Friday, August 31, 2012

Jukebox: Anberlin - Someone Anyone

Anberlin, for as different as their albums sound, never really change. Although the thematic elements may differ, the band never seems to try anything but refine its sound. Aside from differences like the synth line of "Paperthin Hymn" the formula for success seems to be heavy emphasis on powerchords and a catchy chorus with little substance in the verses with a bridge section to break the monotony. But, as the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. With songs like "Feel Good Drag" making an impact on rock-radio charts, there's no reason to break away from the norm.

On the surface, "Someone Anyone" follows in its predecessors' footsteps- a guitar-powered track that borders on monotonous and is ultimately saved from complacency by Stephen Christian's vocals. Dedicated Anberlin followers will recognize the first verse of the song as strangely reminiscent of Never Take Friendship Personal's "The Runaways" with Christian's vocals mimicking his own from years earlier. The main deviation from the formula on "Someone Anyone" seems to be an increased focus on Nathan Young's drums, with the guitar taking on a supporting role in the verses. The bass drum hits hard and heavy, complementing Christian's softer vocals during the verses. The guitars are still the musical star, but they're not as obvious as they were in the past. The synth makes a reappearance on "Someone Anyone" too- more heavily during the choruses, but as an interesting accent to the guitar during the verses.

The biggest change that Anberlin makes on "Someone Anyone" is to heavily alter Christian's voice. The sound is unlike anything else ever heard on an Anberlin record. It almost sounds like he's singing through the keyboard amplifier. His voice has been given a tinny, echoing quality in the choruses that reminds of "Hello Alone," with its pseudo-call and response structure and artificial sound. It's not a huge step forward in production, but it has enough wow factor to keep the song fresh after many listens. It's still an Anberlin single, but slight changes like the vocal effects and the keyboard reinforcements elevate "Someone Anyone" from just another Anberlin single to a song that elicits a reaction and builds anticipation for the new album. It may not be extremely ambitious or edgy, but it's enough of a change to keep the band intriguing.

Official Lyric Video

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