Album Review :
Spoken - Spoken

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Artist: Spoken
Album: Spoken
Label: Tooth & Nail Records
Release Date: September 25, 2007
Review by: Eric Pettersson

1. History Erased
2. Close Your Eyes
3. Not Soon Forgotten
4. Trading in This Troubled Heart
5. You’re the One
6. Brought to Life
7. Love Live the Dream
8. Start the Revolution
9. The Meaning of…
10. When Hope Is All You Have
11. The Answer

Screamo is, for the most part, dead. The fad has moved on, and trendy kids have gone their separate ways to pollute other genres. Many bands have realized this and traveled into other directions (Underoath, Dead Poetic, Blindside, As Cities Burn, Emery), and some work better than others. And then there’s a band like Spoken. Having been around eleven years, they’ve seen many changes from rapcore to melodic hardcore to screamo to, well… screamo? The new self-titled disc doesn’t sound like their last two releases for Tooth & Nail, but it does in that it’s a progression, stretching Spoken into new territory.

The first thing you have to notice when listening to Spoken is just how heavy the opener, “History Erased” really is. The verses are fast with rougher screams than usually heard from vocalist Matt Baird, and the bridge will surely see some crazy mosh pits. This release contains the hardest music I’ve heard from Spoken. From the rawness of “Not Soon Forgotten” to the aggressive speed and deep growl backing vocals of “Brought to Life,” the band apparently liked “Bitter Taste” on Last Chance to Breathe and wanted to refocus on that heaviness. And then, mixed into the flow, are songs like “You’re the One,” which opens with piano and drum loops as Matt softly sings “Baby, does it bother you that I watch you when you sleep?” Also following the strong points of their last release, Matt’s love lyrics are back in full swing. “Close Your Eyes” is a vulnerable track about being on the road and missing his wife. “The Meaning of…” sings about the security and value of their love and knowing it’s going to last. There’s even a verse about their new son. Spoken’s catchier side, while it is not as present as some previous material, can be seen again in songs like “When Hope Is All You Have” and “Trading in This Troubled Heart,” both songs that deal with God taking away people’s pain and giving them inner-peace.

If a hardcore fan is going to become a fan of Spoken, now seems the time to do it. This record seems so much heavier than the last on the overall, and while the punk fan inside of me says that’s always a good thing, I also kind of miss the really catchy tracks like “Wind in My Sails” or “September.” So whether this progression is for the best or not, that is for the listener to determine. If you preferred the softer songs on Last Chance to Breathe like “Love in Return” that seemed to show a band that was moving away from hardcore, this might not be your favorite turn for Spoken. But if you listened to the last record and wished more songs sounded like “Bitter Taste,” then you will absolutely love Spoken.


Official Site

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