Albums Of The Year 2010 #9: Valencia - Dancing With A Ghost
Who knew that a small progression could lead to a seemingly huge change in sound? Valencia moved down the street from their smooth pop-punk sound in order to create something totally different, an extremely well put together and musically superb pop-rock Dancing With A Ghost. The title track is definitely one of the top ten songs this year, with in my opinion the catchiest chorus of the year along with extreme musical progression from We All Need A Reason To Believe. Rather than the driving guitar and drums known in usual Valencia tracks, "Dancing With A Ghost" showcases Valencia's new sound with bells and much more technical guitar riffs. "Still Need You Around (Lost Without You)" seems to be early in the album for a ballad, but it works with the flow of the album extremely well, containing even more surprises with gang vocals surrounded some of Shane's best vocal work. "Friday Night" is the apex of Valencia's transformation, sounding like an entirely different band. The song has a dark feeling that could almost be compared to The Used, though Valencia pulls it off better than The Used could ever do. Valencia has even more tricks up their sleeves with the strings and keys in "Somewhere I Belong" and snaps in "Days Go Bye". Although a record that may need to grow on you, Dancing With A Ghost changes Valencia from a standout pop-punk band to a band with their own, unique sound that hopefully they will continue to develop in the future. Listen to Valencia on Myspace here.