If you check out the JfH Staff picks you'll see that john and I both picked The Juliana Theory's second album, Emotion is Dead, as one of the best albums of 2000. If you listen to it, you'll know why we picked it. Now, you get to see why I thought so. Even though the band has said that they are not a "Christian band," they still carry some strong Christian themes in the album.
The CD opens up with, "Into the Dark," an upbeat song with some excellent vocals by Brett. The second song, "Don't Push Love Away" is a really good song that has a great guitar riff midway through that just breaks it open. This flows into the third song, "To the Tune of 5,000 Screaming Children," which starts out not as one of the best songs on the album, but still good. However this has one of the best guitar solos on any album I've ever heard in a long time. I'd pay fifteen dollars just for that guitar solo. This is one of those songs that'd be great live. The fourth song, "We're At The Top of The World," is a more mellow song with some cool drum beats and good vocals and some soothing strings near the end.
The fifth song, "Is Patience Still Waiting," is perhaps one of the best songs on the album, with some more good guitars and good vocals. Brett can really throw his voice in this song, as evident nearing the end and then the guitars kick back in and the awesome drum beat. The sixth song is an instrumental, the title track which leads into the seventh song, "If I Told You This Was Killing Me, Would You Stop?" which is a loud, in your face, guilt-tripping song telling the listener to "shut your mouth, burn your bridges."
The next song is slower, entitled, "We're Nothing Without You." The next song, "Something Isn't Right Here," reminds me of a boy band song, only to be redeemed by the chorus. They do show in this song that they can harmonize. The next song, "Understand the Dream is Over," is a song that reminds me of something off their first album, Understand This Is A Dream.
The next three songs flow really well together to close out the record. "This Is Your Life" starts out slow with a mellow beat, but picks up a quarter of the way through. The next song, "You Always Say Goodnight, Goodnight" is an incredible song with some nice piano and mellow beats. It's one of my favorite songs on the album. Midway through they get back to the guitars from the beginning of the album and close out the song the way it started with the piano for a total of nine and a half minutes. It flows flawlessly into the final track, another instrumental, the title track, part two.
One of the things that's great about the album is that they break free from the stereo-typical emo-punk genre and explore a mixture of dance, heavier rock and a few nice piano pieces. It's much better than their first album, Understand This Is A Dream, which had a heavier punk flavor.- Review date: 7/21/01, written by Kevin Chamberlin
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