By now, I think we're all familiar with how the "re-release" works and how it makes a lot of us feel (for those who don't know, it's a mixed feeling of being ripped off and "Oo! New stuff!"). Kids In The Way's impressive sophomore release Apparitions Of Melody -- click here for Josh Taylor's full review of that album -- is the latest to get this treatment, earning two new songs and a DVD with special content for its second time around. The question that's immediately proposed is: Is the release of Apparitions Of Melody: The Dead Letters Edition necessary? And is it worth double-dipping if you already have the record?
The audio portion of Apparitions Of Melody: The Dead Letters Edition presents two new songs added to the eleven-track original release, opening it up with the first new addition, "Fiction." With "Fiction" in the lead-off position, it surprisingly bumps the previous opener "Last Day Of 1888" to track six, and allows the album's pounding title track, "Apparitions Of Melody" to take the second slot. "Fiction" doesn't quite bear the ferocity of either tracks that were shifted around, but coupled with the other new song, "Getting Over You Getting Over Me," seems to fit well within the context of the original record. "Fiction" takes a serious look into life's choices and the truth found in following God's path for us, while "Getting Over You..." is more of closure for a failed relationship. The only other differences on the album that listeners of the original release will undoubtedly notice is the omission of the unnecessarily long intro for "Last Day..." and the addition of an all-new intro to "The Seeds We've Sown," which now features a lengthy guitar riff.
The DVD portion of The Dead Letters Edition features all three of the band's current music videos, including the larger budget and especially intriguing concept for the title track. The other two videos, "We Are" and "Phoenix With A Heartache" aren't extremely interesting, but serve as a nice look at the band's previous work and a treat for fans who have followed them since their debut. Finally, the DVD portion's sorely brief list of features ends with a featurette about the recording of the album's two new songs in a famous studio in New York City that clocks in just under eleven minutes. The video is fun with its share of silly moments, but feels as if it could have benefited from more depth, whether it be expanding on the writing process, interviews about it, or even just some live footage (with live music, not just live footage set to studio music).
When all is said and done, the Apparitions Of Melody: The Dead Letters Edition just doesn't seem to offer enough to warrant a fan buying the album all over again, but is definitely the definitive version of Apparitions Of Melody. And while the new rock tracks border on 'fitting in' and 'just being thrown into the mix,' they're both good additions to the list, so one couldn't complain there. If you haven't yet grabbed the edgy melodic rock sounds of the original Apparitions Of Melody album, than The Dead Letters Edition is certainly the version to pick up. For those who already own it, you may want to wait until you find this discounted or used somewhere before you shell out the money all over again...- Review date: 8/07/06, written by John DiBiase
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