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Where To Go With The New Album?

Discussion in 'In Flames' started by Overlord Purple Rainbow, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. Overlord Purple Rainbow

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    Are they going completely mainstream now?


    Their chart positions for the last album, COME CLARITY, were amazing! I think they may be one of the biggest bands now! But the JESTER RACE days are over...probably for good. That's what got me into this band.


    But I can't say that I'm not excited to see their success...
     
  2. waif

    waif Member

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    Yes. They have obviously gone pretty mainstream. Not completely, but they have a much larger audience that's only going to expand.
     
  3. IntoPhagist

    IntoPhagist FloriiiiiiiooooooOOO!

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    They are not mainstream.
     
  4. Nehebkau

    Nehebkau Member

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    Yes, they aren't mainstream... :loco:
     
  5. waif

    waif Member

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    Yes they are. As mainstream as metal gets.
     
  6. trilogique

    trilogique Member

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    Wrong. Most mainstream metal has very little lead guitar and it's usually just generic rhythm guitar over and over. The use of keyboards also puts them slightly out of the mainstream scene.

    I'd say they're closer, but still not entirely mainstream. They also seemed to have upped the lyrics a bit on this one from what I can tell. Not as emo as CC.
     
  7. hibernal_dream

    hibernal_dream A Mind Forever Voyaging

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    Um... Are we talking about the same band that went mainstream back on Whoracle?
     
  8. ....Clarity........

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    ...and the BS goes on and on and on and on....:mad:
     
  9. nizzon

    nizzon f.k.a Qth

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    So you are saying they went mainstream with Whoracle, but TJR is not mainstream? That makes sence. :rolleyes:
     
  10. hibernal_dream

    hibernal_dream A Mind Forever Voyaging

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    Jester Race was just a bunch of naive young guys, probably influenced by the commercialism of the time. Whoracle was actively and intentionally commercial.
     
  11. waif

    waif Member

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    Are you fucking kidding? Whoracle?
    No.
     
  12. nizzon

    nizzon f.k.a Qth

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    Haha, ok!
     
  13. hibernal_dream

    hibernal_dream A Mind Forever Voyaging

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    In Flames vs Tiffany

    Formed in 1990 and hailing from Gothenburg, Sweden, IN FLAMES are one of the best-known and highly praised bands in the New Wave of Swedish Death Metal movement. Their third full-length album, Whoracle, was released in 1997 on Nuclear Blast records.

    TIFFANY (born Tiffany Renee Darwisch) was the first female artist to reach the number one spot on the billboard charts. She’s best known for the pop tunes she sang in the 1980s, which paved the way for such groups as New Kids on the Block. Her eponymous debut album was released in 1987 when she was still only sixteen years old.

    In the interest of better assessing the unique merits and deficiencies of both recordings, I’ll compare both of them across a broad variety of categories. May the best album win!

    --------------------------------------------------------

    VOCALS

    This one’s a pushover. Tiffany is a very talented singer; she appeared on Ed McMahon’s Star Search as a child and so even at the young age of sixteen, she has a good range and a great deal of versatility. Although she comes from a country music background, across the album she shows herself capable of handling a variety of styles. Naturally, her voice is the lynchpin of the album and she performs more than adequately.

    In Flames utilize a death metal vocal style… from a technical standpoint, not terribly impressive, and not terribly impressive compared against other death metal singers, either. Anders Fridén has a passable voice, but he’s too monotonous in his inflection. I don’t understand why the band brought in a guy just to do vocals, instead of just having somebody in the band perform them – seems like out of any group of four grown men, at least one of them would have to be able to do death metal vocals better than this guy.

    Winner: Tiffany – Tiffany

    PRODUCTION

    Tiffany’s production is very professionally done, as one would expect from a hit pop album: the recording is crystal clear, everything is perfectly balanced in the listening space, and there are nifty little effects like reverb and such where appropriate. There’s really not much to criticize – I assume the recording was done by well-paid sound engineers.

    In Flames, however, are no slouches in this area either. One of the band’s biggest appeals over the course of their career (since their sophomore effort, anyway) has been their full production and powerful rhythm guitar sound. I find that the cymbals sometimes overwhelm some of the other instruments at certain points, but nevertheless, it’s a very good recording.

    The deciding factor here is that Whoracle was recorded a full decade after Tiffany, and recording technology had by then come a long way since 1987. This might be partially a matter of taste, but a lot of the synthesizer and drum sounds haven’t held up too well over the years... they may have been top-shelf for the time, but nevertheless objectivity demands that I give this category to the In Flames.

    Winner: In Flames – Whoracle

    CATCHINESS / SONGWRITING

    The primary musical influence on In Flames is Iron Maiden, and listening to this album for a few minutes will allow you to understand why Maiden bothered to hire real singers instead of just having some guy growl into the microphone. No big, soaring choruses here: all the melody is trapped in the riffs, and without a real singer providing another dimension to the music, they begin to sound repetitive. Generally, to me, it feels like all of the songs start off on a great melodic hook but quickly become bogged down with monotony. This is probably partly due to the fact that In Flames adhere closely to just a few songwriting formulas, causing the songs to run together in the listener’s mind. What I really fail to grasp is why the drummer keeps hammering the cymbal on every downbeat. Doesn’t he get tired of that? I know I do.

    By contrast, every single song on Tiffany’s debut album is packed with obvious vocal hooks and catchy melodies, and every single song has a distinctive and memorable chorus. It’s certainly no accident that this album spawned two number-one hits (“I Think We’re Alone Now” and “Could’ve Been”) and multiple movie soundtrack appearances. Variation is not neglected either: while the whole album is based in light pop, songs range from cheery up-tempo dance numbers to sadder ballad material. There are a couple of weak points, like “Could’ve Been” (which sounds like it came out of a coffee commercial), and the whole thing’s a little on the light and airy side of course, but nevertheless, the guys who wrote the songs on this album definitely earned their paychecks. Admittedly, the songs wear out their welcome pretty quickly, but that is a problem that In Flames also tend to suffer from, in my opinion.

    Winner: Tiffany – Tiffany

    MUSICIANSHIP

    Without question, the music on Whoracle is a much greater display of raw technical ability. The guitar solos alone are enough to settle the issue, although all of the musicians are very able (if not outstanding by the highest metal standards). There are a couple of solos on Tiffany – including one saxophone solo – but they’re fairly simple, although to their credit the fact that they’re not in every song makes their appearance that much more welcome when they do appear. Other than that, the music is fairly simple, but well-played by the studio musicians. A lot of seems to be electronic, actually… but while electronic musicians never make mistakes, the programmed parts never approach a level of sophistication that can touch the more technical moments on Whoracle.

    Winner: In Flames – Whoracle

    LYRICS

    The lyrics on Tiffany are not generally very impressive. Most of them appear to be about being in love, or falling in love, or falling out of love, or something to that effect, or otherwise seemed to be based around the “misunderstood teen” persona that the album is attempting to project for the singer (i.e. “You keep me hanging like a kid on a corner/Just because you think you can/Don't be so certain that I'll always be there/Just because I've always been”). I’m probably asking too much of pop lyrics though. While they’re not really great reading material I suppose they at least basically make sense and fit in with the music.

    …which is more than I can say for Whoracle’s lyrics. An example from “Episode 666”: “Welcome here, the squirrel-wheel begins/fasten the left hand belts/remember not to think too much/and your trip will be numbingly pleasant”.

    What? For starters, I have no idea what a “squirrel-wheel” is. Perhaps in Sweden people keep squirrels in cages as pets and give them little wheels to run on, like with hamsters. A “left hand belt” would be a seat belt I guess, although if you’re in the passenger side of a car it’s going to be on your right. Perhaps the belt is “left hand” in the sense of somehow being sinister or satanic, but in that case it still would’ve been clearer to say “left hand seat belt”. As it is, it makes it sound as if the singer is actually addressing people who wear belts on their left hands, a concept so absurd as to be outright insane. Perhaps I should just not think too much and let the trip be numbingly pleasant. Anyhow, I’m not going to go over all the lyrics on the album, but suffice it to say most of them are only about as coherent (or grammatically correct) as the above-quoted passage.

    Winner: Tiffany – Tiffany

    COVERS

    Both albums feature cover songs: In Flames cover Depeche Mode’s “Everything Counts”, Tiffany sings both “I Saw Him Standing There”, a Beatles cover, and “I Think We’re Alone Now”, originally recorded by the sixties bubblegum pop group Tommy and the Shondells.

    Honestly, “I Saw Him Standing There” doesn’t come across particularly well, especially compared to the original. If this cover is anything to judge by, when you translate the upbeat rock ‘n’ roll of early Beatles to bright mid-eighties synthesizer sounds, what pops out resembles a cheesy Prince B-side. Definitely one of the weaker songs on the album; stick with the Beatles version. “I Think We’re Alone Now”, on the other hand, is better than the rather monotonous original, if anything. Tiffany’s dance pop version was understandably the first real hit off of the album and remains her best known song; it was even popular enough to inspire a Weird Al parody.

    As for In Flames: “Everything Counts” is an early Depeche Mode song, rather more cheerful than the sound they’re usually associated with and as such sort of an odd choice for a metal cover, especially a “death metal” cover. The original is a pretty catchy song, and the lyrics are rather nifty, but In Flames just don’t have the tools at their disposal to adequately represent it – the panoply of synths in the original (which included everything from electronic beeps to an artificial clarinet) are reduced to monotonous distorted guitar sounds, and of course Anders doesn’t actually “sing” any part of the song except for the chorus, so most of the vocal melodies are down the drain as well. An interesting novelty item but not necessarily a great song in itself.

    Winner: Tiffany – Tiffany

    OVERALL (not an average): Tiffany – Tiffany 72%; In Flames – Whoracle 37%

    Tiffany wins it comfortably with her very catchy (if ultimately disposable) brand of eighties pop. Now, Whoracle is not without its merits, to be sure, but ultimately it just doesn’t have what it takes to match the professionalism and consistency of a double platinum pop album. In Flames have a lot to learn if they’re ever going to go as far in the entertainment industry as Tiffany did in her heyday. To their credit, the band seems to have recognized this and made some changes in their sound in their newest material, experimenting with electronic sounds and nu-metal, although unfortunately the results have been mixed at best. Still, even Tiffany didn’t quite reach the top of the charts overnight, so there may be hope for them yet. Best of luck to them.

    Standout Tiffany tracks: “Danny”, “Promises Made”, “I Think We’re Alone Now”
    Standout Whoracle tracks: “Dialogue with the Stars”, “Episode 666”
     
  14. aaronjs

    aaronjs Member

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    think of how stupid the average person is, and realize, half of them are stupider than that!
     
  15. IntoPhagist

    IntoPhagist FloriiiiiiiooooooOOO!

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    wtf are you talking about
     
  16. Black Tears

    Black Tears Still in the Dark

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    In Flames could not be played on mainstream radio in the U.S.

    They'd not fit in with T-Pain, Lil Wayne, or Gucci Mane.
     
  17. brownden

    brownden Member

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    Who IS considered mainsteam metal then?
     
  18. waif

    waif Member

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    Bullet for my whiny bitch?
     
  19. Black Tears

    Black Tears Still in the Dark

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    lolz ur witty
     
  20. waif

    waif Member

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    they are pretty mainstream.
    Iron Maiden is pretty mainstream. They recently had a top 10 single (which wasn't very good...). Megadeth's latest made it to #8 (although they still decided to do the tour in shitty 500 capacity venues). Slayer won a fucking Grammy.
    In Flames could definitely be played on the radio. They got a song on Guitar Hero, ffs. Accept it: they are fucking mainstream. Now, repeat after me, you kvlt assholes: not all that is mainstream is evil.
     

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