Spotify Listen Link: Celldweller – Wish Upon a Blackstar
Electronic rock, eh? Five chapters, eh? I've completely missed this band somehow, eh?
This work was released in pieces over a few years, all digitally, with the final chapter (5) released as the full collection was put out there. The full artwork is pretty incredible all together, thanks to Sam Hayles.
The theme to keep in mind here? "Be careful what you wish for." Uh oh.
But interesting fact - about 40-50 songs were demoed for the album, and the ones that went unused were known as 'outtakes' and will make up a Cessions collection.
"The Arrival" is, of course, the intro song. We get that from the title, not to mention it's track one. Heh. Aw, I'm having a bad joke moment. Anywhos, it's a major electronic build up into the album.
We let loose out to "Unshakeable." Thing are moving at a high-rate galactic pace that I, for some reason, could totally get into. I could probably never run this fast, but the pace would make for a great running song. Oh whoa, there are words. For some reason, I was not expecting that at all, but they provide this insane mix of almost metal-ish sound with some sort of wise tone. This is going to be an experience, y'all.
"Blackstar" is something powerful, let me tell you. How they managed to get pop into this as well, I may never know. This is impressive. I want to dance and feel it all at once, and let's face it - that's just not something you really get out of modern music much anymore.
Ah, so there's the more metal sound I suppose I was expecting for some unknown reason. "Eon" does take the sound to a slightly darker place, even if it is primarily just in the way the guitar plays us down deeper and deeper. Okay, the whispering heaviness in the middle of the song, and that scream, may have something to do with the feel as well. Maybe just a little?
"Louder Than Words" is kind of fantastic and horrible when you listen in to the words. You're telling someone you're really listening beyond their words - it's obviously the old adage, but this band has made it into this interesting and downright thrilling rough and awesome screw-with-your-head electronic mix.
We get a small minute breather with the slow and methodical "Memories of a Girl I Haven't Met." Breathe, because I'm sure we're diving back in quite soon.
"I Can't Wait" comes back at us hard. It's a little angry, and the words are moving quickly, but you're still there in the moment and hungry to hear it. Maybe that's just me, but man I am just adoring this sound completely.
Moving on, we get a pretty deep and sultry track in "Gift for You." Not sure you'd want this gift necessarily, but this song definitely belongs on a badass dark scene in "True Blood" (dear music supervisor - I want credit for that idea). It's got that dark electric sound you would expect on a black night moving in slow motion.
"The Lucky One" sounds like that last song in "Twilight" when you realize Victoria is watching them and planning something. Holy Vampire references Batman… I really might have an issue. Anywhos, this song's definitely back to the club-dance mode. It ebbs and flows between being fun and being insane, and the lyrics are entrancing and crazy. There's something sort of awesome and twisted about the whole thing.
Celestial. "The Seven Sisters" is actually one of the short songs of the album, sitting under 4 minutes, whereas everything else is typically above 5 or 6. The bass is dropped low for this, probably pounding through speakers if I had real ones off the computer. The song's slower than normal, but you don't loose that electric feel, especially as the auto tune gets utilized. Ugh, auto tune. Who the hell feels like hitting that button is ever a good idea?
"Birthright" just has a generally good rock beat. There are strings behind it, lending to a very epic sound overall. It doesn't end there, as the words are sung with a really impressive amount of conviction. I love being able to hear that an artist gives a damn in the way they approach the use of their words. There's something really excellent about the will of this song. I'm sure I'm missing something simple here, but it feels way beyond that.
Again, a shorter track. And a devious-sounding one at that. "It Makes No Difference Who We Are" takes vocals on a harmony ride, with no one really coming across more than anyone else. It's really a group effort and piece. The instrumental sections of the song are hard hit and effortful.
"The Best It's Gonna Get" further proves that this album is going to have a very hard time fitting into a single genre. It's definitely still got that electronic edge to it, but the vocals have a metal sound to them. It's just kind of brilliantly all over the place without being messy. I'm confused and in love.
Don't be fooled - "So Long Sentiment" is not the last song. Heh. Okay, really, bad joke day. This is blurry in that odd blown-out music way. This one, well, I don't know. I like it, but it doesn't hit as deeply as some of the other songs, which makes it hard to say it stands up the same way.
"Talented" takes on a… would it be cliche to say Daft Punk-esq sound? The vocals are more prominent, but the music and approach just strikes me as very similar to their. Though , this band skews things just enough to be their own. There's the deeper meaning of redemption and finality to this though. Okay, and one thing musically that's under my skin - before the 2 minute mark, there's a weird stop-and-start feel to the beat, and it just aggravating.
I can't say that this ends on a great note. The music to "Against the Tide" is tough and a struggle emotionally It's a tad painful somehow, though I guess if you want music to reach people, this is probably how to get it done. It's certainly a thinking song for the end of a great emotional album.
Added to My Playlist:
- "Louder Than Words"
- "The Lucky One"
This was exhausting. I say that in the best way I can. The words, though somewhat hidden by the loud musical approach, are tough and deep and full of meaning for the listener, but clearly also for the singer. These aren't just songs picked for their sound; they're picked for their emotions. It's an impressive collection, carefully crafted and released.