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So Divided

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 14 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000J233YE
  • In-Print Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #99,311 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Intro: A Song Of Fire And Wine
2. Stand In Silence
3. Wasted State Of Mind
4. Naked Sun
5. Gold Heart Mountain Top Queen Directory
6. So Divided
7. Life
8. Eight Day Hell
9. Witches Web
10. Segue: In The Realms Of The Unreal
11. Sunken Dreams

Product Description

Product Description

Pioneering Austin-based rock band And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead return with their third and most compelling full-length yet. So Divided packs a hook-laden punch, as equal parts anthemic guitar, layered orchestration, and bitingly introspective lyrics crash and interweave.


This Austin quintet's metamorphosis from scrappy art-punks to great American rock band is complete with these 11 tunes, even if the layered harmonies, blithe melodies, and textured hooks of numbers like the gig-gone-wrong tale "Eight Days of Hell" owe as much to the Beatles as to the Beach Boys. The lyrics remain as opaque and allusive--of personal trauma, cultural unease, assertive rebirth, and disconnection--as they were in the days Trail of Dead were known for literally shedding blood on stage during savage performances. But the group's far more sophisticated on their fourth major-label release. Their range and ability to create grand soundscapes have grown thanks in part to smart casting. King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto, slide guitarist Daniel Wilcox, and Dresden Dolls pianist-vocalist Amanda Palmer are among the guest who add color to some of this disc's most emotionally vibrant arrangements. Nonetheless, it's the core group's now-fully-realized flexibility that makes the galloping polyrhythms of "Wasted State of Mind" rub comfortably against the bull-in-a-china-shop guitar-rock of "Stand in Silence" and the staggering T. Rex riffery of "Naked Sun." The album closes with the epic, two-part "Sunken Dreams," which wraps the group's muscular guitar-driven nucleus in a vocal choir, waves of reverb, and elements of musique concrete to create a sweeping backdrop for a tale of love among the ruins of a post-nuclear world--or a barren soul. It's captivating. --Ted Drozdowski

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
An amazing follow up to World's Apart. The perfect middle ground between the grandoise of World's Apart and the staright up rock of Source Codes and Tags. Highly recommend! Do yourself a favour and click that buy button!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa17e3300) out of 5 stars 41 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0f10bb8) out of 5 stars This Is A Band Who Has Not Gotten Its Due Nov. 14 2006
By Stephen B. Wright - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I am mainly reviewing this album a little higher because the other review was so bad. If you did not like Worlds Apart then this album is not for you. So Divided continues in the direction that they started on with The Secret Of Elena's Tombs. I have to disagree with one part of the other review on here that actually I hear a kind of return to Source Tags & Codes. Most of the noise is gone but some of the psychadelic sounds that were underneath all the noise is more upfront now. This album is really more a long the lines of 4 stars. And yes there are rumours that this may be the last album by this band. I hope not but a band like this is always underappreciated at the time of their existence and when they are gone people long for them to get back together. The band does have a more prog rock sound but I don't here the emo reference here. Trail of Dead have always been about exploring their darker emotions in song.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa155eb94) out of 5 stars and the rest will follow Feb. 21 2007
By Sage Turk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This review goes to 3 groups:

A)Completely new listeners: Probably the first thing that should be cleared up is what to expect from a band called ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead. The answer? Not what you'd expect. It's not death metal. It's not thrash, or hardcore, or even really punk (past fans look at section "C"). If you've been reading reviews and have seen references to Oasis, or the Beatles...those would certainly be closer comparisons than their name would imply. Why go over this? Because you'll probably land in two categories. If you like hardcore or death metal exclusively, then you'll listen for a minute and want to throw it out. Others who are just curious will probably be pleasantly surprised...because that's what Trail of Dead has become. Pleasant. For you this album is: *** three stars.

B) Those that discovered Trail of Dead through their last album, Worlds Apart. As it's been said a thousand times, if you like that album, this is the best of that album, honed, and magnified. You'll probably appreciate the melody, the knack for creating surprising easy to swallow alt rock. ***** five stars

C) If you've known Trail of Dead since the beginning...or at least since Source Tags and Codes... I hate to say it but this is not the same band. Gone is the explosiveness, the ferocity, the coursing crashing power. If somehow you skipped worlds apart and went straight to this...you'd be shocked, and probably a little saddened. * one star

Summary: Trail of Dead have proven to be a tidal wave...all power and commotion...then suddenly peace. If you can appreciate both, awed by a sunset over the water as easy as the crashing storm, Then you'll appreciate Trail of Dead's transformation.

Overall, three stars, because ultimately, the power is what forced you to listen. This album is nice. It's a great listen. But will it last? Will you feel compelled to go back again and again. No. Not really. A sunset is nice if you happen to be there...but you don't go out of your way to find it.

Let's just hope the coming night brings a storm.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa23fabdc) out of 5 stars The Fuzz is Back, Crank it to 11 Dec 18 2006
By John - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Conrad and the boys are back with a vengeance on 'So Divided' Where `World's Apart' was really a huge departure from the sound fans have come to love about the Trail of Dead, this sounds like the best parts of both of their two previous albums molded together. Once again there is a wide variety of songs (including not only a Guided By Voices cover but also a song that could have been taken straight off the last Shins CD), but somehow it all seems to flow just fine even when listening to the whole thing at once. In Conrad's own words, "On the previous record, I was trying harder to be optimistic, but I also wasn't really writing about myself. All the stuff I wrote on this record is definitely about what I've been going through, and I didn't mince words or try to paint a prettier picture."

The rocking, psychedelic, fuzzed out sound that everyone loved on `Source Tags' has returned, but it's now melded perfectly with the anthemic quality introduced on `World's Apart'. This new style works magnificently on standouts like "Wasted State of Mind" and the title track. I can already envision entire audiences singing along and blazing lighters to "Wasted State of Mind". "So Divided" is just an instant classic. It starts out pretty laid back, but before the second verse, the tempo doubles, racing along through the next two verses as if some amphetamines had just kicked in. It all culminates in the long, crashing third verse with Conrad screaming some great lyrics:

"You think your future is warm and bright,

But it is death and I'm your destiny.

You think you'll be protected by God,

I'll put you out of your misery."

If you haven't already figured it out, by the time you get to the end of this song you will know that the Trail of Dead have definitely got the groove back.

On "Naked Sun" Keely seems like he's begging for Oasis comparisons until a minute and a half in when you think the next verse is gonna start and instead you get a jazz breakdown with Conrad playing one of the sax's himself. The song picks back up again and kicks along like normal for another couple minutes before trailing off into a typical ToD style musical buildup, with a group singing the final lyrics ("I'll burn a way out") over and over, louder every time. Eventually you begin to hear this amazing guitar solo kind of playing way back in the mix, but it's so good you will strain to hear it. The Trail of Dead aren't known for their solos, but this one sounds like Neil Young in his prime, shredding the sh#t out of Old Black.

"Life", "Eight Days of Hell", and "Witch's Web" are three kind of "pop" songs in a row. "Life" is similar to the Beatlesque songs from `World's Apart' but better. It has an interesting piano-backed coda sung by Lily Courtney, ending in the oh-so-true line "it`s hard getting older all the same." "Witch's Web" is - are you ready for this? - an acoustic song with not only country slide guitar, but also a chorus where Conrad finally shows us he can slip into a haunting falsetto.

So, it`s a month since this has been released and I`m still listening to it regularly and still finding it amazing and that begs the question: Is this better than `Source Tags & Code?' Well...no it's not. `Source Tags' was perfect in everyway, it had moments like the title track which I would place alongside the likes of even `Sticky Fingers' era Rolling Stones, or "Days of Being Wild" which is the aural equivalent of trashing a hotel room. `So Divided' does come damn close though, it deserves at least four and a half stars.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1ae7174) out of 5 stars One of my all time favorite albums Dec 27 2006
By R.E. Viewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I was taken in completely at the first listen, and left without words to describe how truly awesome this album is. By the time the album roars to a raging, passionate crescendo of a finish, I am left in an altered state of consciousness of pure awe and disorientation. I can't think of many albums I have ever heard that accomplish this change in mental state for me. Naked Sun is the only song that I could take or leave, even though I think the instrumental break in the middle is utterly badass, especially compared to the subpar self-indulgent quality of the rest of the song. My friend's wife is a professional Jazz musician who has played saxophone for the past 30 years, and she was totally blown away by the saxophone solo.

I find it hilarious when long time fans gripe that Trail of Dead doesn't continually reproduce the murky noise rock of Source Tags and Codes. Why would a band not want to keep exploring music and growing and evolving? That album sounded like a self-indulgent garage band to me at first listen. Music critics loved it because it was very anti-melodic and noisy, and didn't sound like the radio schlock they were sick of listening to every day. It was like you've been eating plain crackers for a year, and someone hands you a steaming pizza. Of COURSE you're going to love it. Even if that pizza is only half-baked, it's still going to light up your taste buds after eating crackers for a year. That's what Source Tags was I think. Not necessarily great in and of itself, but just VERY different than the music that other bands were making at that time. I find it boring when bands reproduce the same old sound over and over again on every album.

In my opinion, Trail of Dead started getting better with World's Apart, even though it did have it's hits and misses. I liked the vast variation in style and genres explored from song to song, and the segues were very good transitions. Especially "To Russia, My Homeland", which was just PURE AWESOMENESS, and so very unexpected. When's the last time you've EVER heard something so incongruous and yet BEAUTIFUL inserted between two songs on an album. For myself, I can't think of anything that compares.

So Divided was a big step forward musically, especially in terms of orchestration (which some critics don't like just as a principle, but I can't see why when it's done well), sampling, and songcraft. To me, listening to this album is an awesome experience, especially cranked up LOUD. I played it for a friend of mine one night and he was blown away. So Divided is inspired, passionate, and very melodic without sounding like an attempt at conformity or to achieve popularity. GREAT album.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa842a384) out of 5 stars It's a sleeper hit, kids...! Nov. 30 2006
By Art n'Music Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is just like what happened earlier this year with the new AFI album. Bands change, and "real/longtime" fans can't handle it. The fact that Trail of Dead actually titled their new release "So Divided" means they could foresee the continued fan angst. Whatever. I focus on the music. Worlds Apart is where I got on board with this band--that's a gorgeous disc from start to finish. I've seen them live, (yes they rawk), and listened to their past material. Frankly, I don't think their older stuff is as melodic or developed. Can't get into it. Now, onto this new disc: it takes a few listens, but then it really grows on you. There's no initial payoff like "Will You Smile Again?", but "So Divided" gets me screaming along to the bombastic chorus ("put you out of your misery!"). Fave song is "Witch's Web". Love the symphonic touches at times: these are big powerful songs you can sink your teeth into. The final song is very Cure-ish, and a good exit to a fine disc. Love the fact Amanda Palmer plays piano on "Wasted State Of Mind". Can't wait to see them next week here in SF!

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