The Sun and the Moon Complete
So The Bravery followed up their eponymous debut with The sun and the Moon. When I first bought it, I was disappointed. Gone was the strait up neo-wave, and in its place was a lot of emo. When it was decided that they would release a second cd to the album, with the same songs, but remixed, I was uninterested, but I eventually bought the second cd as a download when it was cheap on Amazon. Then the album grew on me.
Disc One: The Sun
What would become The Sun I picked up almost as soon as it was released. While I didn't like the disc at first, after a few listens the whole way through, the album grew on me and now is one of my favorite albums. There is a lot of melancholy on this album and the second track really sets it up. Something to Believe is a wonderfully crafted ballad about self loathing and drinking yourself into a hole, but reaching out for something greater. This is Not the End continues the theme, speaking of a greater existance outside of depression. The amazing production of the album continues as well.
The next track may be the greatest upbeat song with depressing lyrics of all time--Every Word Is a Knife in My Ear is an awesome uptempo rocker, and they follow it up with another chirpy tune in Bad Sun. I don't think you can hear the whistling and not start rocking side to side. ha. But depressing songs set to upbeat rhythms can't last forever, so the album turns back to the earlier theme of introspection with Time Won't Let Me Go, before moving to one of the most depressing songs ever writen: Tragedy Bound.
It's amazing that an album this depressing can be so awesome. The album is balanced perfectly between happy songs and sad songs (even though the happy songs still have sad lyrics). Ultimately the theme emerges that no matter how terrible things are, there is still hope--the ocean rolls us away.
Disc Two: The Moon
The second disc, while containing the samy lyrics as the first, is much more lively an album. The overpowering emo of the first disc is transformed into a dance album, and it's done in the name of awesome. A syncopated backing track is added to Believe along with some great keybass licks. This Is Not The End get's a tempo boost, with a rhythm line that has a hurried heartbeat feel to it. Every Word gets some awesome synth lines and becomes disco, while Bad Sun gets a Spaghetti Western vibe to it.
Even Time Won't Let Me Go and Tragedy Bound are made into depressing songs set to happy music, which is still the best kind of music. Angelina is somehow made happier through the magic of synth phasing and wah effects. Split Me Wide Open becomes a dancehall song.
Above and Below is the best song on the double cd album. It's immaculately produced, and combines the neo wave of the debut album with the raw emotion of its followup. I didn't think that an album of remixed tunes could enhance an album as much as the Moon complements The Sun. Easily the best album of 2008.