New album goes up in flames

March 19th, 2009

The only thing worse than listening to the 40-minute Flowers in Flames self titled album was sitting through an 8 a.m. class the morning after St. Patrick’s Day, and that’s being generous.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the “Ignatian Indifference,” it tells us to go into each experience with an open mind, neither doubting the situation nor expecting good outcomes. It allows us to experience things with an open mind.

Flowers in Flames

As a critic, I try my best to check all preconceived notions at the door, telling them, “Hey, preconceived notions, you’re not welcome at this party.”

Not only were they welcomed guests at this party, but they were the party. They helped me make it through the entirety of the CD, giving me ideas for this very critique along the way. This text is a testament of how my preconceived notions saved my life.

Now that that’s out of the way let’s get started.

Accompanying the CD was a letter explaining their type of music, claiming to be a mix of goth, post punk (whatever that is), and psychedelia. Can anyone please explain to me what that means? Is it like a mix between Nine Inch Nails, Scott Stapp and Earth, Wind and Fire?

Band member and songwriter Dave Chavez said, “There are a lot of genres out there now in modern music, probably more so than there have ever been before. Modern music continues to evolve even today and we want to be part of that evolution.”

True. However, I failed to see how this album represented anything close to the modern evolution.

Whether it was from the piercing sounds of the mix, which nearly caused me complete deafness, or the fact I couldn’t hear the lyrics because the music drowned it out, this album was done before it even started.

Flowers in Flames melody was putridly unattractive and would have even turned off Eliot Spitzer.

Combining the three genres made for a gut-wrenching listen with absolutely no consistency between songs, lyrics, melody, album art and the list keeps going.

It went from a song titled “All the Glitter,” to a song about suicide. Unless these are songs about the recent history of the economy, I can’t possibly find any hints of significant meaning in them.

What turned me and the Spitz off came down to the inability to understand, nay to hear, the lyrics and the ability to grasp what the band wanted to convey.

“We thought it would make an interesting mix of sounds compared to other bands that are more traditional,” said Chavez. It is definitely interesting and something other bands haven’t done before … proving to be a good choice.

Additionally, the band’s incapability to grab my attention from the start with a catchy melody or unique intro destroyed their ethos.

Understandably, Flowers in Flames didn’t have access to the pro-audio equipment that artists like Savage Garden and Spin Doctors use; however, the editing and mixing of various beats still isn’t something to write home about. Sorry, Mom.

Flowers in Flames not only missed the mark with this album, but they fired a dud. I’m thinking the next album would be better if Eliot Spitzer laid down a track or two.