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Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(78 Reviews)

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Seether returns with another workaday outing that rocks like late 2001. Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces is virtually interchangeable with any previous Seether disc, as well as pretty much anything by the likes of Nickelback, Shinedown, and other ”post-grunge” rock bands. True, ”Fake It” has zeal, and ”Rise Above This” may very well provide the soundtrack to late-night, soul-searching sessions for teenagers from Cape Cod to Cape Town. Shaun Morgan’s often unnecessarily profane lyrics are another problem. Witness the gauche ”FMLYHM,” which borrows from lyrical ideas that sounded novel when Trent Reznor sang them in ”Closer” more than a decade ago but now just sound juvenile and unnecessarily angry. Same goes for the numbing epic ”No Jesus Christ” and the closer, ”Waste.” Throughout, the band shows a lack of imagination that may ultimately prove fatal. In all, this is cookie-cutter rock that really doesn’t. –Jedd Beaudoin

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  • THE BAND: Shaun Morgan (vocals, guitars), Dale Stewart (bass), John Humphrey (drums & percussion). Origin – South Africa.

    THE DISC: (2007) 12 tracks clocking in at approximately 50 minutes. Included with the disc is a 10-page booklet containing song titles/credits, song lyrics, a dedication to Morgan’s brother Eugene Welgemoed (R.I.P.), artwork by famed Chinese-American artist David G. Ho, and thank you’s. Music by Seether, all lyrics by Morgan. This is the band’s 3rd studio album. Label: Wind-up Records.

    COMMENTS: Seether continues their breed of angry post grunge songs (with an affinity for the F-bomb – which sometimes works, but usually doesn’t). “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces” is a solid album, but there’s nothing out of the ordinary here. To me, Seether is still in the same class with Breaking Benjamin, Staind, Three Days Grace, Crossfade, Cold, etc… the band continues to write quality songs that deliver with conviction. There are some issues here that perhaps affected the songs/album – Morgan dealing with his brother’s suicide, his own drug addiction, and numerous production delays. Also, gone is guitarist Pat Callahan – in these 2nd tier rock bands, 2 guitars are usually better than 1. “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces” is a solid album, filled with stinging guitar riffs and hooks. I find myself listening to the entire disc without hitting the `skip’ button. While there’s no mainstream rock powerhouse hit like Disclaimer’s “Fine Again”, or a pound your fist get-up-and-yell track like “Gasoline”, or a top-notch smoky ballad like “Broken”, “Finding Beauty” still manages to please – reaching #9 on Billboard’s Top 200 albums in 2007. 11 of the 12 songs fit into the 3-5 minute range, with only “No Jesus Christ” breaking the mold at over 7 minutes long. Two singles did emerge – the most well known track on the album “Fake It”, and the mainstream mid tempo “Rise Above This” (about one brother missing the other). Other highlights include the heavy opener “Like Suicide”, the crunchy rhythm guitars in “Fallen” (sounds like it could be a Godsmack tune), the slower acoustic “Walk Away From The Sun” that gradually picks up speed, and the beautiful final cut “Waste”. Several reviewers here on Amazon (as well as other sources) have said how different they feel this album is when compared to “Disclaimer” (2002) and “Karma And Effect” (2005). I guess I’m not on the same bus – I think this sounds a lot like previous Seether albums… maybe too much so. “Finding Beauty” is trademark Seether – great melodies, crunchy guitars, good familiar vocals, and lots of attitude. “Finding Beauty” will not hit you as hard as “Disclaimer”, but it’s still a solid release (4 stars).

    Posted on March 1, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • The only real rock station left in DC (DC101) recently has been playing Seether’s cover of George Michael/Wham’s “Careless Whisper”. When I first heard it, had no idea who the group was, but as a George Michael fan, knew I had to get it. One pm the dj spilled the beans & found out it was Seether, and that you have to get a recent copy of the cd if you want “Careless Whisper” — apparently the original release does not include it. I got my copy of “Finding Beauty…” at my local Best Buy this pm, the plastic wrap has a maroon sticker with white text that reads, ‘Includes the hidden track “Careless Whisper”‘. So if you were thinking of buying this cd & want the GM cover, be sure to look for the maroon & white sticker, or you’ll be ripped off!

    The “hidden track” actually appears twice — Trk 13 is “Careless Whisper Cut 1″ (5:01), Trk 14 is “Careless Whisper Cut 2″ (4:24). I can’t detect much difference between the two, other than “Cut 1″ sounds a little strange (like a broken cd) before the fade-out…. “Cut 2″ seems to be the version they play on the radio.

    Disclaimer, was not previously familiar with the band or their other records, though the name was familiar. As for the rest of the album, if you like good hard rock you should like this. (WinAmp lists genre as “Post-Grunge Alternative Rock”, whatever that means….) In particular “Fake It” (also heard on radio, catchy), “FMLYHM”, “No Jesus Christ” are all notable. The whole cd rocks. This is not a case where you feel like you got ripped off buying a cd for one track & then the rest sucks…

    Recommended for all you hard-rockin’ George Michael fans out there — this is right up there with Limp Bizkit’s “classic” remake of “Faith”….

    Posted on March 1, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • THE BAND: Shaun Morgan (vocals, guitars), Dale Stewart (bass), John Humphrey (drums & percussion). Origin – South Africa.

    THE DISC: (2007) 12 tracks clocking in at approximately 50 minutes. Included with the disc is a 10-page booklet containing song titles/credits, song lyrics, a dedication to Morgan’s brother Eugene Welgemoed (R.I.P.), artwork by famed Chinese-American artist David G. Ho, and thank you’s. Music by Seether, all lyrics by Morgan. This is the band’s 3rd studio album. Label: Wind-up Records.

    COMMENTS: Seether continues their breed of angry post grunge songs (with an affinity for the F-bomb – which sometimes works, but usually doesn’t). “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces” is a solid album, but there’s nothing out of the ordinary here. To me, Seether is still in the same class with Breaking Benjamin, Staind, Three Days Grace, Crossfade, Cold, etc… the band continues to write quality songs that deliver with conviction. There are some issues here that perhaps affected the songs/album – Morgan dealing with his brother’s suicide, his own drug addiction, and numerous production delays. Also, gone is guitarist Pat Callahan – in these 2nd tier rock bands, 2 guitars are usually better than 1. “Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces” is a solid album, filled with stinging guitar riffs and some decent hooks scattered through out. I find myself listening to the entire disc without hitting the `skip’ button. While there’s no mainstream rock powerhouse hit like Disclaimer’s “Fine Again”, or a pound your fist get-up-and-yell track like “Gasoline”, or a top-notch smoky ballad like “Broken”, “Finding Beauty” still manages to please – reaching #9 on Billboard’s Top 200 albums in 2007. 11 of the 12 songs fit into the 3-5 minute range, with only “No Jesus Christ” breaking the mold at over 7 minutes long. Two singles did emerge – the most well known track on the album “Fake It”, and the mainstream mid tempo “Rise Above This” (about one brother missing the other). Other highlights include the heavy opener “Like Suicide”, the crunchy rhythm guitars in “Fallen” (sounds like it could be a Godsmack tune), the slower acoustic “Walk Away From The Sun” that gradually picks up speed, and the beautiful final cut “Waste”. Several reviewers here on Amazon (as well as other sources) have said how different they feel this album is when compared to “Disclaimer” (2002) and “Karma And Effect” (2005). I guess I’m not on the same bus – I think this sounds a lot like previous Seether albums… maybe too much so. “Finding Beauty” is trademark Seether – melodic with crunchy guitars, good familiar vocals, and lots of attitude. “Finding Beauty” will not hit you as hard as “Disclaimer”, but it’s still a solid release (4 stars).

    Posted on March 1, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This is the third release from one of my favorite bands Seether. The band has changed a lot from Karma (Pat Callahan, Shaun Morgans Rehab) and it’s mostly for the good. This is one of their stronger release, it sound quite like their first release.

    Here’s a break down of the songs

    Like Suicide 10/10 – This song is exactly what I think of when I think of Seether, great guitar riffs and a catchy chorus.

    Fake It 9/10 – Very catch but doesn’t sound like the classic Seether. After hearing the song 20 times it tends to get a bit Repetitive.

    Breakdown 10/10 – Very sad song (The sun is gone, and the flowers rot). The first time i heard this song I thought I was listening to Breaking Benjamin. But this song has all the elements of an Amazing Seether song (great lyrics, great guitar riffs)

    FMLYHM 10/10 – Reminds me of my last girlfriend. I like songs I can relate to. Has a very catch chorus and is very interesting.

    Fallen 7/10 – This is one of the weaker songs on the Cd. It has weak guitars (a lot of the parts don’t even have guitar on them) just a very forgettable song.

    Rise Above This 5/10 – My least favorite song on the CD. This song was written about Eugene Welgemoed before his death. It’s (this is going to sound bad) Optimistic. It just don’t fit on this CD. The guitars are weak and the lyrics don’t sound like Seether.

    No Jesus Christ 10/10 – A much needed heavy point on the CD. One of the best songs on this Cd. The guitars are very unique, amazingly catchy riff. The premise behind the song just makes it stand out on here.

    6 Gun Quota 9/10 – Catchy, classic Seether. The guitars aren’t amazing but the lyrics counteract that.

    Walk Away From The Sun 10/10 – This is my favorite song on the CD. This reminds me of Songs like Plastic Man, and Broken(without Amy Lee) it should have been at the end. Shaun makes this one of the most emotional songs he has ever written.

    Eyes of the Devil 10/10 – Another classic Seether song. The perfect balance of lyrical amazement and catch guitar riffs. This song if perfect after Walk Away From The Sun, it continues on that emotional path.

    Don’t Believe 10/10 – This song could have been off of Disclaimer. Perfect mix of heavy, distorted guitars and catchy riffs.

    Waste 9/10 – This song starts off and sounds like Pink Floyd. Has some of the best lyrics on the CD and amazing guitars. Great close to the CD.

    so overall 109/120 = 9/10 = 4.5 rounded up to 5 Stars

    Posted on March 1, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • What a STUNNING album. Right from the very first song they GRAB you by the ears and rip your head around a full 360.

    Starshine Moments

    LIKE SUICIDE John deserves some serious accolades for his new role as The Baron of the Bionic Beatdown. His electrifying performance on this first song sets the tone for a truly electrifying record. He is so good on this track in fact that he seems to transcends drumming all together. There is so much palpable rage on this song that it sounds like he is not drumming so much as he is nailing someone’s sorry butt to the wall. BRILLIANT. The first time I heard this song the hair on the back of my neck stood up and stayed up for the rest of the record.

    BREAKDOWN. The lyrics are so intensely personal that by the end of the song I felt like an inadvertent peeping tom. There is a voyeuristic undercurrent on this and so many of the other songs that the sense of guilt for somehow snooping in someone’s personal life was thankfully counter balanced by the staggering melodies and sumptuous harmonies in the music that supports so many secrets

    FALLEN. This song is 100% AURAL pleasure. Dale Stewart should be nominated for an AVN Award for his outrageously devilish bassline on this song. Talk about a dirty lick. WOW!!! I am blown away and addicted. The bassline and the drums on this song are so HOT that it borders on porn…FUN porn…like Lollipop Girls in Hard Candy the infamous 3D porn with John Holmes from the 70’s. Phunky, Chunky, stick-to-your-ribs delishus. If you need music to lurk to put the bass line from this song on a continuous loop and have at it. Fallen is especially effective in headphones when Johns drum beats move from here to there. If you listen to this song on an ipod you will not be able to walk straight.

    NO JESUS CHRIST is another stand out moment for Dale. There is an epic 70’s era Black Sabbath flavor to this song. The bassline is like liquid grit…so liquid that the strings seem to literally drip. Howard Benson’s intergalactic presence is most apparent on this song because prior to becoming one of music’s greatest producers he was an aerospace engineer. This song soars. The lyrics and Shaun’s fierce vocals in conjunction with Johns persistent beat give this song it’s flame so all together what you have here is earth, wind and fire. I can’t wait to hear this song performed live because this song was made to be played in an arena.

    I LOVE but was confused by SIX GUN QUOTA because it was originally supposed to be called Six Shot Quota. Not sure why they replaced the shot with a gun…not meaning to pun. Fasten your seat belt….This is another song with a flight pattern that drives the music forward

    Shaun’s voice on WALK AWAY FROM THE SUN is heaven on earth. There is an ethereal quality to the high notes that would make even the Seraphim envious. This is my favorite song on the whole record. The music is really exquisite. There is an subtle Latin texture to it so when listen with my eyes closed I can envision caballeros on horseback galloping through the surf. That is the magic of this song there is a breathtaking sense of freedom in it.

    Da Vinci was once asked how he sculpted so beautifully. His response was that “I see angels in the marble and I carve until I set them free”. Da Vinci’s spirit is alive and thriving on Seether’s record. Shaun passionately carved to set his personal demons free and this is most apparent on the albums final track.

    WASTE. In the credits it indicates that additional guitars were provided by Space…and I wondered if this was THEE Space who had a hit a few years ago with Female Of The Species. Alternate Universe Howard Benson is also “visible” here. Listening to Waste there is a sense of floating through the etherIt was this song that made me wonder if the catharsis was complete. I titled my review PRIMAL BIPOLAR LASAGNA because of the multiple layers of gut wrenching emotion on the record. My sense of this album and especially the lyrics is that Shaun really opened himself up on this record more than he ever has on previous efforts. If you REALLY listen to the lyrics you will hear a man openly grappling with all five stages of grief.

    Rage, denial, bargaining, despair, acceptance…it is all here.

    David Ho’s art work featuring the ghost of Candace and her love/hate relationship with the human race is a perfect visual companion to the music. If you are unfamiliar with David’s work I hope you will check him out at Davidho.com. He has another picture of Candace where she is standing laterally to the wind which is blowing crows out of her hair. It is called Candace Unleashes Her Personal Demons. And so to has Seether.

    Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces is an astonishingly intelligent album, an extraordinary journey and surely one of the best records of the year.

    Posted on February 28, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now