With RED’s 2006 debut album, “End of Silence,” generating buzz on modern rock radio and landing the band spots on high profile tours, it seems only natural that their follow-up would be met with heavy fanfare and charting success. “Innocence & Instinct” managed to do what few hard rock bands can do in it’s first week out: break the top 20 of the Billboard chart. So how does the sophmore effort for the up-and-coming, soon-to-be-everywhere band hold up?
Well, to be honest, it’s more or less the same as “The End Of Silence.” Sonically, at least, it’s a continuation of that sound, with slighlty improved songwriting. The same dramatic tone that ruled the first album is also in full effect here, strings and all. The first singles “Fight Inside,” and “Never Be The Same” unfortunately don’t have the instant appeal that “Breathe Into Me” had, coming across almost like a male-fronted Evanescence, but are rewarded by repeat listenings. “Confession (What’s Inside My Head)” and “Shadows,” on the other hand, deliver the modern-rock goods, and will no doubt please fans of the band’s catchier material. It’s worth noting that “Shadows” was co-written by Breaking Benjamin frontman Ben Burley, and it stands out as not only the heaviest track of the album, but also a fine change of pace for an album that more or less stays on a linear path. The final track, “Out From Under” as well as the latest single, “Death Of Me,” are the prime cuts here, the perfect happy medium that can be found in RED’s often over-complicated sound.
As far as second albums go, this one is a solid entry in RED’s career. It will no doubt have it’s day in the sun as far as radio success goes, and fans of the first will no doubt dig it. Surely, their sound could use a little more variety and they would do well to expand on the things they are good at (catchy hard-rock) and ditch that which they are lagging in (over-dramatic sap) but “Innocence & Instinct” is an otherwise fine album, primed for success and listenable to anyone who loves a good rock band. The Deluxe Edition features four bonus songs that help pad out the album, as well as a DVD, featuring a music video and behind the scene footage.