Reviews Fucked Up David Comes To Life

Fucked Up

David Comes To Life

It was one of the most anticipated albums of the year, and was welcomed with such positive reception. Needless to say, my expectations were high. Chemistry of Common Life was one of my favorite albums of 2008 and the idea of Fucked Up writing a rock-opera was intriguing to me. Now it's months later, and I'm still trying to figure out where David Comes to Life stands. The album is split into 4 acts, and I'd recommend listening to the album by tackling each act separately. Its18-track—78 minute length—can become overwhelming in one play through.

Fucked Up open the rock-opera with the instrumental track, “Let Her Rest” before setting the stage with, “Queen of Hearts”--where the characters David and Veronica meet. The energy carries over into “Under My Nose.” They don't disturb the pacing until, “The Other Shoe”--slowing it down for more theatrics. It's heavy on melody and layered beautifully, however, Abraham can get lost in the mix at times. The end of Act 1 comes with “Turn the Season,” where it seems Veronica dies in a fire that David caused. The tone of the track reflects this portion of the story well and has some of my favorite hamonies. The next track, “Running on Nothing,” starts off with a nice build up, but in the end nothing really comes of it. The track takes a turn that makes it more linear and disappointingly dull. They're finding a certain comfort zone that's causing much of the album to run together and drag it down, which is why I'd recommend listening to it in parts. The strongest song in Act 2 would be “A Slanted Tone,” which introduces the character Vivian, and mentions another new character named Octavio.

Act 2 ends with the narrator hinting at some truth missing from David's story, and Act 3 begins with Octavio (who turns out to be the narrator of the story) stepping forward and shedding some light that he had a part in Veronica's death in “Truth I Know.” It's a mid-tempo number and offers a little more variety than previous tracks. The story delves deeper with Octavio being synonymous with a God controlling the play through his narration, while David questions his actions and trust in a God. Something about the following song, “Ship of Fools” has a more punk than rock and roll tone to it like most of the other songs on David Comes to Life. It doesn't in anyway feel out of place though.

The final act opens with one of my favorite, and more distinct, tracks on the album, “I Was There.” It has a perfect blend of The Chemistry of Common Life and David Comes to Life. It's got that certain air of transcendence to it that I loved from the previous record. “Inside A Frame” brings to my attention how much I've had to struggle with the rest of the record to hear the bass--getting lost amongst the layered guitar work. Act 4 continues to hit it out of the park with the energetic song, “The Recursive Girl.” By this point in the story, the characters are kind of self aware of being in a play, and we've learned Vivian was also there when Veronica died from a bomb blast caused by Octavio and had a previous relationship with David. The following track, “One More Night,”--another favorite of mine-- brings Veronica back It breaks away from the formula that Fucked Up had on most of the second and third acts—adding more fills, riffs, and melody. Easily one of the strongest songs on the album. The story is brought to a close on “Lights Go Up.” David believes his love with Veronica was real and not just apart of a play. The song fades with the same humming effect heard at the start of the album.

While David Comes to Life has an interesting story, that at times can be confusing--as an album it can be rough to get through. The first and final acts are superb, but it's hard to stay awake throughout the second and third acts. They don't offer up much variation musically. After awhile they all start to sound the same. I applaud Fucked Up for their effort on this ambitious project. It's definitely still one of the better punk albums of the year, and there are hints at the right direction for the band. However, I know they can do better and I look forward to seeing that they do.

8.0 / 10Aaron H
See also
KFAI - Roar of the Underground
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