I don't know what Bleach's obsession with the sky above is, but they do tend to think about the heavens a bit. Their first cd was titled "Space" and now, for thier fifth cd, they bring us "Astronomy". Thier first three cds were for the contemporary pop/rock label, Forefront Records. As a result they sounded like washed up alternative. Then a few years ago they signed with the alternative rock label, Tooth and Nail. Now they are able to release albums with a harder edge. Thier first cd with Tooth and Nail was the aptly titled "Again, For the First Time". It romps along with songs that sound like geek rock meets punk. Bleach has not yet learned how to be subltly nerdy. They rocked out with heart, resulting in a catchy and listenable album. Now they bring us "Astronomy". It follows the same general path as "Again..." with the rock n roll. However, it also features a couple more ballad type songs.
The album opens with the piano-driven "Patience", one of the ballads. It's ok, I guess, however I don't listen to Bleach to be serenaded to sleep by a slow song. Bring on the rock, boys! They answer my cry by following with "Get Up" and "December", two of the better tracks of the record.
They ruin the flow by throwing "Jaded Now", a long, slow, acoustic ditty in there at track 5. Nothing like gaining momentum only to screech to a halt, eh? The track which follows it is more of a classic Bleach sound which throws back to Weezer and such. But still not the all out rock that made "Again, For the First Time" such a success.
And thus the cd continues. It'll build up with several strong tracks, only to bore the listener to tears with a slow ballad. The good news is that the rockin' songs are better than the songs on "Again, For the First Time", and if they were compiled into an EP, instead of creating a full length with all this filler, I'd have nothing but praise for the cd.