...And then there's this. I won't be surprised if this gets pulled within moments of me posting it, but what the hell, it's worth sharing. If you're a metal fan that's been living in a box for the past four or so years, you could be forgiven for not hearing of the most recent work by the mastermind behind Strapping Young Lad: Devin Townsend. The Project albums were a big four-album concept touching on - as Townsend's albums always seem to - themes relating to self-discovery and internal evaluation. The album series told a story of sorts: You had the tense and uncertain Ki, contemplating if heavy music is really worth the emotional trauma. Then there was Addicted, an big album of dumb fun that tried to make heavy music poppy and danceable at the same time. After this came Deconstruction, an album that can best be described as throwing a big box full of ideas and guest musicians into a ceiling fan and recording what happens. Finally there was Ghost, wrapping up the project in a willowy, "everything is wonderful" kind of way, a great way of wrapping up a great album series.
And then he goes and releases another one. Oh well, it was a nice idea while it lasted.
The release of another album under the Project moniker just out of the blue like this kind of suggests that the name of "Devin Townsend Project" is just the "Devin Townsend Band" of the moment (well, the lineup is the same, I guess): Simply another title for yet more of Townsend's solo work.
But enough about semantics, what's the bloody album like? Well, if we're going to liken it to any of the Project albums, I'd have to say it's like Addicted to the power of The Final Countdown. The LP comes with metaphorical hooks up the ass, especially in lead "single" Lucky Animals (described by Townsend live as "the most annoying song in the world", and frankly it's easy to see why). Most of the tracks here have simple verses, big choruses and - once again similar to Addicted - slightly disappointing mid-sections. Songs like Grace and the first 'proper' track True North could either do with being a bit shorter or a little more varied. But oh well, repetition is the very essence of pop music, and while this is very unlikely to be a chart-topper (I think it reached #65 or something here in the UK), a lot of the songs could quite cheerfully be played on Radio 1 and be greeted with chorus singalongs and tapping feet of the day's rush hour commuters.
I haven't really said enough about the album for this to be a full on review (you'll have to wait until my 2012 roundup for that - yes, I am still doing one), I will at least say it's bouncy and memorable enough to be good for a spin or two.
13 tracks, 49:52, 97.04 MiB
Edit 28/10/12: Well, that didn't take long.