Saturday, December 10, 2011

AFI - 2003 Sing The Sorrow (UK Version)

Band : AFI
Album : Sing The Sorrow (UK Version)
Release Year : 2003
Genre : Punk | Post-Punk | Emo

Tracklist :
01 Miseria Cantare_ The Beginning
02 The Leaving Song Pt. II
03 Bleed Black
04 Silver and Cold
05 Dancing Through Sunday
06 Girl's Not Grey
07 Death of Seasons
08 The Great Disappointment
09 Paper Airplanes (Makeshift Wings)
10 This Celluloid Dream
11 The Leaving Song
12 ...but home is nowhere
13 This Time Imperfect
14 Synesthesia
15 Now the World

Sing the Sorrow is considerably different than the band's earlier material, which heavily revolved around the hardcore punk genre. Although Davey Havok's shouts remain intact, the sound shifts towards alternative rock, characterized by more elaborate production, slower tempos, and pieces of industrial music. The album includes experimental segments as well, featuring the inclusion of a spoken word poem accompanied by piano keys and the hidden track "This Time Imperfect", both intertwined within the last track on the album.

It ranked #77 in the October 2006 issue of Guitar World magazine's List of the 100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time. The album's lead single "Girl's Not Grey" received a 2003 VMA for the 'Best MTV2 Music Video' category. The track is also a playable track on the video game Rock Band 2, and a downloadable track for the video game Guitar Hero 5 and iPhone/iPod touch application Tap Tap Revenge. "The Leaving Song Pt. II" was also made available as downloadable content for the Rock Band series. "Dancing Through Sunday" was featured as a playable track in the video game Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.

The album was released with three different covers, featuring different colors for the logo and text. The colors were red, silver and black. The original cover features red artwork. Several of the first pressings in the United States and United Kingdom featured the silver cover, but the pressings are now rare and out of print, although the digital version of Sing the Sorrow among iTunes still features the silver artwork. The black cover was solely available at performing shows within the United States tour following the album's release, and through the Despair Faction's online store as well. The black cover is now rare and out of print, with only 2,500 copies in circulation.

All versions of the back cover feature a small encircled picture. The picture is of an ocean horizon, a reference to the artwork of AFI's fourth studio album Black Sails in the Sunset. Although the album was released through DreamWorks Records, a logo of Nitro Records is found on the back cover of all versions, AFI's previous record label. The second to last page of the album booklet features a small picture of a rabbit with the phrase "Rabbits are Roadkill" written next to it, a reference to the song "Rabbits are Roadkill on Rt. 37", recorded during the Sing the Sorrow sessions and released in 2005.

International versions of the album use different artwork on the album label. Often contain a picture of an inverted octopus whilst other contain a foraminifer or a dead bird. All of the pictures are taken from the book Animals by Jim Harter. Some versions, including the Ukrainian edition, feature no artwork on the album label, and have inconsistent cover artwork from other versions.

Critical response to Sing the Sorrow was very positive. The review aggregator Metacritic scored the album a 81 out of 100, based on 11 reviews, with the mention of "Universal Acclaim". E! Online called it " well-crafted mix of hardcore bluster, determined melody and anthemic grandness that boasts depth and texture rarely heard from the Warped Tour ilk." Alternative Press awarded the album a perfect score, saying that, "Sing the Sorrow soars with the kind of melodies hit singles are made of, yet it somehow persists with AFI's esoteric darkness." Allmusic awarded the album 4 out of 5 stars and wrote: "Emerging in early 2003 with Sing the Sorrow, it's clear the molting process AFI began with Black Sails in Sunset is complete," and concluded that, "Whatever factions of the band's longterm fans might think of their major-label affiliation, Sing the Sorrow represents a coalescing of the band's sound." Rolling Stone awarded the album a 4 out of 5, claiming that "Sing the Sorrow is not exactly a concept album, but it does have a singleness of dark purpose that builds in momentum as the disc progresses." In further support, The New York Times rated Sing the Sorrow as the tenth-best album of 2003. Conversely, Entertainment Weekly awarded the album a 'D,' commenting that "The songs combine the most pretentious and overworked elements of their influences."

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