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Artist: Anberlin
Label: Tooth & Nail
Time: 12 Tracks 46:28

Anberlin have been recording music now for four years. Their first two projects consisted of hard rock mixed with emo style songwriting. They were solid albums and were above the typical hard rock and roll that one hears on mainstream rock stations. However, on their new project “Cities” they keep the rock coming, but explore new territories as well. 

“Godspeed” is the first single from this project, and it is a good choice. This song features the Anberlin sound fans are used to. Lots of loud guitar solos and high pitched strained singing from Stephen Christian, that is on the verge of screaming. 

“Adelaide” and “A Whisper, and a Clamour” continue in the vein of previous Anberlin work, giving the listener plenty of head-banging rock and roll in the album’s first 10 minutes. 

“The Unwinding Cable Car” is the first moment on this project that a listener should pause and say “Is this really an Anberlin song?” It opens with layered acoustic guitar finger pickings and then builds into an absolutely beautiful late ‘80’s sounding ballad. It is a gorgeous song in which Christian writes about the “correlation between Salvation and Love.” 

“Hello Alone” is a fine song written to a friend who is struggling with depression. “Alexithymia” follows along in those same lines. It’s a song that finds the protagonist longing for days past spent, “where the family used to sit and converse to the sounds of a record player with it’s sounds of a jumping needle.” 

“Inevitable” is another acoustic guitar song that sounds like a late 80’s ballad, both lyrically and musically. This is a song about young love, and desiring to be a persons ‘last first kiss’ for the rest of their life. It is beautiful, and should make one think back to the first crush he or she ever had. This is definitely another song to add to that love song mix on your iPod!

“Dismantle, Repair” is about being forgiven. It appears to be directed to God who exposes our sin in our lives and then wipes it clean. This is definitely the most direct way to interpret this song, and given all of Anberlin’s members are Christians it would make perfect sense. 

“(*Fin)” is the closing track on this project, and it clocks in at over eight minutes and fifty seconds in length. This is by far the best rock and roll song they’ve composed as a band! It features plenty of guitar solos and musical breaks as well as a choir singing the chorus at the song’s middle point. It is another song that is definitely reflective of the Christian faith, as Stephen Christian sings about how God never looks at us as “lost causes.” 

This is Anberlin’s most diverse project to date. A lot more acoustic guitar pervades this album than any of their previous work. Some of it calls to mind short lived 90’s band Nouveaux. If you are fan of 1980’s power ballads you will find several songs that appeal to you here. If you are a fan of the music that you’ve previously come to expect from Anberlin, you will find a lot here to enjoy as well! 

James Morovich



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