Album Review :
The Classic Crime - Albatross

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Band: The Classic Crime
Title: Albatross
Label: Tooth & Nail
Release Date: May 23rd, 2006
Review By: Josh IndieVision

Tracklisting:

01. The Fight
02. Flight Of Kings
03. Who Needs Air
04. Blisters & Coffee
05. The Coldest Heart
06. All The Memories
07. Say The Word
08. I Know The Feeling
09. Warrior Poet
10. Bitter Uprising
11. We All Look Elsewhere
12. Headlights

Members/Duties:

Matt MacDonald: Vocals
Justin DuQue: Guitar
Robbie Negrin: Gguitar
Skip Erickson: Drums
Alan Clark: Bass

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Tooth & Nail promote a band this much. Everywhere I turned this album was being heralded as the next big thing even before we heard any music. With all the hype I wasn’t sure if The Classic Crime would live up or flop. Based on first week reports this is not the case, with TCC taking the top spot for debut sales in it’s week of release.

The opener “The Fight” was what T&N teased with a few months back. This track is a straightforward, quick stepping rock anthem, complete with oh so catchy hooks. “I’ll take my heart back and set the people free” is yelled throughout and is quickly engrained in your head. “The Flight Of Kings” definitely draws great comparison to Emery, which is really no surprise since they originated from the great northwest as well. “Who Needs Air” slows things down with a powerful rock ballad.

“The Coldest Heart”, the second single and video, brings out the poppier side of things. Destined to incorporate many new fans of Fall Out Boy and many of the other “hitmakers” right now. Definitely the catchiest song on the album. “All The Memories” brings a sweeter vocal approach from Matt, vocally and lyrically. Fans of Taking Back Sunday will fall in love with this song.

The tendency with some of the tracks on this album is to not stand out from the preceding tracks. The second half of the album is still catchy for sure, but doesn’t stray too far from the first half. Albums like this will certainly replay value. I think a rearrangement of tracks might have helped this, however, the band will no doubt find their niche and highlight their strong points and move on.

“Say The Word” and “Warrior Poet” stand out to me on the second half. Both are powerful rock offerings, mellow at first building eventfully up to singalong choruses.

Standout Tracks:

“The Fight”, “The Coldest Heart”, “Warrior Poet”

Overall Rating: The Classic Crime doesn’t push into any new territory with “Albatross” but what they do offer is an impressively infectious debut. No doubt plenty of people will eat this up. The mature sound offered here impresses me, especially for a debut. There are bands who’ve been in the game for years and still haven’t put out something as strong as The Classic Crime has.

Individual Ratings:

Album Art/Design: Sadly, I disliked this cover. An art guy at the school I work at came by my desk and browsed through the covers of about 10 cds I was checking for review and only commented on this one. His statement? “This is an absolutely horrible cover.” While I wouldn’t go that far, it didn’t really do anything for me.

Lyrics: I enjoyed the lyrics on this album. Entertaining at times, other times making me think about what is trying to be conveyed. Not overly poetic, which is a good thing in my book. Very singable! [All lyrics included]

Marketability: There are plenty of swimmers in this portion of the music sea. What they need to do now is make moves to push beyond their contemporaries. Key name tours would do well for them as it did with Anberlin early on. Going off the way T&N has already pushed this album and it’s early response no doubt they will make a name for themselves.

Production: Absolutely tremendous production on this effort. It stands out even more when you remember that indeed this is a debut full length. Each instrument stands apart and was clearly handled with a well trained ear.

Vocals: Matt’s vocals are above average. His approach is fairly the same in most tracks, although in a few he is a bit more playful with the stylings.

Similar To: Emery, Taking Back Sunday, Fall Out Boy

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