Spoken's self-titled album marks the band's sixth studio recording in ten years; and their third release on Tooth and Nail records. Their longevity is impressive in itself, but what is more notable is the band's ability to stay true to who they are without sounding too repetitive. While they stay rooted to their unceasing screams, they still maintain a balance of high-powered rock songs with more melodic ballads, creating a happy medium for all listeners.
The album starts off with three scream-driven songs, "History Erased," "Close Your Eyes," and "Not Soon Forgotten," all of which deliver heavy doses of rock: crazy guitar riffs, gut-wrenching screams, and everything in between. From there, we are easily transitioned into "Trading in This Troubled Heart" which serves as one of the more memorable songs on the record. Even the lyrics create an emotional stir as Matt Baird sings, "They say the heart is where the healing begins, all our wrongs are made right again." The rest of the album serves up a multitude of songs, many of which resemble the structure and sound of the opening three - a lot of catchy choruses accompanied with impressive hooks and heart-pounding drums. "You're the One" is the only song that is noticeably slow-paced and mellow. Spoken also adds a six and a half minute song to the album, "Start the Revolution" - a beautiful instrumental piece that is accompanied by dreamy one-lined lyrics, repeated occasionally throughout the song.
Lyrically, Spoken always delivers gold. The majority of the songs project spiritual themes, although some could be mistaken for praising earthly relationships. Baird does a beautiful job of being able to comprehend a common feeling and transform it into words that make the listener think and see it in a different light. Especially notable on "The Answer," Baird heartily sings, "Mile after mile they came to hear the words from you, the chance to touch you would change their lives, the ground would shake around you, when the earth would hear your voice…the mountains tremble and fall into the sea, We'll run to you and see, You are God."
Devoted fans of Spoken will find this album similar to past releases- which isn't a bad thing. The familiar screams and hard rock will definitely be delivered in this self-titled album. The only thing that might stand in the way for a new listener, however, would be Baird's vocals which (as previously stated in past reviews) are an acquired taste for some. Aside from that, this album delivers in all aspects.- Review date: 9/23/07, written by Lindsay Wiseman
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