Anberlin's story began a decade ago in Winter Haven, Florida, when Stephen, Deon and Joey formed an early incarnation of the band out of sheer boredom. 'Polk County is easily the redneck capital of Florida,' Stephen explains. "There's literally nothing to do. And being so young, we couldn't just drive to Orlando or Tampa to hang out. So we started forming a band. And up to that point there was no other scene in Central Florida. There were no other bands that we know of. So we had to teach ourselves everything.' 'So we forged ahead on our own,' the singer continues. Influenced by everyone from Depeche Mode to The Smiths to the Ramones to Metallica, Anberlin as we know it created its own club scene along with hometown friends, Copeland and Underoath, but really gelled with the addition of Young, a prot'g' drummer and John Bonham devotee. The gents assumed their moniker and got serious. 'One day we decided this is what we want to do with our lives,' Christian says succinctly. Cities is the next evolutionary step proving yet again that Anberlin are more committed to their original goals now more than ever.
Cities Special Edition includes a bonus DVD containing footage of the making of the record, behind the scenes footage, additional unreleased tracks and special artwork.
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Absolutely EPIC!| Posted April 07, 2009
I was blown away by Cities from the first to last note. There isn't one place I can find a weak spot. It is just sheer musical brilliance. From the moment "Debut" opens, I got the feel that I was listening to greatness.
Anberlin, without a doubt, knows how to make music. Whether it's blood pumping rock(Godspeed, A Whisper and a Clamor), upbeat pop(Adelaide), or even soft and slow songs(The Unwinding Cable Car, Inevitable), they give it all they have and the result is incredibly enjoyable.
Cities is an album of epic quality. But Anberlin saved the bets for last. They close the album with the epic near nine minute (*Fin). The song is a perfect example of musical brilliance. After many listens, it just seems to get better.
It's rare to see an album that is fantastic from start to finish. Most albums have at least one track that often finds itself being skipped over to get to another song. Not so with Cities, each and every time it is spun, there is nothing I wish to skip over. I simply cannot recommend this album anymore for fans of the genre.
Brilliant Emotionally Charged Rock!| Posted January 08, 2008
This albums demands to be be experienced over and over. I love the standout songs "The Unwinding Cable Car", "Godspeed", "Dismantle.Repair." and "(*Fin)" but I love the whole album even more. "Cities" takes you on a musical journey and is charged with emotional themes like pain, loneliness and hope and brings listeners to their knees in worship of our amazing God. "Don't Drop Your Arms". Anberlin Rocks!
Cities| Posted March 14, 2008
Here's another band whose sound isn't normally in line with my tastes. The vocals are high-pitched and very 'whiny' sounding, but the music is a barrage of many styles coming together as one. The lyrics are very cryptic, but you can see the Christian message if you think hard enough about it. That isn't so much of a plus in my book since I'm not the type that feels a whole album (after album) of relationship songs is necessary but that's not all it is. The pace of the album is a quick one with a few slow songs like 'The Unwinding Cable Car' or the cynical closer 'Fin' used sparingly. As a result, the songs can tend to run into themselves if the listener isn't giving their full attention. Every track has some sort of a vocal hook in the chorus or catchy beat to stick in your head. The keyboards also seem to have a stronger presence here than in albums past. All in all, this feels like a very solid piece of art that they pulled together for a very important third album. The question is, with jumping to a major label, do they further stray away from any Christian roots to appeal to the masses more? Time will tell. For now this album is the best they've put out.
Gems of this album are: 'Dismantle.Repair.', 'Godspeed', 'Inevitable', 'The Unwinding Cable Car'
Anberlin Does as much dismantling as repairing| Posted August 03, 2008
While Anberlin was one of the many Tooth and Nail’s pick ups, there is nothing ordinary about this alternative rock band. Putting out singles like “(The Symphony Of) Blasé” and "Paperthin Hymn" has helped with getting their name out but touring with some of the top mainstream bands like Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, and Yellowcard certainly could not have hurt either. The recognition is helpful but the their latest album, Cities, stands on it’s own.
The very first track on Cities is “(Debut)”, an instrumental track which showcases sirens built around a cool (as in icy) electric guitar frame. The sirens tells listeners that Anberlin has something to say with a sense of urgency behind it and the calm and controlled electric guitar bit says that Aberlin is also in control. Lead singer Stephen Christian brings his emotional high vocals to mixes in with alternative rock that is just pumping with emergency. That combo is a great, because the most of the rock music is fast paced and Christian’s voice is a tremendous asset in a formula that is similar to Dogwood in some songs. “Godspeed” starts with a frantic electric guitar intro, which is followed up well by aggressive vocals and a very fast paced melodic rock tune. Emotion is bursting from "adelaide", an alternative track which packs a has a good flow. Christian sounds like he can carry a song even without many instruments as shown in the beginning of "Dismantle. Repair." before turning into a solid rock tune.
"The Unwinding Cable Cars" music is centered around a guitar in one of the albums few ballads, and that’s too bad because the soft moments in Cities shine. While parts of "There Is No Mathematics to Love and Loss" are impressive (like the electric start and the techno bridge), the song is repetitive and not as impressive as other tracks. “Hello alone” is classic Anberlin and “a Whisper and A Clamor" is a sparkling alternative rock track that deserves many spins. The ending to this musical accomplishment is aptly named “(*Fin)” a nearly nine minute song which starts softly (never lacking emotion) until the song kicks into gear to become a emotional rock song instead of an emotional ballad. The end does drag on but the chorus of voices in the background helps the overall artistry of the song and album.
Desiring to be more than a simple rock and roll band dealing in temporal things Christian says “When I look back on my life, I want it to have meaning”, he also goes on to say he wants to invest in people’s lives. An admirable effort and his lyrics do offer hope in tracks like "The Unwinding Cable Car” where the singer offers help to a friend (This is the correlation of salvation and love…I'll guard your heart/ with quiet words I'll lead you in"). “Dismantle. Repair.” hopes knows for better times and says ‘Save me from myself’ (it’s unclear if it’s God or a friend he is talking to).
(*Fin)” is a very convicting song about sacrificing wives and children on wasted efforts for Christ (‘We're not questioning God./Just those he chose to carry on His cross.’) but the song is not without faults with the ill meant line ("Wish your drinking would hurry and kill you"). While still majoring on the subject of hope "Hello Alones’" path to get there is murky (‘Depression is the unholy ghost ... I've got the gun/ All I need is 10 cents for the bullet’). "Reclusion" gets a little dark while talking about the battle with inner demons with weird metaphors like killing people and strangling lovers. And the line on “Godspeed” is edgy ‘When needles and lovers collapse on guilty beds’.
Anberlin has gotten much better. Not that they were bad to begin with but the hard line vocals and the cutting edge alternative rock is among the best this writer has heard. But switching from Tooth and Nail to a lager mainstream label and performing with Fall out Boy and My Chemical Romance may have rubbed off on Cities the wrong way. Lyrically murky but musically powerful. What has the greater pull? (that’s a rhetorical question by the way).
Cities. Calcutta. Johannesburg. New York. Chicago. Seattle. Barcelona. Paris. Dublin. All major cities. All distinctly unique. All sharing traits that make them similar. Anberlin's latest, Cities, can be described by both of the previous statements.
Cities has a distinctively different rhythm from their prior, unrelentingly paced projects that justifiably earned Anberlin their emo/screamo tag. Make no mistake though, there is no lack of intensity on this CD. Tracks two though four and six through nine chew up ground at an unrelenting pace. It's when Stephen and Co. become more reflective that the band's maturity becomes evident. "The Unwinding Cable Car," "Inevitable" and "(*Fin)" demonstrate the band's willingness to experiment with their songwriting and delivery, as well as illustrate their musical growth and spiritual boldness.
With Cities, Anberlin continues to cement their reputation as a (musical) force to be reckoned with. They continue to successfully build on what's come before and are becoming a recognizable, permanent fixture on the modern-rock skyline. This album has the potential to be one of the best modern rock releases of 2007... at least from this fan's perspective.
wow!!| Posted January 12, 2010
so i heard the songs "a whisper and a clamor" and "the unwinding cable car" and LOVED them, so i decided to pick this cd up. it BLEW ME AWAY!! it's AMAZING!! steven christian's voice is awesome, and the band is extremely talented. anberlin touches on some dark subjects in this release, but it's not depressing as some may think. my personal fave of the whole album is (*Fin), the 8 minute song at the end of the album. The story is rather sad, but the vocals are just amazing!! this record's one that you won't wanna skip! :D
Anberlin| Posted April 15, 2010
this album is one of my favorites. songs like 'the unwinding cable car' touched my heart with their slower rhythm and inspiring lyrics. i hadn't heard of anberlin before and i came upon them on accident but i ended up loving thier songs. one of my personal favorites is 'fin*'. the words mean so much and made me want to just think and meditate about how i was living my life. 'godspeed' is also one of my favorites. the line 'they lied when they said the good die young' meant a lot to me and made me realize that GOD had plans for His own. i recommend this album.
Quality Record| Posted August 06, 2009
Anberlin produced a very good CD with Cities. It has a diverse mix of sounds and I think that is what I like about this band. They have some good guitar riffs, a good dynamic beat and great vocals. They can rock and be mellow as well. I think they would be a good live band to see.
Great| Posted February 12, 2009
Anberlin can do almost anything. They can rock out for some head banging or put out some calming, reflective sound. That is why this album is great. because of its diverse sound.
Fantastic !| Posted September 24, 2008
I think this album is Anberlin's best,so far.The lyrics are poetic and maybe a little cryptic at times,leaving the listener with something to think about.The music seems to compliment Stephen's voice more on this record than on the previous ones. The subject matter ranges from heavy subjects like depression(Hello,Alone) to more sentimental subjects (Inevitable).All in all, this cd is fantastic! My favorite songs are Dismantle.Repair.,Adelaide, and There Is No Mathematics To Love and Loss.
=D| Posted September 01, 2008
i love this album very very much cuz its a good mixture for kind of a calm day where you sorta need some energy because its not all these songs that kinda make your head burst.
My favorite song is Godspeed, the guitars in that song are amazing.
im a fan of this cd.
amazing!| Posted July 02, 2008
This album has been out for forever but I cannot stop listening to it! Every song is as refreshing as the one before. I love the entire album as a whole and there is not one song that I believe does not deserve to be in the collection!