Vital by Anberlin  | CD Reviews And Information | NewReleaseToday

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Vital [edit]
by Anberlin | Genre: Pop/Rock | Release Date: October 16, 2012

2012 release, the sixth album from the Christian Alt-Rock band. The album features new influences for the band and is powered by a youthful, powerful energy.

Track Listing
Click here to add a video. Click to add lyrics if not listed.
01. Self-Starter
02. Little Tyrants
03. Other Side
04. Someone Anyone
05. Intentions
06. Innocent
07. Desires
08. Type Three
09. Orpheum
10. Modern Age
11. God, Sex & Drugs

Entry last edited by NRTeamAdmin on 10.15.12

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The Most Vital an Album You'll Hear This Year | Posted October 22, 2012
Have you ever listened to an album and as it faded out, it dawns on you that you have just encountered a musical experience that is truly mind-blowing? No? Listen to the latest release by alternative rockers Anberlin; that'll change.
Anberlin has spent the past eight years growing their fan base in both the Christian and mainstream circles. In 2007, they released what many considered to be their best record ever with the phenomenal Cities. Everything they've done since on their new mainstream label has, for better or worse, stood in the shadow of that dynamite release. Now, with the release of Vital, the record the band says is "for the fans," the band might finally have a release that everyone agrees can go toe to toe with anything they've done before.
Opening with the usual rocker, "Self-Starter" kicks in with relentless guitars and an emotional chorus that sets the pace for what is ultimately a fierce and memorable album. The energy here is so undeniable and one immediately realizes that Anberlin wasn't kidding this time when they promised the most aggressive record of their career. That promises continues with the next track, "Little Tyrants." Melodically, this is probably the least defined on the record, but it's also a fierce rocker that hearkens back to the band's older days, only through the lens of their immense musical growth over the years.
Of course, this album is anything but a trip down memory lane. As "Otherside" starts, listeners familiar with the band's sound might do a double-take at the haunting electronic opener and the soft lyrics that follow, which then explodes into a powerful and spine-tingling chorus: "Love me / Love me / Why don't you know me / know me." This is truly a chilling track and a bold new step for the band.
Lead single "Someone Anyone" is next and this probably sounds the most like the Anberlin we know and love, but with a trace of synth and with the rock cranked up a few notches. It's a worthy choice for radio. You'll be singing, "No one can walk away," all day long. You know you will. You'll be caught singing it at school or work and then you'll have to turn those people onto the CD to explain yourself. It's inevitable, people.
"Intentions" brings back the electronics and explodes into a fierce rock track before the band quiets things down for the free-spirited "Innocent." The ballad might feel out of place amidst all the chaos in the hands of a lesser band, but Anberlin handles the transition with grace.
Ready to slow things down after the happy feeling the last track left in you? Too bad. Anberlin isn't. "Desires" bangs through your speakers with the force of a stampede. This is one of the most intense songs the band's ever done. The chorus almost screams, "A Liar! A Liar! That's what you've made of me / A Wire! A Wire! / That's What We're Walking On." Hard hitting doesn't even begin to describe this one.
OK, now we can take a breather. "Type Three" is here to chill you out with its mesmerizing sound. Another of the haunting tracks, this song again finds the band tapping into their spiritual side, with some thought-provoking lyrics, including the highlight, "I looked to heaven to save me / and you called me naïve / Rather be a hopeless lover / than cursed with disbelief.
And it gets better. "Orpheum" opens up with a piano and then proceeds to hit us with its nonstop awesomeness. This track features some guest vocals from some lucky contest winners during the bridge. Their presence isn't really obvious, but it completes the atmosphere of the song.
OK, album highlight time. Yep, 9 tracks of awesomeness and the best is yet to come. From the opening sounds of "Modern Age," you know that you're in for something good and once the guitars kick in and knock you off your feet, I think you'll agree. The chorus is one of the album's strongest: "Don't we all want to belong / don't we all write our own song / Let our silence break tonight." It's chilling, it's rocking, and it's downright amazing.
After all of these golden tracks that can only be described as epic, one may wonder what Anberlin has in store for their signature "epic closer." Well, this time they've abandoned their slow-building dynamic rock number in favor of a more haunting, laid-back approach in "God, Drugs, and Sex." 
Don't expect the guitars to attack you in this one, three minutes into the song. This one manages to be awesome without ever getting too amped up. While this could be seen as a disappointment to some, the song itself is worthy and still closes out with a recognizable "epic" feel as the group chants "Let go / Let go of me / I'm not here / Let go / Let go of me now / I'm already gone." Ah, beautiful… and a fitting end to an epic album.
And if you have just the regular version and now only silence comes out of your speakers, you've still more than got your money's worth. But if you're one of those who tracks down all the b-sides that bands (and in particular, Anberlin) usually release, you get even more amazing music. These pesky reject tracks that we can't figure out why they aren't on the album? There are four of them this time. Yep, count 'em: four!
From Best Buy, there's "Said Too Much" and "No Love To Speak." A rock track and a piano ballad respectively, these are some good tracks, although it's easy to see why they didn't make the cut. Next to everything else, they just aren't quite on the same level. (But they're still awesome in their own right.)
OK, now to the Australian exclusive slash free download for Americans, "Safe Here." From the opening synth notes, you know for sure that this is probably going to be among the best things you've ever heard. You wouldn't be far off. The verses have a chilling feel to them and hit hard. The chorus is a bit safer and more familiar but it works so well. Why wasn't this on the album, again? Yes, you'll be asking this.
And of course, there's the iTunes track, "Unstable." The album bares a similar feel to the previous, with a haunting opener, although this one keeps it's rock down and focus on the slow, chilly chorus. Ah yes, musical goodness.
Stephen Christian's vocals are the best thing about this release. They range from brutally fierce to majestically peaceful to bone-chillingly haunting to emotional and earnest. Seriously, I think this guy could probably sing anything and make it sound good. Luckily, with Anberlin, he's not pulling all the weight. From the guitars to the pounding drum work, Vital hits all the right notes at just the right times and you're left with the closest thing to a flawless record you'll find this year. Vital is the definition of a band in their element.
Closing Thoughts: 
Get this record! What else is there to say? Go out and buy it, and then go and get your friends to go out and buy it. This is music, people--or at least what music is supposed to sound like, what music is supposed to do. It's got power, emotion, honesty, and the band's usual lyrical genius that will get your head thinking for hours on end. Is it better than Cities? Eh, who cares? Why compare two masterpieces to each other when you can be glad that a band actually was able to release two of them? Just sit back and enjoy. The album of the year has arrived!

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TCMRB (44)

Anberlin: Vital | Posted October 26, 2012
 Anberlin has long been a band that I ignored. I was never a huge fan of their style - for some reason - and something about their music just never drew me in. That all changed when I decided to give them a chance and buy their greatest hits album, Dancing Between the Fiber of Time that came out earlier this year. After one listen through the album I was in love; I could not stop listening to all of the songs on the record. This of course made me very excited to get my hands on a new Anberlin album (even though I still do not own a full Anberlin record other than Vital - something I hope to change soon). Vital is everything I hoped for, and more. Every time a band parts with their record company it can be seen as kind of bad thing, but it looks like parting ways with Tooth & Nail was a actually a good thing for the band. Their last album, Dark is the Way, Light is the Place, was generally unimpressive from what I have heard of it; but, Vital is precisely the opposite.

Most diehard Anberlin fans will say that Cities is the greatest Anberlin record, and from what I have heard of it, it is fantastic. However, I think Vital may be better. This album sees Anberlin delve into the more electronic and technical aspects of music, something that actually seems very appropriate for Stephen Christian's vocals. His side project, Anchor & Braille, actually leans more to the techno side of music, so that may be why it seems so appropriate for them to add this style to their music.

Vital begins with the first single, "Self-Starter," which is easily one of my favorite songs on the album. The song is very upbeat and has a very raw feeling to it; however, it immediately shows the album's more technical side - especially in the bridge. The lyrics also seem to be a bit more urgent - for a lack of better words - than previous songs from the band. "Little Tyrants" has a little more of an old school feel to it, which may come from the fact that it is just a straight up rock song, with minimal programing. "Other Side" shows off the bands more emotional side with lines like, "Love me! Love me! Why don't you know me? Know me? Hold me! Hold me! I am just me, trust me!"

"Someone Anyone" was instant favorite of mine as soon as it was released as a single. The track is one of the more fast paced on Vital, and has probably one of the coolest background stories. The song was written kind of in response to the riots in Egypt, and from what I can tell is written from the perspective of one of the rioters. "Intentions" has more of a dance vibe to it, something I do not think I have heard from Anberlin. The song sees vocalist Stephen Christian longing for something better, saying, "I want a love that I don't deserve." The song "Innocent" brings the album to a sort of crossroads with the slowest song on the record. I love the lyrics to the track which talk about how we are all born innocent and made to be carefree; the song reminds me a lot of Anchor & Braille.

After slowing the album down, Anberlin picks right back up with one of the more fast-paced songs, "Desires." The song also happens to be my favorite on Vital; which comes from my love of the chorus. I had no clue that I could fall in love with a song as much as I have with "Desires;" I may have literally listened to this song 100 times in the first week after I got the album. It never fails to get me singing along (and possibly even dancing), and it always, always gets stuck in my head. 

"Type Three" follows that up with another phenomenal song which also gets stuck in my head on a frequent basis. The track is easily the most vulnerable song on the album, and maybe one of the most vulnerable I have heard this year. The very first lines of the song automatically give you a hint into how personal the song is - "I have my reasons, for the vices I embrace. A world of treasons, I'm their only escape. No one lives here, as conversations are drowning. Sixteen is nothing, I never will be 'til I'm dead." With "Type Three" begins a streak of more emotional songs, which is seen in the final three songs, "Orpheum," "Modern Age," and "God, Drugs & Sex." It is interesting, to me, that for a such fast-paced record they end with four straight slow songs; but, I kind of like it. It is different. I might also add that "God, Drugs & Sex" is one of my favorite final songs on album in awhile.

Anberlin has become one of my favorite bands, and they really blew me out of the water with this album. I have come to love every song on this album; it is one of those where you do not want to skip a single track - they are all that good. Vital is easily worth the 10 bucks or so it costs to buy, and one of those I would highly recommend checking out if you are a fan of alternative rock music. Take it from someone who never really gave Anberlin a chance until this year - give this album a chance. Anberlin is back and better than ever, folks.

Favorite Song: Desires


This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from The Christian Music Review Blog. Click here to visit today!

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Anberlin - Vital Review | Posted January 15, 2013

This Album has come out quite a while ago. It has a great message.
I've heard a lot of different opinions, but Anberlin has so much meaning in the words of their songs even if they may be hard to understnd at times.

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username2 (378)

Best Since Cities | Posted October 16, 2012
Rejoice Anberlin fans, the band you knew and loved back when they were still with Tooth & Nail returns in their new album Vital.  It manages to blend the old youthful fast energy hooks that the band was known for and the new more modernistic alt rock that was present on the previous 2 albums and even throws in some new electronica elements to boot.  And it all sounds amazing.  After going with 2 well known rock producers for their previous 2 albums, the band reteams with thier old producer Aaron Sprinkle and you can tell that they have learned a lot and have applied some new concepts that are welcome.  

Stephen Christian's voice sounds amazing as always and he really pushes the boundries of vocal work on a few tracks here and the lyrics he and his bandmates have crafted have real weight to them.  This album has many themes from youthful thinking to tough topics like dealing with divorce.  

If you are looking for something that would rival Cities as the best Anberlin album, here is that competition.  It blends new and old styles together and even throws in some really new styles to keep things fresh.  The music conveys the themes the lyrics are talking about and the production sounds very professional.  This is one of the best albums of the year.  Get it now!

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