it follows the style of a few more songs on this album, so it’s not completely out of place. It gets bonus points for mentioning ScanTron. I was equally happy to hear macroeconomics mentioned in the self-titled album’s song, “Tongue Tied.” With the ScanTron exception, this song really isn’t anything different.
Track 12: Arch Drive Goodbye
The last song on the album is a medium-tempo, medium-happiness, medium-quality song. It just fizzles out at the end, unlike the previous albums that each had strong endings to their last songs. Its subject matter seems fitting to end an album, and it sounds like it could be a “middle track” of Horrorscope. When considering the other tracks, this is probably one of the better songs that they could have chosen as the final track, since this album has a darker mood than the previous releases. It’s not spectacular, but it’s decent.
I intentionally used two words frequently in this review: solid and dark. These describe the album perfectly. It has Eve 6’s typical solid beats and driving tempos, while also providing some catchy melodies and well-rounded stylistic masterpieces. Unfortunately, their previous albums spoiled me because almost every track on them had a catchy melody and was a well-rounded stylistic masterpiece. This album leans far more toward the dark side (insert Star Wars joke) than their previous releases, but unfortunately this isn’t their best style.