Artists change from time to time. Change takes place due the artists wanting to explore, to keep up with the times, or simply because they're bored with their previous sound. Mad At The World completely changed their style of music once Seasons of Love was released in 1990. Judging by the album cover, one would have thought that their sound remained unchanged since it still renders a look found in their earlier album artwork. I remember sampling this record and neglecting to buy the disc for almost a year because I had been looking forward to the techno sound they once produced in the late 80s. I was shocked to hear nothing but hard rock (which I have no problem with), but this was MATW - the band that once brought life into the dance-alternative scene. I gave the album a second chance after a friend let me borrow the disc for a week and I was captivated by MATW once again. As all music lovers know, some music requires the listener to hear the album multiple times before it can be truly appreciated.
Seasons of Love opens up with "The Narrow Road," which bears a sound similar to The Cult. The song is about an individual that needs to have their life set in the right direction, "It's time to get back now/ I should've never gone away… I'm going nowhere/ I've got nothing/ It's an empty way to go/ It's time to get back now/ On this straight… straight and Narrow Road." The title track will remind old MATW fans of the band's former sound. It's a very beautiful acoustic song bearing a Spanish flavor while still echoing an alternative sound. "City of Anger" is a very aggressive track that will easily be one of the favorites on the album. "When the Wind Blows" has an even balance of the ballad and rock formula that will recall the listener of The Cure days. The album moves onto "Marshmallow Land," the second song in MATW's history to have Randy Rose carry the lead vocals. This song would later be covered again in the 90's by Randy's own band, Rose. The style is reminiscent of The Doors due to Randy's powerful vocals. "Summer's Gone" is one of my all-time favorite MATW songs. It's a very poetic song that covers how a person had a significant impact on his life.
The album picks back up with the very energetic "So Insane." The song covers the issue of drug abuse with a very effective and blunt approach. "The Love That Never Fades" is another nice ballad that illustrates the effectiveness of God's unconditional love. A reprise of the title track closes the album and is much more dynamic with drums pounding away. I like the original ballad version, but the reprise of "Seasons of Love" is more preferable due to its raw sound with a lot more variation in Roger's vocals. An avid MATW fan will notice at the very end of this song, the guys play a beautiful instrumental piece that will later become "Inside Of Heaven's Gate" on the album The Ferris Wheel.
Some people don't like change and remember the old saying, "If it's not broke, why fix it?" Mad at the World wanted to change their sound because they claimed to have difficulty properly translating the techno/keyboard sound into a concert setting. Sure, it would have been nice to hear more techno songs from MATW, but an album like Seasons of Love is still a great achievement. Some might classify this album into a hard rock or even metal genre, but there'd something about Randy's vocals and the approach that keeps it from receiving this label. It should more appropriately be called "alternative rock." After a couple of times listening to the album, old MATW Fans should easily like Seasons of Love. This album will also please fans of The Cult, Danzig, The Cure, or just alternative rock in general.- Review date: 5/9/07, written by Wayne Myatt for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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