Pompeii - Nothing Happens For A Reason
When Pompeii last left us, we were left wondering if they were quite possibly one of the most elegant and beautiful bands on Earth. Dean Stafford could write metaphors that Billy Collins wishes he could pen. His voice was simply gorgeous. So, when we arrive to the sophomore album, Nothing Happens For A Reason, I went to press play and was nervous. For the love of God, don't disappoint me.
It didn't. While Assembly may be the epitome of their discography, Nothing takes off where it left off and builds upon, with mixed results. While "Where We're Going, We Don't Need Roads" sounds like filler, it still pulls you in. The cello continues to be the glory of this band, every note quivers in its delivery and it's simply amazing. "Rabbit Ears" really opens the album and it's kind of hit and miss. Dean Stafford still has the voice, the cello is still hooking you in, but it just feels like a overdone escapade. It doesn't work. "False Alarm" is where the album truly picks up, and you find Stafford telling you "I think you need to calm down." It's a radio friendly toe-tapper and they do it well.
"The Viking" is really where the album peaks. The intro really cascades into this melodic, brooding scene where Stafford sounds pretty as usual, but there seems to be some underlining intensity. The xylophone is a trick. The beautiful cello is a trick, the whole beautiful scenario is a trick. It's an intense moment.
The album is very weak at points. "Ready/Not Ready" has this out of place synth introduction that is just not good. Fortunately, the rest of the track recovers from the moment, but you are just left wondering what were they thinking? "What Kind of Future" stands out as one of the most boring tracks of 2008. It feels out of place as.
The album closes with the title track and it's beautiful and you are just left wondering "Is this Assembly or is it better?" It's not both, but it's not bad, it's still a great album. Maybe that's what happens when you make an amazing debut. You may never be able to top it. But I'll listen to the day I die.
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on 2008-10-14 mountaloha Said:
Great review. I've yet to hear assembly, but I am downloading it as I write. There are so many great songs on this album, but like you said, there are songs that need to disappear. I'd rather hear 8 good songs and leave the other crappy ones out. Filler is not music, hopefully that stops sooner than later.