Why Silversun Pickups Let Me Down

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Why Silversun Pickups Let Me Down

Postby cyberyukon on February 21st, 2010, 8:46 am

I bought their newest album 'cause I like the single ("Panic Switch") and it has been such a source of irritation!!


First off, let me say that the music itself kicks ass. The songs are ethereal. Mystical and almost dreamy combined with some good crunchy power guitars. But that's the music itself. The instrumentation.

But those vocals!! The vocals are so mis-matched it, for me, ruins most of the experience.

Where did this lead singer come from? His voice sounds like he's got such a bad case of laryngitis after garagling sandpaper!

Now this alone shouldn't be enough to wreck and album, and in the right hands it could be put to good effect. But not in this case. His style simply does not fit the ambience of the music. Additionally, the guy sings throughout in a perpetually lower register with the vocals never moving beyond a maybe two or three note range. He might start off the verse with each note being sung at, say, F-sharp (yes--every damn note) and then maybe work the chorus by only wobbling between F-sharp and maybe G-sharp. Nothing higher than an A for sure.

Poor vocal variation + lower register + sandpaper makes an extremely frustrating and mismatched contrast to the well-produced and colorful instrumentation. You can almost feel the studo wizards struggling to choke out some better production (sometimes noticeably, by adding double-tracking or effects) or trying to use the production to hide the vocalist's flaws.

But how did this guy get the lead vocal duties? Surely there must be someone else in the band who actually has some vocal range!

Yeesh. What a disappointment.

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Re: Why Silversun Pickups Let Me Down

Postby Buglet on February 26th, 2010, 1:39 pm

Thanks for the warning!
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Re: Why Silversun Pickups Let Me Down

Postby Buck's Student on February 10th, 2011, 10:06 pm

I apologize for reviving an older thread, especially as a newb, but I think what I have to say is relevant enough.

I see little difference in the vocals of the first album and the second. I think the songwriting is weaker, and the reliance on fuzz tones is getting older, but it's still good. Most bands make a weaker album after their first, and then their third is where you divide the real fans from the casual listeners (And that's not a knock on anyone). While I love every Talking Heads album, I think the original master of Songs About... was weaker than '77, but it's still a great album. The reissue greatly improves on the quality.

I find it interesting that bands are reissuing their original albums (More than once, such as King Crimson, GOSH!) for a more modern or ideal production sound. I would be interested in what newer bands, such as Silversun, will do to their now-modern records in twenty years.
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