Review of Albatross – The Classic Crime

Albatross - The Classic CrimeMore reviews? You’ve got it. Up next we’re reviewing the album Albatross by Seattle rock band, The Classic Crime. I’ve known about these guys for a while now, but I just got the album not too long ago. Albatross was the band’s debut album, released in 2006 on Tooth And Nail Records. I was surprised when I learned this was their debut album. Why? Simply because of how great it sounds compared to many other bands’ debut albums which hardly ever come close to being one of their best.

Albatross opens up with the song, The Fight. It provides a strong opening for the album, setting up a pumped up atmosphere for the listener. It is then followed up by the more melodic and just as powerful Flight of Kings. Who Needs Air starts off slowly, and quickly builds up into yet another powerful rock song. Then just as soon as it happens it starts out lighter again. It goes back between these two different sounds, surprisingly offering a pleasant sound, and overall making for one of the album’s most memorable and standout songs.

Although the name is still a mystery for me, and the guitar chords are rather simple, Blisters & Coffee is one of my personal favorites. Blisters & Coffee is an anthem song of sorts. In the chorus, Matt MacDonald sings “Desperate! / We will lift up our hands. / Stronger! / We will rise up against. / Freedom! / It’s a part of us all / It’s time to let it go.” As I mentioned, the song is a fairly simple one, yet Matt’s impressive vocals really make the song a powerful hit.

Both The Coldest Heart and All the Memories remind me somewhat of their later work, which although they are good songs, don’t get me wrong, aren’t the way I had hoped to see the group progress in. They sound somewhat generic, and don’t add much to the album. I’m still a huge fan of theirs, yet I think that they would sound even better had they followed songs such as Flight of Kings, Blisters & Coffee, as well as the majority of the album’s latter half.

Say the Word has a gripping opening, although my interest tapers down about half-way throughout the song. I Know The Feeling is essentially the exact opposite of it’s predecessor; the first half of the song really doesn’t reach out to me, once you get about a minute and a half in (it’s a shorter track, about two minutes fifty seconds), that’s where it reaches it’s best.

At this point in the album, things have died down a bit for me. The past few tracks have seemed lackluster to The Fight and Blisters & Coffee which were so energetic and powerful, instantly grabbing my attention and holding on to it. Then bam! Things start getting interesting again. Warrior Poet is a lot alike to Blisters & Coffee. Both are pretty chunky sounding – plenty of palm-muting and power chords – and the lyrics are pretty simple, but also meaningful and powerful at the same time. The bridge of the song builds up nicely, and Matt’s scream at the end of it fits with the song very well.

Bitter Uprising is a pretty good track, I think that it leads into We All Look Elsewhere nicely. It’s also a great rock song, with just a hint of pop-rock. We All Look Elsewhere is arguably, one of the best songs on the album. Matt’s vocals, the amazing guitar solos, and meaningful lyrics all make this to be one of the best songs not only on the album, but also of all of their music.

Lastly, the album closes with the acoustic song, Headlights. It is surely the best song on the album, and it is an amazing close to the album. I think that the final track of an album should be at least a basic summary of the album, and more importantly, give you something to think about once the CD ends. Headlights does a great job of this. It gives you something to think about, and it leaves a good impression of The Classic Crime in your mind.

Closing now, I think that Albatross was a fairly great debut from the band. Could it have been better? Of course, each band has room to improve and grow. As the band begins to head back to record their fourth album, I hope to here more of the same style they showed in this album. More specifically the powerful rock songs, and of course more songs such as Headlights. Overall, I’d give this album three stars out of five.