I think for most SES fans, we’ve all been waiting a long while for their next CD, and it’s nice to see that they have a tour accompanying their new CD, Consciousness.
I got the CD on the release date (thanks Amazon!), and the album is well put together. Looking through the album art and lyrics, some of the lyrics aren’t 100% correct, and there are more than a couple of misspellings as well. But these are small problems, because the true product is what you hear, and that folks — is as good as you’ve come to expect SES to be.
Now I’ll say it up front — their best CD was the unreleased Anxiety. And this is no Anxiety, but I think it surpasses Vultures both in lyrical quality and in musical quality. I’m no composer or musician, so I can’t tell you that this riff is great, or this chord is smart or intelligent or amazing, but as SES has demonstrated time and time again, that the power of Sean’s voice carries the message he’s trying to convey through his lyrics.
This is as the title of my review suggests — the lighter side of SES. There are a lot of “feel good” songs on here, like Stay Alive, or O’Lord, Walking Away, etc. Their sound has become a bit more commercial now, rather than insane yelling that I’ve come to appreciate, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing, or a bad thing — but it’s an evolution of a band I listened to since they released their first album, and as my life has personally progressed, I still feel a close bond to the band, their lyrics, and their message.
If you are looking for SES’ prior works to be reincarnated in their new CD, then you will be disappointed. This is a more positive CD lyrically, and Sean has a lot of moments of very soft singing (which his voice lends itself well to, surprisingly!), and as a fan from the beginning I am very pleased with it. I rated it 4 stars only because I feel the best review should always be given to their best work, which continues to be Anxiety.
Either way, I think if you appreciate lyrical quality of any kind, then you’ll appreciate SES’ latest effort, and if your life started similarly to mine and you’ve had a positive progression through the years, you’ll find SES could accompany you as you walked down your path, as they have grown with me, and I find that refreshing for a band that does touch on the “emo” chord, at least they have personal growth and their music reflects that.
Buy the CD. It’s good any way you look at it, but I think some fans may not be able to relate if they themselves have not changed.