After slowly caressing your ears with the ethereal flow of Anberlin’s debut album, their latest, Cities, slams into action and your eardrums with the fiercely melodic “Godspeed.” All at once it is a song that commands your attention and lets you know that this is not a band that’s afraid of using the dynamics of sound and melody to get their point across. Plus, it’s not shy about being one hell of a catch song, to boot.
Come to think of it, that’s something that can be said for every song on this album. Well written, built on superb musicianship and vocals, Anberlin have managed to craft something special with Cities. Whether talking about the rush of “Godspeed,” the acoustic grace of “The Unwinding Cable Car,” the new-wave-esque vibe of “There Is No Mathematics to Love and Loss,” the gorgeous give and take of Deon Rexroat’s bass and Nathan Young’s drum on “Alexithymia,” the lovely sparseness of “Inevitable,” or the superb song that closes the album, “(Fin),” and the echoes of emotion that it sends thundering out into the emptiness of your ears after it finishes, it all works and works beautifully.
For months, I would be wandering through my local record store and see this album. I was fascinated with the album’s artwork primarily,but it simply never managed to make its way into my shopping cart. Of course, now that I’ve had the opportunity to finally give it a listen, I could kick myself for not picking it up sooner. While not the most amazing album I’ve ever listened to in my life, Anberlin’s Cities is certainly one of the better album’s I’ve heard in the past ten years.
If you’ve been on the fence as to whether you should drop this into your own shopping basket, go ahead and do so, especially if you’re in the market for a smart pop/rock album with solid musicianship. In fact, let this be a lesson to give that album that catches your eye a chance in your collection.
All in all, I’d give Cities a solid 8 out of 10.