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4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 26 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Desoto
  • ASIN: B00005QJG6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #186,526 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Sentimental Man
2. The Face Of The Earth
3. Super Powers
4. Pay For The Piano
5. Come Home
6. Secret Curse
7. Automatic
8. Following Through
9. Time Bomb
10. The Other Side
11. Ellen And Ben

Product Description

The Dismemberment Plan may be associated with the DC punk and emo-core scenes, but with their layered keyboards (three-quarters of the members contribute) they are never what you expect. The uninitiated might take exception to singer Travis Morrison's voice, but his nerdy charm, lyrics, and falsetto tend to take hold, as legions of devoted fans will attest. Some might wish DP would remake 1999's Emergency and I; instead, they enlisted Emergency's knob-twiddler, J. Robbins (Jawbox) and expanded their songwriting. Tons of vibrant noise is thrown down and the rhythm section deserves particular kudos. In many ways DP are more jazz than rock at this point. But the sonic spectrum is so wide that the songs never sound crowded. Continuing the tradition of peppering puzzle-like structures with disparate influences (hip-hop, funk, punk, new wave), Change--though thoroughly modern--evokes some good bits from the '80s. There's a bit of the Police (drumming by Joe Easley), U2 (Edge-like rattle and treble-kick guitar), and Talking Heads (quirky, African-sounding rhythms), but it's all mixed with a buzzing excitement, an electricity that hasn't burned out but increased in voltage. --Cyndi Elliott

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
"Change" may be filled with earnest, emotional songs, but it would be doing this album a great disservice to call it simply an "emo" or even "indie" album. The Dismemberment Plan's jazz-meets-rock-meets-pop style defies such easy classification. Instead the band stakes out their own niche with a combination of complex rhythms, endlessly fascinating melodies, and above all, rock-solid musicianship. In a sense this could even be considered math rock, owing mainly to the dazzling dexterity of the rhythm section. Joe Easley, especially, is a phenomenal drummer; in some songs he's basically playing extended solos. And the production makes perfect use of space, enabling the listener to pick up every nuance of the intricate arrangements. Supplying the feeling is lead singer Travis Morrison; although he does overdo it with the falsetto a bit, there's no denying that he puts a lot of emotion into his vocals. More than anything, though, what sets "Change" above the crowd is a diverse batch of memorable songs. The hard-rocking "Pay For The Piano" is doubtless one of the catchiest songs of the past few years, and "Following Through" isn't far behind. "Come Home" and the acoustic "Automatic" slow things down for a quieter and more reflective feel, while "Superpowers" just dispenses with the guitars and overwhelms you with layers of shimmering keyboards. "Time Bomb" and the stunning "Other Side" feature some absolutely sick rhythm work, proving conclusively that these guys aren't just another indie band. The good-natured "Ellen And Ben" even demonstrates a sense of humor, closing out the album with a witty tale of a hot-and-cold relationship. "Change" may be my first Dismemberment Plan album, but I can definitely see where all the praise for this band comes from. Now to get "Emergency And I!"
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Format: Audio CD
Despite the calmer demeanor, Change is a very worth follow-up to the Plan's 1999 opus Emergency & I. While part of the brilliance of Emergency was its seamless blend of just about every popular music genre imaginable, Change finds its brilliance in its flow, consistency, and beauty. If Emergency was the out-of-control party, Change is the morning after with guests gone and the host waking up in a confused daze. "Superpowers" and "Ellen & Ben" are elevated by great keyboard work, something the Plan do with much vigor and creativity. The guitars are generally clean, but very uplifting and gorgeous. A general tone of regret, confusion, depression, and hope emits throughout, and the Plan's use of contradicting moods in terms of music and corresponding lyrics are utterly fantastic. A pretty piece such as "Superpowers" is a little self-depricating while the rise and fall of "Ellen & Ben"'s relationship carries a generally jolly tone. These contradicting tones result in a satisfying lack of melodrama and makes for a very sincere album. Travis' diction and lyrics are some of the best coming from any band: very original, emotional, strange, and clever. The minimalism of "Automatic" works in ways "The Jitters" only hinted at, "Time Bomb" is a desperate confessional in which every line is felt, and "Face Of The Earth"'s dub and hip-hop undertones show a greater understanding and love of both genres than just about every rap-metal band out there. The more mature, mellow tone might disappoint some at first, but repeated listens just get better and better. Change could very well be the ultimate Dismemberment Plan album. Definitely one of the greatest bands out there.
P.S. Someone on the Emergency & I board said that the Plan sounded terrible live. He/She must have caught a bad show because they were fantastic when I saw them live in D.C. this month.
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Format: Audio CD
This Dismemberment Plan album, on its surface, is another nice emo album with sincere reedy vocals and awkward but pretty guitars. On those grounds it is extremely pleasant; in fact, Coldplay fans with taste will find 'Change' much more interesting than Starsailor. But this isn't just another soundtrack to shyness. First of all, the basslines are tight, repetitive funk. Admittedly the production is too prissy for funk. Your booty will remain mostly unmoved. But think of the deftly juggled time signatures! Furthermore, Joe Easley sounds like he practices to Roni Size albums. 'Other Side' is a drum-and-bass song played by a real rhythm section.
On top of this, the lyrics are extremely honest, in the vein of Greg Dulli or even Nirvana. Unlike emo singers that romanticize their own capacity for longing, Travis Morrison is always in-between strut and apology. Lines like "I'd rather be happy than right this time," or "I guess you could call it superpowers / but nobody's going to save the world" have confusion as their driving force. There's nothing wrong with plain old ache, but the way Dismemberment Plan recombines emo with funk and bad-boy confessions makes the vocal trills and blue guitars sound absolutely new.
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Format: Audio CD
Almost every review I've seen of the Dismemberment Plan's most recent
record has invoked the album's title to discuss the earth-shattering shift
that it represents away from the band's old sound. I find this quite
amusing, partly because I'm just amused at how much artists can shape
critical response to a record just by their choice of title, but mostly
because I doubt most reviewers would have harped on that aspect of the
release if it hadn't been for the title.
First of all, the elements that make the Plan one of the most distinctive
bands around are still firmly intact - clever, chiming guitar work;
complex and methodical but funky drumming; and head Planner Travis
Morrison's unmistakable dry, deliberate delivery. Certainly, there are
distinguishable differences between this and their last effort, 1999's
universally (and rightly) lauded "Emergency & I." For instance (as has
been most often commented on), this one is slightly mellower - that is,
nothing here verges on unlistenable the way "Emergency's" weakest link
"I Love a Magician" did.
Also, there's nothing as glorious and cathartic as "The City" or as
inane-yet-beautiful as "You Are Invited." And, arguably, this release
definitely finds the Plan continuing to distance themselves from their
brash and raucous early work (epitomized by "!," whose title is
unfortunately not pronounced as a Bantu click). But so what - what's so
mind-blowing about a group evolving their sound?
Read more ›
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