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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

MUSIC REVIEW - Story of the Year - The Constant

As fine of a band as Story of the Year is they’ve hit plenty of highs and lows. With The Constant I’m starting to wonder if they have some Star Trek-esque odd/even curse. Their first and third albums were borderline masterpieces, while the sophomore effort was as uninspired as music gets. The Constant doesn’t sink to the low that In the Wake of Determination did, but it’ll have you running back to The Black Swan pretty quickly.

The album starts out well enough with “The Children Sing,” and “The Ghost of You and I,” which is one of the albums’ strongest songs. But would-be epics like “The Burial” come off as monotonous and the slower ballads like “Remember the Time” and “I’m Alive” are instantly forgettable.

And what is it with these bands trying to cash in on Anberlin’s “Feel Good Drag?” Like Atreyu’s “Bleeding is a Luxery,” off of Congregation of the Damned, the opening to “The Dream is Over” sounds suspiciously like Anberlin’s Joseph Milligan rolling in to the “Drag”. It’s also one of the best tracks on The Constant though, so I guess both SotY and Atreyu owe Anberlin a big thank you.

I’ll give a hand to “Holding on to You” as well. It sounds like a throwback to Page Avenue’s gorgeous ballads and it's a catchier piano effort than Black Swan’s "Terrified." Though it's a shame the album didn’t end with “Ten Years Down” or “Time Goes On.” While neither are particularly memorable songs, they would have been more appreciated closers than the messy “Eye for an Eye.” Then again the group has always struggled to end their records well.

Being one of my favorite bands I can hold a nice little place in my heart for some of these tracks. But I also know they can offer so much more. Even at it’s best The Constant isn’t particularly brilliant. It’s just another rock album. Maybe that’s what the record’s title is referring to though…

** out of ****

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