Let’s get one thing clear; this is by no means a bad album. It’s actually really good. From the production to the mature lyrics, there is nothing much to complain about this album. My only gripe is how I feel about it. It’s a bittersweet album for me.
The self-titled album is their fifth project and it marks a significant change in their sound. Gone are the days of screaming, growling and heavy guitar riffs which we saw in Stand Up and Scream, Reckless and Relentless and The Black. It also marked the return of Danny Worsnop after Denis Stoff’s departure from the band. As a fan of Asking Alexandria, I was excited to see Danny rejoining the band but is his return justified and is the band’s new music direction worth it?
What I like
There is so much to like about it. I particularly enjoy the maturity in their lyrics. The band tackles various topics such as rediscovering oneself (Alone in a room), perseverance (Empire) and freedom (Eve). You really have to appreciate how far they have come from their debut album era where it was all about anger and not giving two shits. Don’t get me wrong, I loved their attitude during my emo phase but things do change and this change is quite welcome.
Danny’s vocals are really good here. One can easily tell how comfortable his vocals are here. This must also be the same case when he performs live as the vocals are smooth and the notes are easy to hit. You do get a few screams here and there but that’s provided in doses throughout the whole record. The music production in general is fantastic. One thing I have always loved about AA is their readiness to make music and they do not disappoint. My personal favorite has to be Empire featuring Bingx. The band is able to work well with the rapper and the final output is a really good song.
What I don’t like
In as much as AA has ticked a lot of boxes with this record, I actually don’t like it as much. Why? It doesn’t feel like an AA album to me. Sounds weird right? I love everything that they have done with the album but it doesn’t feel like them.
Let’s briefly look at their previous album, The Black. Denis was the front man and he had big shoes to fill. Many fans were divided over whether he was the perfect replacement but one thing was for sure; The Black was an AA album. It had their signature sound that we’ve come to love and appreciate, even with a change in persons. As for this album, even with Danny’s presence, it doesn’t feel like they made it. In fact, you would think it’s another band if you were to randomly listen to any of the songs in a public area or in the radio.
At this point you must be telling yourself that I’m complaining and you’re absolutely right. I just don’t know how to feel about it. Are we now supposed to get used to this new style? I certainly hope not.
This is a tough one. I like what they’ve done with the record but it just doesn’t feel like the AA I know. Maybe I’ll get used to it. Maybe I won’t. I give it a 7/10.
My Favorite Songs
- Into the fire