Friday, February 6, 2009

Shiny Toy Guns: Season of Poison Review

Let me get this out of the way. The first time I listened to this album I cringed. I thought, oh no, what have they done with everything that made their first album good? But, now that I've heard it a few times, I feel like I can give it a fair chance.

What put me off at first was the two singles, "Ricochet!" and "Ghost Town." God, they are awful. I don't know who chooses their singles, but I think they really need to reconsider their career choice. Now, that's done. Listen to the album as a whole. It's not bad, except for those two songs. I'm going to try to evaluate the album as a whole; just keep in mind that those two songs weigh down the whole thing to a degree, while the rest by itself is pretty solid.

We open with the moody "When Did This Storm Begin." It's by no means a standout track, but it sets the tone well for the wide array of songs (and genres, even) to come. Next up is "Money For That," a synth-free rock song about nostalgia. Then comes "I Owe You a Love Song," which is probably the most similar to the style they set up in their first album. It doesn't measure up to songs like "You Are the One," but it's good to have a bit of the "classic" Shiny Toy Guns.

After the miserable "Ghost Town" comes "It Became a Lie on You." This is the first of several slow-tempo songs on the album. If they had more songs like this in place of the singles, I would have a lot of respect for them. After "Ricochet!" is the second slower song, "Season of Love." It's very simplistic and features a bit too much falsetto from Chad, but I like the chords, and the harmonies between Chad and Sisely are actually nice.

My favorite song on this album by a wide margin is "Poison." It's by far the most dynamic, interesting, and, dare I say, aesthetically pleasing song on the album. Let's hear more like this, STG!

The next two are pretty good lead-ups to a strong conclusion in "Frozen Oceans."

Although I sometimes question their choice of flow, I think they did a good job making Season of Poison feel more like an album and less like a collection of songs. This is especially apparent in the second half, once the singles are out of the way and the style is consistent. For this reason, and for the handful of songs that really are solid, I don't consider this album a failure. I actually like that they represent many different styles of music in their albums. If they can get rid of the style found in songs like "Ghost Town" and polish up their electronic tendencies, then they should have a great third album. Will this happen? I doubt it, but we can hope.

Caius's rating: 2.5 stars

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