finally, first new album this month I have liked.
of course, I've had a short month
some of this reminds me of a higher octave Bruce, including the clip
I guess some of the Keane comparison holds true
Grade - 2.0
released Apr 26th, 2011
from the album - Steal Your Heart - 2.0
from all music
Augustana's music is the heartland equivalent of Coldplay and Keane, with a touch of mid-'90s adult alternative throwback (think Counting Crows or the Wallflowers) also peppering the band's rootsy, piano-based rock. Although based in California, the group formed in southern Illinois in 2002, while singer/keyboardist Dan Layus and guitarist Josiah Rosen were studying contemporary Christian music at Greenville College. The band's original lineup also included bassist Simeon Lohrmann, second keyboardist David Lamoureaux, and drummer Kyle Baker. This lineup released a pair of self-distributed CDs -- the full-length Midwest Skies and Sleepless Mondays and the EP Mayfield -- in 2003, but the conservative climate of Greenville College proved to be too confining for the band's two co-founders. Choosing music over academia, Layus and Rosen left Greenville for Los Angeles in 2004, jettisoning the rest of the band and re-forming with a new lineup that included keyboardist John Vincent, bassist Jared Palomar, and drummer Justin South.
The reformulated Augustana signed with Epic Records in 2005 and released their major-label debut, All the Stars and Boulevards, in September of that year. A slow starter, the album gradually rose to national attention on the strength of "Boston," a heartfelt ballad that was featured on an episode of Scrubs in early 2006. To encourage this increase in Augustana's popularity, a limited-edition reissue of the album (with extra songs and video content) was released in September 2006. By the following year, All the Stars and Boulevards had finally made its way into the Billboard Top 40 -- a whopping 19 months after its initial release. Augustana then returned in 2008 with a new lineup (Josiah Rosen had left the band for a solo career in early 2006, only to be replaced by guitarist/mandolin player Chris Sachtleben) and a new album, Can't Love, Can't Hurt. More rootsy than the band's debut, Can't Love, Can't Hurt produced a pair of modestly successful singles and sold 400,000 copies worldwide. It also laid the foundation for Augustana, the band's self-titled third album, which appeared in 2011 and featured an even dustier version of pop/rock. Producer Jacquire King, the man behind Kings of Leon's breakthrough album Only by the Night, oversaw the project.
After kicking off their career with “Boston,” a power ballad that took its cues from the Coldplay songbook, Augustana began to recast themselves as heartland rock & rollers. Released in 2008, Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt found them midway through that transition, but 2011’s Augustana -- the band’s self-titled third album -- completes the evolution, jettisoning the tenderhearted piano pop that filled All the Stars and Boulevards and replacing it with guitar-driven, chest-swelling anthems. Bruce Springsteen’s influence looms large, from the quaver of Dan Layus’ vocals to the Americana bombast of “Steal Your Heart” and “Wrong Side of Love,” two tunes that resurrect Born to Run’s grandeur with glockenspiels, gang vocals, and the panoramic production of Kings of Leon collaborator Jacquire King. As with many albums that swing for the fences, Augustana has some home runs as well as the occasional strike-out, and its weaker songs sound less like their source material and more like a retread of Sam’s Town, the Killers’ own tribute to the Boss. Sam’s Town also shoehorned glam rock, cheeseball ‘80s pop, and other bygone influences into its mixing pot, though, while Augustana keeps the recipe fairly simple, beefing things up with the occasional synthesizer but rarely deviating from its contemporary country-rock core. Who cares if the lyrics rarely match the uplift of the music itself? Layus still sings them like they’re gospel verses, channeling enough sincerity and bold self-assurance to make up for the fact that he’s the umpteenth person to compare his love to an ocean. This is the band’s best album to date. Looks like the third time’s the charm, boys.
1 Steal Your Heart Farrar, Fredricks, Layus, Sachtleben 3:33
2 Wrong Side of Love Layus 3:32
3 On the Other Side Bogart, Layus 4:17
4 Counting Stars Bunetta, Griffin, Layus 4:18
5 Borrowed Time Layus, Trott 3:10
6 Shot in the Dark Bunetta, Fredricks, Layus, Sachtleben 3:26
7 Someone's Baby Now Layus 3:17
8 Hurricane Fredricks, Layus 5:20
9 Just Stay Here Tonight Layus 3:20
10 You Were Made For Me Layus 3:27