As Cities Burn: Come Now Sleep

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Aidan Williamson

14th August 2007
At 16:18 GMT

8 comment(s)

It seems to be a trend nowadays that if you point out something wrong with your country, you're un-patriotic. Likewise, if you are critical of a Christian Rock record, then Jesus hates you.

As Cities Burn have certainly made some interesting choices in the making of this album. Before embarking upon this, their second full-length, they split up, then they got back together (albeit with a vocalist changeover) and now it seems they seek to alienate almost everybody with their lyrical content.

Whereas their contemporaries, such as MeWithoutYou create lyrics which could interpreted personally by anybody, regardless of their beliefs, As Cities Burn have adopted a very narrow focus in their songs, which deal almost exclusively with their strain of Christian beliefs. In addition to that, they don't seem overly keen to push their faith more than question it. Lines such as "If there is a God, he must be sleeping." or the rather more downbeat "Take me back to where I was before I was born. Before i was born it was like a sweet and dreamless sleep, it sounds like heaven to me." will likely offend their main targeted audience. Certainly a bold move for the band.

Shifting focus to the musicality of "Come Now Sleep" the boys serve up an impressive first half, full of intricately structured pieces brimming with melody and impressive bursts of intensity, exemplified perfectly on "This Is It! This Is It!" which is likely their best song to date. Cody Bonnette, now in the position of main vocalist shows off his ability many times in this track, managing soaring note holds with apparent ease. "The Hoard" can be offered up as exhibit B in this argument, which also features the rather nifty idea of ending a song half-way through the chorus.

I suppose, like someone eating sixty tonnes of chocolate ice-cream, the giant but is inevitable. After mid-album "Clouds", Come Now Sleep completely loses its way, devoid of any new ideas the songs become depressingly run of the mill, with "Wrong Body" being a fatally flawed song; repetitive, dull and ill-advised, the album would of been much better off without it. the rest carry on unremarkably until last track "Timothy". With a 13 minute running time, one expects great things. What you get is essentially a six minute song whereafter the band continue to play and nobody bothers to stop recording it.

Too religious for the masses, too pessimistic for the religious, Come Now Sleep is an occasionally great but essentially flawed album. Which is a shame really, because I didn't want Jesus to hate me.

Rating:  5 / 10

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