It’s hard to believe that in merely three years time Saosin became the most talked about and hyped band in the underground. In the midst of departures and break up speculations, I can’t be the only one who believed this album would never actually be released. Seeing as how this was actually supposed to hit stores in February 2004 (long time ago huh?) But the band has seem some understandable problems in that time frame right? So now that it’s finally here, was it worth this long wait? Well if you’re willing to give the band a chance with Cove as the front-man, you’re most likely going to find a very gratifying listening experience with the Saosin’s self titled effort. Otherwise if you’ve already made up your mind, don’t even bother trying to get into it.
So what about the album is good? Well Saosin still, for the most part, has a sound all their own. While not nearly as distinct as it was on “Translating The Name”, the band is still five incredibly talented musicians who make great music. Beau and Justin’s guitar work is always impressive (check “Follow and Feel” and “Collapse” for examples of their brightest points), and still help to shape the band’s sound. Most of the songs don’t carry the jagged edge that the former ep did, which is kind of disappointing. It’s true that this record as a whole is much more controlled or “mellow” (although that’s probably not the exact way to describe it) than anything the band has done in the past. The drum work continues to be very impressive (Alex can create masterful fills, rolls and rhythms that accent the songs perfectly), but it isn’t nearly as flashy as it was in the past. It’s understandable since Alex didn’t actually record the drums on the first Ep. There’s a definite lack of double bass. Chris does a nice job of holding down the low end on the songs, and he works well with Alex to strengthen the rhythms. And then finally there is Cove. I’ve actually always thought Cove was a suitable replacement for Anthony, and this time around he actually distinguishes himself as a vocalist. Instead of trying too hard to be Anthony, it seems like he is finally comfortable in his position fronting the band. His vocals are great, and for the direction the band went with this record, I couldn’t really picture anyone else singing them.
However it’s obvious that Saosin has talent, but all the talent in the world means nothing if the songs aren’t memorable. Luckily “Saosin” has its fair share of great songs. Anyone familiar with the band will instantly recognize “Bury Your Head”, and “Sleepers” aka “I wanna Hear Another Fast Song”, which have both been re-recorded for the album. I must say though that both songs are superior to their original versions (aside from the drums on the original “Bury Your Head”). Aside from those though, the best treat is the new songs. “It’s Far Better To Learn” opens the album in stellar fashion, and is basically the blueprint for every song. If you like the track, the rest of the album is going to suit you just fine. Saosin shows a nice spectrum of sound, ranging from straight-forward rockers like “Follow And Feel” and “Collapse”, to more mellow-pieces like “Finding Home” and “You’re Not Alone.” “It’s So Simple” and “Voices” are two great melodic pieces which really showcase Cove’s newfound confidence in the vocal department. The standout track of the whole album though would have to be the closer “Some Sense Of Security,” which I have been waiting to hear a proper recorded version of since I first heard the demo back almost two years ago. The lyrics, music, vocals, everything about the song is simply stunning, and it is by far Saosin’s high point.
Having been listening since “Translating The Name” first hit stores back over three years ago, I rushed to the store today and picked this up, not really knowing what to expect. But rest assured if you are a Saosin fan, you are probably going to be very pleased with what you get. While it’s not perfect (it did have a lot to live up to after all), I’m pleased with what Saosin finally delivered. It’s almost hard to believe that after three years of waiting, we finally have the record in our hands. If you’re willing to give it a chance, then this will probably be one of your favorite records of the year. The wait is over!