CD REVIEW: The Animation - Dance Into The Unknown
By Cyrus Rhodes - 02/07/2014 - 05:21 PM EST
Artist: The Animation
Album: Dance into the Unknown
Label: Spectra Records
Genre: Alternative Pop/Rock
Sounds Like: Muse, Coldplay, Modest Mouse, XTC, They Might Be Giants
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 7/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 7/10
Best Songs: Lights Over the Sea, Intoxication, Shame, Overboard
Weakness: A few winded Songs, More musical peak and valley
The Animation (Gothenburg, Sweeden) was from the start only three. Johan Hasselblom (Vocals, Guitar), Robert Carlsson (Bass guitar, backing vocals) and Johannes Bramwall (Drums, percussion, backing vocals). But the band felt that they needed a fourth musician to make the sound right, especially live. So they asked Johannes cousin André Bramwall (Keyboards, backing vocals) to join the band, and so he did. The album "Dance Into The Unknown" is released in 2011 and they were recently signed to Spectra Records.
The CD kicks things off with the title track a catchy intro piece that sets the stage rather appropriately for this catalogue of music. This first piece wastes no time getting things off the ground with its driving rock rhythm, hooky musical flow against a grand slam chorus and supersonic musical backdrop. Track 2, my top pick entitled “Lights Over the Sea” serves up a mesmerizing melody against heartfelt vocals and impressive vocal harmonies from Hasselblom and company. I would describe this impressive follow piece as captivating, mesmerizing and infectious. Track 3 “Won’t Back Down” keeps things gears moving in the right direction with its slamming rock-driven groove and heartfelt vocal flow that flows and ebbs its way though to emotional fruition. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical textures reminiscent of Muse, Coldplay, Modest Mouse, and even classic XTC,. The music is extremely melodic but definitely brings to the table a lot of musical variety and much in the way of hooky melodies and catchy format. You will notice rich musical textures overflowing everywhere - from rocking rhythm guitar, driving rhythms, sonic piano, synthesizer and keyboard accents, well placed vocal harmonies all built upon a rock solid rhythm section. The vocal abilities from Hasselblom work extremely well within the confines of this catalog. Make no bones about it he’s an impressive front man (vocals and visuals) and delivers much in the way of emotion, reckless abandon and a dash of mystery. All band members play their parts extremely well song for song and note for note. Let me go on record to say there's not a dull moment on the entire production. The music is passionate and just exciting and suspenseful to listen to. From striking this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 12“Everest” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
It’s hard to find any noticeable weaknesses with this CD no doubt. All songs over 4.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I wish there was a bit more peak and valley effect on some of the songs with more in the way of in the pocket Chill, Ambient, and Sonic touches. Maybe even a few more solo segments wouldn’t hurt. This would give it more of a pop appeal without losing the hard rock edge.
From start to finish Dance into the Unknown from The Unknown is a rock solid musical production from start to finish. It’s an extremely consistent, catchy, and highly melodic 12 songs catalog. Its strength - it’s just a good and consistent listen with songs that are extremely catchy, marketable and passionate. The music will grab the listener refusing to let go. All in all these lads from Sweden combine amazing songwriting with top flight musicianship and entertaining songs that will have you dancing into the unknown.
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