BEST FIFTH RELEASE 2005 Award Winner!
Spoken’s Last Chance To Breathe, like many bands’ year-2005 releases, literally perfects their sound— now Rock/Hardcore, they’ve found their style, and it’s a good one. Last Chance… is definitely their best release so far; the disc’s music is very coherent, and all-around excellent.
“September” kicks off the disc with great rock and semi-autobiographical lyrics. This track also gives you hints of the vocal heights to come.
The next track, “Wind In My Sails”, keeps up the pace with another rocker that easily showcases frontman Matt Baird’s incredible range. In fact, as he moves into his signature high-flying screams near the end of the song, at certain points he’s close to going as high as we’ve ever heard him go. Not only that, the pure energy of this song hooks you. Great stuff.
They next move into a beautiful, medium-paced ballad with “Love In Return”, one of our all-time favorite Spoken tracks and one of the best songs on this disc.
“Everything Is Burning” moves back to energy-filled rock.
“1992” starts off with excellent heavy guitars and an interesting musical contrast— fast drumming, but slow singing. And then, in the chorus, Matt uses his voice in combination with the guitars to amazing, appealing effect. At the end of the song, a double sing-in-the-foreground / scream-in-the-background vocal is used until the track fades away.
Title track “Last Chance To Breathe” is a medium-paced rock song that is almost completely sung, except for the very last sentence. Afterwards, a very short instrumental piece (using a guitar line almost identical to the one in “Learning To Forget” from their previous album) acts as an interest/suspense-building intro to “Bitter Taste”.
“Bitter Taste” (featuring Cory Putman of ) is definitely the heaviest track of the album, and they rip into it without hesitation. Matt constantly alternates incredible, shockingly-high-screamed lyrics with sung ones, guest Cory Putman’s occasional low-screamed lyrics acting as a counterpoint. A minute into the song the whole thing intriguingly slows down for a sentence (drawing the lyrics out in a really cool way), and then picks back up. What’s also amazing about this song is its appeal— despite the screaming, it’s actually musical… and yes, even catchy!
Providing a breather after the intensity of the previous song, “From The Inside” is another beautiful ballad that sees a change in octaves a ways through.
“Home” is another good medium-paced rock song. Lyrically, it seems to be (at least partially) a tribute to someone who passed away.
“4th Street” picks up the pace some more, and contains longing lyrics.
Spoken next includes their excellent cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”.
And finally “You’re Still Waiting” closes off the album with one more fast rocker, giving you the last taste of Matt’s unique high vocals (and the few parting screamed lyrics) of this CD.
In all, Spoken’s fifth release is an excellent album, and definitely worthy of Best Fifth Release.