Everything Goes Numb and Somewhere In The Between - how do they compare?

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13 Nov 2007, 19:51

Listening to Somewhere In The Between, I can't help but compare it to Everything Goes Numb, and I can't help thinking that perhaps Everything Goes Numb is still Streetlight's best album.

The new album is growing on me, and some of the songs have bits I really like - but that's the problem. I only like bits of the songs, and sometimes I feel things are under-developed. For example, the beginning of Down, Down, Down to Mephisto's Cafe was amazing, and I was fully ready for an amazing Better-Place-Better-Time style, life-affirming tune. Even though the song has a great chorus and is one of the best songs on the album, I still feel like there is something missing. The individual sound Streetlight really coined on Everything Goes Numb is still there, but I can't help thinking some parts jar slightly. Sometimes songs seem over-complicated, and some songs just seem samey - The Receiving End Of It All and What A Wicked Gang We Are basically have an identical chorus, and both have a breakdown near the end. Musically this is a very ambitious album, and it usually works very well, but sometimes I think that less complication would have led to a better overall sound.

I think perhaps my problem with this album is that lyrically, the content is too confident. It sounds stupid maybe, but I think the thing Everything Goes Numb did so well was to recognise loneliness, sadness and confusion but then channel them, understand them and offer hope and salvation. Everything Goes Numb was an outsider's album, it was a philosopher's album, it was an album of searching and uncertainty and it was underpinned by a fragile but heartfelt hope. In Somewhere In The Between I can't find this elusive quality - the lyrics are still good, especially those of Somewhere In The Between, but I can't help feeling that the strands which made the lyrical content of Everything Goes Numb so interesting are somehow missing here.

Overall I feel Everything Goes Numb is still Streetlight Manifesto's masterpiece. That said, I love the new album and it grows on me more with every listen. It just isn't as instantly accessible as Everything Goes Numb, which even then exposed new layers with continual listens. Who knows, in time I may change my opinions, and these are only my opinions. You're welcome to disagree and argue any of my points as you see fit. Let's get some discussion going!

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  • SoftlineEthics

    I like the way SITB's lyrics work as a theme about people's ideas of life and death and think they deserve a little more credit than you're giving them, which I mean exactly as I say, since you did say they are still good. Musically, I'd have to agree with you. I quite enjoy the recording quality and as a trombone player it's great to hear Soprano playing stronger than ever, but the melodies seem to lack something of what made them so interesting in EGN. But hey, I got Somewhere in the Between, not Somewhere in the Bittorrent (Tom's joke not mine) so I still have plenty of listens to get through before I'll know exactly how I feel about the album.

    14 Nov 2007, 4:15
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