Album Review: Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place by Anberlin
Great, Based on 3 Critics
Rock Sound - 80 Based on rating 8/10
They’re naturals at what they do From the second ‘We Owe This To Ourselves’ plays out it becomes obvious why Anberlin have shifted over 700,000 albums: they’re naturals at what they do. Imagine Emery twisted beyond their basic one-level sound and burnished with swarming guitars that one second lead into upbeat chorus-rock (‘Impossible’) and the next drop to the mid-tempo tenderness of ‘Down’. With Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, AC/DC) producing, Stephen Christian’s vocals cry out louder than ever across closer ‘Depraved’ and it proves that five albums in Anberlin have moved beyond the light of ’New Surrender’ to dabble with a more interesting, darker edge that borders on Circa Survive.
Review Summary: Three-peatFrom the very start, Anberlin seemed like one of those bands destined for big lights and even bigger stages. Their stadium sized emotional alt-rock was always a little bit deeper and more well rounded than the teenage aesthetics and cheeky attitudes of other scenester turned mainstream acts such as Taking Back Sunday and My Chemical Romance, making a Jimmy Eat World sized crossover on to the radio dials of America an inevitability. Their 2008 release New Surrender took forever to get started, but when the single “Feel Good Drag”, a rerecorded number originally found on the group's album Never Take Friendship Personal, hit the FM waves it catapulted the Floridian quintet to a level of national fame that only seemed right, although some of the band's mainstay fans took issue with the increased number of lighter, poppier tracks on the album, seeing the slight stylistic shift as a lack of depth.
On their fifth album, Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place, Anberlin continue down the path they started down on New Surrender with a sound that’s even more layered and dense. Utilizing the talents of Grammy-winning producer Brendan O’Brien, the band’s sound has evolved in a way that’s manages to be less poppy while sounding decidedly more pop, with the album having a casual slickness to it that makes it sound like something that belongs on the radio rather than an something that’s trying to be on the radio. Part of this comes from the band borrowing heavily from U2’s playbook.