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New Surrender: Brilliant

Kaitlyn Conway | Monday, November 10, 2008

Opening with the edgy, steady guitar rhythm of “The Resistance,” alternative rock band Anberlin’s newest album, “New Surrender” is a fresh affirmation of the band’s talent. Anberlin has released five albums (if you include their CD of B-sides, demos, and acoustics, “Lost Songs,” in the count) since their conception in 2002, and each one has offered something new to their sound. And each album has been touted as better than the last.”New Surrender” is the first album by the band to be released with a major record company. But this did not concern fans. Anberlin has consistently stayed within their genre while noticeably altering their sound. The band is not afraid of experimenting, and does so with skill. In fact, each track on “New Surrender” displays a different aspect of their sound, while maintaining some of their classic touches. The end track, “Miserabile Visu (Ex Malo Bonum)” is in the vein of their other ending tracks, like “(*Fin),” which concluded their last CD, “Cities.” As with the band’s past final tracks, “Miserabile Visu (Ex Malo Bonum)” is the longest track on the album and adds a nice sense of closure to the work as a whole. Additionally, the pop ballad “Breathe” is similar to their well-known track “Dismantle. Repair.” However, the track has its own new sound as well.While the CD opens with force with “The Resistance,” Anberlin quickly displays their diversity with a ballad, “Breaking,” which asserts that “You make breaking hearts look so easy,” a repetitive line that you will find yourself humming as you walk down the hall. This is part of the beauty of Anberlin. No matter what their songs are about, they are catchy and easy to follow. “Blame Me! Blame Me!” is a sad yet impossible to hate song on the album. Immediately after listening to it, it will be impossible not to chime in: “Blame me! Blame me!” Another song which is bound to hit the airwaves is “Haight Street,” which fulfills the album’s need for a song about leaving it all behind and doing something different and new.The songs on the album aren’t just your usual drivel of heartbreak and freedom, though. The band has specifically written the songs about humanitarian efforts they have participated in, asserting the fact in “Burn Out Brighter (Northern Lights)” that “This life’s not about me” and “I want to die for something.” Anberlin is using their music to advocate for something larger than the little problems of life. There’s more out there than the everyday problems, and “New Surrender” is Anberlin’s way of telling that to the world.Another notable track is “Feel Good Drag,” a rewrite from their second CD “Never Take Friendship Personal” (released in 2005). The mellow rock song alternates in intensity, starting soft and intensifying in the chorus. Alone in this one song, Anberlin displays their array of talent, both in terms of vocals and musicianship.”New Surrender” can be called nothing but a success. Anberlin has once again created an amazing, diverse album that anyone can enjoy. This band is talented, and they’re not afraid to show it. Stephen Christian has the vocals to carry the songs, and is backed up strongly instrumentally by band mates Deon Rexroat, Joseph Milligan, Nathan Young, and Christian McAlhaney. This band talent only continues to please fans in their most recent release.