Rethinking "Wait For the Siren"

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As a reviewer I admit that I’ve likely given too many “4’s.” A month or two after writing up a review, I’ll look at the score with a little perspective and think “that was really more a 3” (and even an occasional 3 that should have been a 2). Though this is certainly not common, it does happen. However, I have come to pride myself that I save the big one (a perfect 5) for only the best of the best albums around.

To date, I have given two perfect scores. The first was given to Heath McNease’s The Weight of Glory: Songs Inspired by the Writings of C. S. Lewis. While I felt the album dropped off a bit near the end, the concept and execution carried this to be one of my favorite albums of the last 5 years, not just the last year.

The second was Spoken’s epic masterpiece Illusion. This score was beyond well deserved for such an amazing (comeback?) album. Those who pick up a copy of my new book will notice lead singer Matt Baird’s personal endorsement on the back cover. Just for authenticity’s sake, let me clarify that that came well after my review was up, so there was no funny business behind the scenes that led to a higher score.

However, over the last few months something keeps coming back to haunt me. The ghost that haunts me? Project 86’s Wait for the Siren. Although I reviewed the album nearly a year ago, giving it extremely high praise in my write up, the numerical score was a 4/5. My reasoning at the time was that since we are asked to weigh albums against not only the containing genre, but also the band’s own discography, that P86 simply had too many amazing albums to recognize this (then) new album as superior.

But that was almost a year ago. In the months since, I’ve played that album more than any other album, period.That should say something considering the many great albums I’ve been given to review (including 2 albums by For Today,  and ones by the likes of Phinehas, August Burns Red, and others). I’ve immersed myself in Wait for the Siren time and time again, long after I left behind my other “favorite” albums from last year.

Then, yesterday it hit me. I was listening to Wait for the Siren while doing some landscaping with my wife when a single thought literally stopped me in my tracks: “If this is not the definition of a 5, then what is?”

So today I’m doing something I’ve never done before (and I’m not even sure I’m allowed to do it, to be honest), I’m officially adjusting my score for Wait for the Siren to a perfect 5. Nothing I wrote in the review has changed, I’ve just stewed in a little perspective. Wait for the Siren is a musical masterpiece. There is no other way to look at it. The instrumentation is more diverse than any other album out there today in the encompassing genre, and though I hold a few other P86 albums up higher in my own preferences, that should never even slightly come against this album’s merits. Almost everything P86 touches is masterpiece level. Wait for the Siren was already my pick for best album of 2012… I’m simply giving the album the last little piece of credit it should have gotten several months ago.

Take this for what it is worth, but as of now… I’ve given three official 5’s. Welcome to the club Wait for the Siren. You were always there, I just needed some time to truly see that.