CD Reviews

Saving Abel - 'Miss America' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 24, 2010    
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In a market filled with high quality releases 'average' is still about as enthusiastic as I can get about 'Miss America'.

Two years between albums is actually pretty quick by today’s standards so I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered Saving Abel were ready to subject the world to a second set of songs, grouped together under the working title of 'Miss America'. 'Addicted' first attracted me to the band during the summer of 2008 and received constant play on many radio stations during my Rocklahoma trip that year. The debut album was an instant fix of modern rock and though unashamedly Christian in their beliefs this detracted in no way from the material and any religious messages were camouflaged by the infectious strength of the songs. I found myself immediately making comparisons to 3 Doors Down, due to the Southern tinged musical style and also vocalist Jared Weeks's uncanny ability to sound like 3DD mainman Brad Arnold. Nothing has changed personnel wise during the last 24 months and Skidd Mills once more handles production, recording and mixing duties whilst also providing considerable musical and songwriting input (6th member of the band anyone?).

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The major difference between 'Miss America' and the 2008 debut lies with the quality of the material. After a couple of spins I could remember nothing. Determined not to give up, I considered it something of a personal goal to eventually like it. Now one week and possibly 12 plays later the songs have finally sunk in but still pale significantly next to the 2008 set. The hooks, especially during the first half of the CD, opening track 'Tap Out' being the biggest culprit, lack any substance and fail to impact on many levels. Whether the writing process has undergone any changes or whether the pressure was there to rush out a follow-up to a successful album is open to debate but what is apparent is how much Saving Abel have failed to develop on the attributes of the debut. The likes of 'Contagious', 'The Sex Is Good', 'Bloody Sunday' and 'Mississippi Moonshine' just never seem to get going and it's hard to distinguish at times between verse and chorus. The only 2 tracks, if any, that I think I'll be returning to are the slower, almost ballad like numbers, 'I'm Still Alive' and 'Angel Without Wings' and neither of these stand up to anything recorded previously. In a market filled with high quality releases 'average' is still about as enthusiastic as I can get about 'Miss America'. 

Dave Bott

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