Deja Entendu

Brand New

Razor And Tie, 2003

REVIEW BY: Emily Kinsella


Blessed is the day I was introduced to my new best friend Deja Entendu, the glorious sophomore lovechild of Brand New, whose music is classified by a number of labels such as power-pop, emo, screamo, or my most favored description: magic. At roughly 45 minutes long, Deja Entendu conveys an astounding plethora of emotions and sounds in such a restrained amount of time. Brand New took the opportunity on their second effort to actually break through the traditional emo mold of "my girlfriend broke up with me" songs, resulting in a CD of apparent growth from their debut disc, Your Favorite Weapon.

"And if it makes you less sad/ I'll take your pictures all down /Every picture you paint /I will paint myself out." Lead singer Jesse Lacey's songwriting (on track five, "The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows") has improved by leaps and bounds since my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Your Favorite Weapon. Not that the first release was anything to be ashamed of; Weapon happens to be a truly great album, but it doesn't stand up to the lyrical and musical maturity of Deja Entendu. Among other great writing on the album, the standout songs lyrically are number five, as well as number four, "Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don't." "Oh, we're so c-c-c-controversial/ we are entirely smooth/ we admit to the truth/ we are the best at what we do/ and these are the words you wish you wrote down/ this is the way you wish your voice sounds/handsome and smart/ oh my tongue's the only muscle on my body/ that works harder than my heart." And number three's "Good To Know If I Need Attention (All I Have To Do Is Die.") "Yes we are a bullet in the heart and the message sent/ always dragging your feet over sand and over hot cement."

In addition to the poetry of the lyrics, the songs on Deja Entendu explore different styles of music never before displayed in the band's previous work. Track number two, "Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades" exhibits a short punchy beat, where the pulsating lyrics are fired off quickly until it reaches the chorus, which sounds more like punk than any Brand New I have heard. Imagine Blondie's "Rapture" on the verses and the chorus from Sum 41's "Hell Song." Number eight, "Me Vs. Madonna Vs. Elvis" is sustained for three and a half minutes on an acoustic guitar and Jesse's rather haunting voice. It then explodes into a half a minute long instrumental influenced by eighties hair band power ballads. It's finished off with a spirited last chorus so inspiring you'd never guess the song is one (hopefully fictional) account of un-consensual sex.

My only gripe on this album is that a few of the songs sound…uhh…like the same song. But hey, if you like one, you'll like 'em all right? Yeah, pretty much.

The two or three similar songs certainly don't ruin the rest of the album. I'd say this is a solid effort from a band that has already shown their range as not just an emo, screamo or power-pop act, but as a promising musical union capable of (and already doing) great things.

Rating: A-

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© 2003 Emily Kinsella and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Razor And Tie, and is used for informational purposes only.