A Best Sixth Release Honorable Mention in the 2007 Awards
Spoken’s self-titled sixth release has, quite noticeably, much heavier vocals overall (and even a bit heavier music) than their previous release. And the amazingly hard-hitting opening track “History Erased”— kicking in with pounding, high-screamed lyrics and music to match— immediately evidences this fact.
Next, the full-on rocking love song “Close Your Eyes” begins with screamed lyrics, dips into frontman Matt Baird’s signature high singing, then continues on with a great mix of both.
“Not Soon Forgotten”, another heavy rocker, has almost entirely rough or screamed vocals (which are sometimes very high). The end of this track fades into the next without a pause.
“Trading In This Troubled Heart” is the first track on this disc to exhibit a vocal style similar to their previous album’s. There’s an interesting, memorable quality to the melodies in the chorus and final bridge; and the lyrics contain a theme of hope through darkness.
“You’re The One” is another love song. In contrast to the first one, however, this track is a ballad; and it’s very different from anything else they’ve done so far. Musically, a muted background piano is the lead for the majority of the song, picking up into a guitar lead for the track’s finale.
“Brought To Life”, as you might expect, bounces the energy level right back up. Its chorus is mostly sung while the verses are mostly screamed, and the vocals fly spectacularly high at times (even for Matt). Musically it’s another great rocker, rhythmic and quite heavy.
“Long Live The Dream” is another great track. It continues the musical heaviness, with mixed vocals (which, of course, occasionally go quite high ). Lyrically, this track encourages you to never, ever give up.
For the first two minutes or so, “Start The Revolution” is mostly an instrumental, with a rather suspenseful feel; however, that morphs into a more courageous, resolute feel as the song builds. At the points where there are real vocals, they sing only one lyric line, and mix it in and around the great rock instrumental work. It’s just plain cool.
“The Meaning Of…” is lyrically a love song to family, and it’s a quite good rocker, musically and vocally blending this album’s style with their previous’.
“When Hope Is All You Have” is again somewhat similar to their previous album’s style (though with a bit more vocal height), and it encourages you to hold on to hope. The end of this song fades into the next.
Finally, end track “The Answer” contains some interesting guitar/drum rhythms and this disc’s typical vocal mix; becoming fairly powerful towards the end, it closes out the album very well.