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Import pressing of the 2007 studio album from the American Alternative rockers, released in the U.S. only through a major retail outlet (rhymes with Farget). Afterwords is the band's seventh studio effort and follow-up to 2005's acclaimed Youth album and is the first release on their own El Music Group label.
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Top Customer Reviews
I admit, I didn't like this album at first, mainly because it's so different from "Rabbit" (many of the best tracks are slow and melodic), but I quickly fell in love with the album with another listen or two.
Unlike other albums in this day and age, you can listen to all tracks on this album in order, from front to back (and I'd encourage you to do so). There are no "bad songs". I've listened to this album for well over 100 times and it's still my favorite.
1. "New Vibration" (8/10). Good song but not as strong as other CS intro songs.
2. "What I Can Give You" (10/10). My favorite song of the album and I fell in love with it immediately.
3. "Never Here Alone" (8/10)
4. "Bearing Witness" (7/10)
5. "All That I Know" (9/10)
6. "I Don't Need Anymore Friends" (Joel Kosche) (9/10). Hated this song at first and I thought it was so weird not hearing Ed's voice, but it grew on me and it's one of my favorite tracks now.
7. "Good Morning After All" (6/10). Not a bad song, but it's the only one I occasionally skip.
8. "Hollywood" (8/10). This is their "hit" song off the album.
9. "Persuasion of You" (8/10)
10. "Georgia Girl" (10/10). Slow (didn't like it at first), melodic, one of my favorite songs.
11. "Adored" (10/10). Another slow song and the perfect way to end the journey.
Again, I don't know why at least some of these songs aren't on mainstream radio or TV, I think they'd do really well and they're really catchy. What a shame.
I hope Collective Soul keep writing music, they seem to get better over time and they're the only ones in their genre doing what they do. Thanks Collective Soul!
There's just something wonderful about this record as a whole package (from the record name, to the album cover, to the lyrics and music of the songs themselves) that I can't properly describe.
I would recommend this to any collective soul fan, avid or occasional, or anyone else who's forgotten the truly great, underrated bands of our age (I grew up in the 90's).
I recommend the following tracks: New Vibration, What I Can Give You, Bearing Witness, Georgia Girl, Adored
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I wish Ed Roland and company would experiment more. They've been around for 13 years, so what do they have to lose at this point? Shake things up a bit next time. I give "Afterwords" four stars because its better than their last two albums, but not quite as good as 1995's "Collective Soul" or 1999's "Dosage".
As a final note, I don't know whether the band's strategy of selling their album only through Target and iTunes is smart. Time will tell. However, I think many potential buyers and fans won't even know Collective Soul have a new cd out. I haven't heard "Hollywood" on the radio, nor have I seen the video on MTV or VH1. The only place I've seen the video is on the band's website, and the only place I've heard the song is on my stereo. It would make a great iPod commercial though!
So, if you are a Collective Soul fan like myself, you will probably like this, and should pick up a copy. They are the only Christian band masquerading as a rock band that I can stand! I'm hoping next time they will offer more surprises with their music. For now, "Afterwords" is enough to tide me over.
"Good Morning After All" has a nice, classic Collective Soul vibe to it, what with it's layered guitars, steady rhythm section and thoughtful lyrics ("But you swear there's always hope/Always hope from above/Now everything starts to fall into place"). Once again, it's nothing we've never heard before, but sometimes the ratty, old bathrobe is the most comfortable one...! Not so comfy is "Hollywood." Ed Roland has been quoted as saying that the song is a tribute to The Cars, but a good tribute is fresh, fun and original...."Hollywood" is none of those. Instead, it's a piece of empty pop fluff that The Cars would have left on the studio floor 25 years ago. MAJOR misstep! Far better is the rumbling "Persuasion Of You." This track provided me with a new found appreciation of and for bassist Will Turpin. Like some of my other all-time favorite bassists (John McVie of Fleetwood Mac, Jean Millington of Fanny and INXS' Gary Garry Beers), Turpin anchors this cut - and pretty much every track on the disc - with chunky chords that are beefy and strong, yet never overpowering or obtrusive. Simply put, Will Turpin is the musical heart ~ and soul! ~ of Collective Soul. "Georgia Girl" has a cool, clean earthiness to it. Part ballad, part mid-tempo rocker, it's an easy, relaxed little number that just floats out of the speakers, settling comfortably in the listener's head. Sweet! The disc closes on a strong note with the sublime "Adored." Understated instrumentation + subtle lead vocals = perfection. Toss in some deep, but heartfelt, lyrics ("I can say this life is/Much better today/Everything turns right if/Wrong gets in the way") and you have a real winner. So....my final thoughts on AFTERWORDS? I don't love it, I don't hate it. I certainly still think that Collective Soul is one of the best bands to hit the scene in the last decade or so, and, hey, this just gives me something to look forward to.....seems I LOVE every other Collective Soul album! (As with all my reviews, I'm giving the disc an extra half a star for including the lyrics).
However, the group doesn't falter on the songwriting front. The only tracks that really grabbed me were the guitar heavy opener "New Vibration" and the album's first single "Hollywood" (which you are probably familiar with as the theme to this year's American Idol auditions). I'd like to hear Collective Soul kick up the rock quotient a little built instead of treading the safe waters of adult-oriented pop.