AlbumsNovember 29, 20119,938 views

Circa Survive On Letting Go

01. Living Together 02. In the Morning and Amazing 03. The Greatest Lie 04. The Difference Between Medicine and Poison Is in the Dose 05. Mandala 06. Travel 07. Semi Constructive Criticism 08. Kicking Your Crosses Down 09. On Letting Go 10. Carry Us Away 11. Close Your Eyes To See 12. Your Friends Are Gone
2007 Equal Vision Records
Our score 7

by Nick

Circa Survive is just one of those bands. Over-hyped by many a sixteen year old girl and unfairly written off by those incapable of looking past Anthony Green's abrasively distinctive vocals, Circa Survive has managed to secure a pretty adamant fan/enemy base since the release of 2005's Juturna. Nevertheless, these guys' brand of emo-laced prog-rock has struck a chord with many looking for something a little different (but not too different) than the Taking Back Sunday and Brand New records they used to hold so dearly. And with On Letting Go they show no signs of disappointing that demographic. Much like Juturna, On Letting Go is filled with extremely catchy rock tunes characterized by swirling guitars, driving bass rhythms and, given the territory, some decently inventive drumming. Green's soaring singing (or, depending on your perspective, painful wailing) definitely fits snuggly into the love-it-or-hate-it category right between the Blood Brothers and that guy in mewithoutYou who made a career out of talking into the mic. I love all three styles, but if these kinds of unique vocals aren't for you then I probably don't have to be the one to break the news that Circa Survive won't be either. The majority of the tracks on On Letting Go are neatly packaged into three and a half minute segments, leaving just enough room for the band to move in and out of subdued, atmospheric verses and well-transitioned, energetic choruses. Circa Survive have definitely nailed down the art of writing cohesive songs, but their failure to stray from their well-executed formula is a bit of a letdown and will stand out to the experienced listener as evidence that theses guys might not be as progressive as the blinking banner ads and MTV spots make them out to be. Regardless, there's still a lot that I enjoy about On Letting Go. The two guitarists have a great ability for writing superb intertwining hooks and ambient picking parts that are very complementary to the rhythm section. I wouldn't go quite as far to say that these guys are on the Minus the Bear level of innovation, but if one looks beneath Green's overemphasized vocals it's possible to find a bunch of warm guitar licks that are just as deserving of the spotlight. Circa Survive's ability to simply creative pleasant moods is also a regular occurrence on the disc, with the soft intro of "Kicking Your Crosses Down" and the post-climax closing of the album's title track providing perfect examples. I'd love to see Circa Survive take advantage of this ability and take a stab at a longer, more build-oriented song, but something like that would probably alienate the very demographic they're targeting. In its entirety, On Letting Go is very enjoyable at numerous points throughout its 45 minute duration, but its inability to stray from the musical formula solidified by Juturna prevents it from being an exceptional listen. Bottom Line: Even though Circa Survive rarely wanders off their Juturna-established musical path into areas that one would hope a band often described by terms like "experimental" and "progressive" would, I still enjoy much of On Letting Go. Fans not expecting nor desiring huge changes from Circa Survive's previous output will find this disc to be quite all right. And those who hated Anthony Green's vocals before certainly won't find anything to change their minds.


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set_phasers_to_gay_ 7/6/2007 10:50:13 PM

first post. living together > album

ugly old guy_ 7/6/2007 10:51:29 PM

hardcore // metal // no holds barred gayry

balls_ 7/6/2007 11:10:21 PM

This album is terrible. Sooooo boring.

xtroyx_ 7/6/2007 11:39:19 PM

i really liked juturna, and this album, as the review states, just rehashes what has already been done. it's too similar for my tastes and when listening i find myself wishing i were hearing juturna instead. no need to do the same album twice.

anonymous 7/7/2007 12:47:34 AM

i heard lambgoat is going to review the new kelly clarkson next!

anonymous 7/7/2007 1:20:17 AM

i love kelly clarkson and she shoots whiskey like a champ!

hxcobd_ 7/7/2007 3:15:09 AM

On Letting Go > Juturna. 7/10 is about right, though. Lots of really enjoyable songs. f*ck you all.

anonymous 7/7/2007 5:15:17 AM

Scandy, you gay...THEY SUCK!!! That's the gimmick! You fell into their homo snare, you rump ranger.

believeyoume_ 7/7/2007 10:52:45 AM

I'd have given it an 8, but you're easily the most solid reviewer here. Good review.

Nick_ 7/7/2007 11:51:23 AM

Oh believeyoume, you really know how to push my buttons.

lord_gold_ 7/7/2007 12:26:12 PM


arty_mcfarty_ 7/7/2007 4:40:12 PM

good review......thank you so much for not letting cory do this

mike williams_ 7/7/2007 6:20:38 PM

this album is perfect 10 out of 10, it sound s like the old cd but with bands its lose lose if you make a similar album then kids bitch, but if you go out on a limb and write something different kids will say they liked the old stuff, this band is awesome, there is no gimmick involved and half the band members were in this day forward, and i think the progression in thier playing is awesome.

anonymous 7/7/2007 9:59:52 PM

gay shit

HAR_ 7/8/2007 8:52:38 AM

shit f*cking band

ofGO_ 7/9/2007 12:13:35 AM

this shit is so catchy.

pnutt_ 7/10/2007 10:55:38 AM

I think Circa pulled out a great album from their minds! and it was reviewed on my! they are one of my faves! <3C.S.

Choadushouse_ 7/10/2007 8:12:02 PM

Disagree with some of the review. One of the best records of the year. The record is a huge step forward from Juturna. There is plenty of variation throughout it. The record doesn't deserve as low as a 7 just because the tracks are all average length. This record is a 9/10 in my book.

Metal Mike_ 7/10/2007 11:28:51 PM

Nick's blanket appreciation of mediocre pop punk/emo bands is only another phase of his childhood revival ridiculousness. Let it be duly noted that nick also gives praise to the likes of the Ataris and The Rocket Summer. The new Circa Survive album is nothing more than slowed down epic metal riffs with a lot of delay on them so they sound dreamy, accompanied by a lot of melodramatic, psuedo-experimental whining. Beyond that, I think Nick's approval of this album shows his desire to stay c

jay_in_flames_ 7/11/2007 3:51:36 AM

The Above post, is the best post I have ever read on the internet, one of the best burns ever.

Nic_ 7/11/2007 7:11:11 AM

Hahahahaha Metal Mike, how dare you!

chewbacca_ 7/12/2007 8:16:54 PM

awesome album. shame its "cool" to hate great music these days and that pigeon holing bands under what category or "demographic" they are supposedly aiming for still exists. isnt it possible bands just write music they like and are proud of and want to showcase it to anyone and everyone regardless of demographics?

plague of change_ 7/13/2007 7:53:11 AM

this album is just as amazing as juturna and maybe even more powerful then that i dont think ive heard a more well put together cd besides this cd and juturna -jake my band carnifex

Metal Mike_ 7/17/2007 6:47:41 AM

Yes pop music is mostly about demographics. Metal, on the other hand, is about demonographics. In other words, how effectively will the music spawn evil spirits to wreak havoc on pop-listening mortals?

ckk_ 7/18/2007 11:36:29 AM

good f*cking cd

the real ckk_ 7/20/2007 2:32:13 AM

dont use my name you son of a bitch. ckk doesnt post in review page. this upset me so much that i was unable to sleep. but now i can.

balls_rich_ 7/29/2007 2:36:43 AM

this cd is definitly a progression for this band. although some of the songs on this cd are way better than the ones on juturna (thos tracks being 1-4 & 10) the rest of the album really lacked great songs. so its a good pregression but it lacks every single song being very good like juturna was.