Fireworks

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Smash Into Pieces - 'Rise And Shine' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/4e/39/7f/smash-into-pieces-rise-and-shine-87-1500494137.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 19, 2017    
 
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An album that promised so much and yet delivers too many fillers.

An ode, perhaps, to the difficulty of getting out of bed in the mornings, Smash Into Pieces' third album sees a change in direction into territory favoured in recent times by the likes of Daughtry, Train and to a lesser extent Skillet. The incorporation of Electronica and Dance rhythms into the overall sound isn't a particularly new idea and, on face value, it seems like a sensible one in an attempt to break into the mainstream. The trouble is it feels like a sell-out.

SIP's last album was a triumph; "radio-friendly" Modern Rock songs that combined elements of Creed and Alter Bridge with production values that oozed class. Yes, it had hit singles ('Disaster Highway', 'Checkmate') but it was a complete package, a proper album that could have seen the band progress with album sales in the same way that the likes of AB and Black Stone Cherry has in the UK. Now we're left with a blatant attempt at popularity where all the aggression has been nullified, squashed and driven out.

If you look hard enough you can still find the old Smash Into Pieces in the form of the excellent 'Turn It Down' or in the voice box-induced heaviness of the title track, but these moments are too few and far between. It's not that this is a bad album, indeed the production is tight and vocalist Chris-Adam Hedman Sorbye (who recently stood in for Amaranthe's Jake E on tour) excels, but it simply tries too hard.

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'Let Me Be Your Superhero' and 'Merry Go Round' are decent slices of Pop Rock with elements of Dance Rock, 'Higher', resplendent with autotune (now apparently an effect rather than a vocal aid), is inoffensive enough and 'Yolo' – a song that wouldn't have been out of place on the last Nickelback album – get the foot tapping rather than the heart racing.

The patchiness of the album is perhaps highlighted by the fact that its high point is the heart-wrenching ballad 'In Love With Love', where Sorbye sings out of his skin. It speaks volumes for an album that promised so much and yet delivers too many fillers and appears to be trying to decide what it should be.

Mike Newdeck

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