“Incomparable” stretches the term “pop metal” to both its limits – the pop is more mainstream, and the metal is heavier than before. But in matters of “quantity”, the first wins, as there are a lot more smooth melodies than heavy riffs.
Am I saying this in a negative way? Absolutely not! Although the first time I’ve listened to the first single, “Within My Heart”, I thought it sounded too much like BACKSTREET BOYS (a comparison I’ve already made 2 years ago and, apparently, everyone’s making now) – and that, to me, isn’t very positive. But after listening a few times more, I’ve realised just how great that song was, with those precious keys/synths on back- and foreground, the catchy chorus, and the perfect timing of Jimmie Strimell’s anger when cutting Zandro Santiago’s softness on vocals.
I remember I had the same reaction the first time I’ve heard “Losing You”, somewhere in the winter of 2008. And then it became one of my favourite songs. I guess love-at-first-sight will never work between me and DEAD BY APRIL, but in the end, it turns into a solid relationship.
This last choice of words wasn’t casual, as love, emotions and relationships are still the main themes focused on the lyrics. “Dreaming”, “Two Faced” and “Lost”, however, deal with inner struggles about identity and life.
Speaking of “Lost”, this is an old song, one of the very first (2007), which somehow didn’t make it to the debut album. Well, here it is now, like it was originally written and recorded on a demo, just with a better vocal performance and sound quality. It’s probably the heaviest song on the album, followed up by the previously mentioned “Two Faced” (also featured on the “Within My Heart” single) and the final version of “More Than Yesterday” (whose demo had been included on the compilation “Stronger”).
On the other end of the weight scale, “Calling”, for which a video is about to be released, is the most melodic tune, the proverbial ballad, while “Crossroads” fits in that category even tighter, with acoustic guitars and clean voices all the way (it’s actually the only song where no growls are used).
Regarding my personal taste, there’s something about “Dreaming” that makes it one of my favourite of this album, and some of the synths in “Last Goodbye” are the kind of little detail that makes all the difference.
I understand how the media’s opinion may be divided, as the nature of the band’s sound is divided itself. But the fans, I’m sure they will be very pleased with DEAD BY APRIL’s new release. I am.
Label: Universal Music
Producer: Pontus Hjelm
- Real & True
- Within My Heart
- More Than Yesterday
- Two Faced
- Too Late
- You Should Know
- When You Wake Up
- Last Goodbye
- Painting Shadows (iTunes bonus track)