Album Review :
Goodnight Caulfield - The Masquerade

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Artist: Goodnight Caulfield
Album: The Masquerade
Label: None (released independently)
Release Date: January 3, 2009
Review by: Eric Pettersson

1. All You’ve Got
2. C.S. Why
3. The Prowl
4. Blue Room
5. The Departure
6. Goin’ Nowhere Fast
7. You Don’t Love Me Anyone
8. Hearts
9. Far from Fiction
10. Angels in Disguise
11. Without a Sound
12. Sleepwalk

It’s been a number of years now since the fall of emo. The music itself still exists under its new name, indie-rock, but the old word has become something to be avoided. We still crank up the volume for The Almost and Paramore, but we are very reluctant to say emo, because it’s developed a bit of a bad stigma. Emo is lame.

But then the roaring guitars of “All You’ve Got” come pouring in with strong but smooth clean vocals reminiscent of The Early November, and I remember why I used to love emo. Because that’s what this music is, emo, and it’s good. Real good. Sure, close to half the songs deal with the bitter pain of a breakup, and their lyrics can come across as desperate and whiney, but I’m sure they’re not so bad for people who can relate to phrases like “You don’t love me anymore,” and “Do you even care at all?” Other songs like “Blue Room” end up sounding more like Mae (circa Destination: Beautiful) by adding a piano lace and softer vocals. Dual guitars on the intro to “The Departure” could almost be metal, but Goodnight Caulfield avoid ever taking their music into screamo territory. The acoustic “Hearts” is a perfect fit in the middle of the album to keep things from getting too repetitive, and it is also one of the best songs on here.

Strong from start to finish, The Masquerade packs a hard-hitting emo-rock punch that this reviewer hasn’t felt since he first bought Anberlin’s debut. Everything is tight. The music is thought-out, and the guitars are never boring. Vocally, singer Adam Caudra delivers in a way that is fitting and memorable, even if the lyrics annoy me once in a while. Unfortunately, despite the creativity and excellent musicianship, a lot of the songs end up blurring together by the end with no obvious stand-outs. It’s all good stuff, but nothing really sets the songs apart aside from the acoustic “Hearts.” Even so, this is a bright debut for a band with great potential for the future.