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Black Roses - The Rasmus

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3 Reviews

Genre: Rock - Pop Rock / Artist: The Rasmus / Audio CD released 2008-09-29 at Universal / Island

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    3 Reviews
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      11.05.2010 13:52
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      A great 7th album by The Rasmus - does not disappoint.

      Finnish band The Rasmus are probably most well known (in England anyway) for their song 'In the Shadows' and consequently their album 'Dead Letters'. This album 'Black Letters' is their 7th studio album (Dead Letters was the 5th) and was released in 2008.

      Since their start The Rasmus have essentially had a different sound on every album - in the beginning they were heavily influenced by The Red Hot Chili Peppers and their music could be described as quite 'funky'. Over the years this gradually transformed to the darker rock sound on the Dead Letters album. Black Roses is closer to this sound than their earlier album, but the music (if not the lyrics) is more upbeat. I would classify it as more light rock, verging on pop and I'm not a fan of pop music, but I like this.

      The album has a total of 12 songs on it. The first being 'Livin' in a world withouth you' which was their first single to be released from the album and can be found on youtube if you're interested in hearing a sample of what to expect from this album overall. The almost 'rapping' quality to parts of this song is not something that is really found in the rest of songs, but something that works particularly well for this one.

      Every one of the songs has a good beat to it that keeps you interested (not really something that fades into the background as I tend to find with bands such as 'Keane'). There is a combination of louder, fast paced songs with quieter ballads such as the song 'Justify' and I feel this variation helps keep every song from feeling 'samey' and boring. That said each song flows well into the next and doesn't feel jarring. From the album you can expect more of Lauri's distinctive vocals, catchy guitar riffs (although not many solos to speak of) and Aki's drumming keeps the pace.

      Personally my favourite songs on the album are Livin' in a world without you, Ghost of love and Your forgiveness. I can't really explain why particularly - more than anything I'd probably have to say they have particularly catchy beats. Everyone will have their own favourites on the album, be they for the music, the lyrics or a combination of the two.

      I'd suggest listening to this album on a good sound system (ie. not laptop speakers) to be able to fully appreciate the bass as without the deep sound of the bass coming through, the music really doesn't have anywhere near as strong an impact and anything less than good quality speakers will not do the music justice and will leave it feeling flat.

      The album itself comes in the regular plastic case we have come to expect from CD's and the booklet cointains all the song lyrics plus a double page photo spread of the band.

      What I like about this album is that the band are continuing to evolve their sound and not sticking to a formula that they know is popular - this is commendable and shows that they are doing it for the love of their craft rather than pure profit. The effort that went into producing this album is clear - it's very well structured and doesn't feel put together in a haphazard way.

      If you were a fan of either Dead Letters or Hide from the Sun then I would say you'd probably enjoy this album as well - just don't expect anything too heavy or you will be disappointed. Personally I'm a fan of every album The Rasmus have made as they manage to make each sound their own even though they don't rigidly stick to any one genre.

      Although I love The Rasmus I have to say that everyone of their albums is what I term 'a grower' - the more I listen to them, the more I like them and this album is no exception. So whilst on your first hearing you may not think 'This is amazing!' don't give up, keep listening to it and like me it will hopefully grow on you to the point that you wouldn't consider getting rid of it.

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        21.10.2009 00:15
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        Listen to it, give it time and it will be worth it

        The Rasmus first came on to the scene in Britain with the single "In The Shadows" from the Dead Letters album. After this, Hide From the Sun became the second commercially available album in the United Kingdown. Both albums swam in dark, dramatic lyrics and atmospheric guitar work.
        Black Roses has, for the most part, changed that public perception of The Rasmus.
        Album opener Livin In A World Without You has the trademark Rasmus sound but is more a revisit to their old pre-goth pop days. Of course there are a couple of songs which continue their more recent style (Ten Black Roses + Ghost Of Love) but it is the quirkier, eccentric songs like Your Forgiveness, You Got It Wrong and the fantastically bouncy Dangerous Kind that highlight the Rasmus' bold new musical direction which can be summarised by an infusion of their pop past and more recent dark rock leanings.
        Album highlight is Justify, a ligher waving, crowd singing ballad that can reach out to you in different moods. It can be compared to Sail Away from the Hide From The Sun album, only Justify is much better.
        The album shows a great development and progression for The Rasmus and whilst this may have alienated some fans who were more concerned with the colour of the singers hair than the music itself, it has shown that The Rasmus have plenty to offer to those who want to listen.

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          12.06.2009 19:26
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          Forget In The Shadows- BUY BLACK ROSES and see The "Real" Rasmus!

          The Rasmus are:

          Lauri Ylönen- Vocal
          Pauli Rantasalmi- Guitar
          Eero Heinonen- Bass
          Aki Hakala- Drums

          "Black Roses"- Executive Producer- Desmond Child.
          Main lyric writers- Lauri Ylönen, Pauli Rantasalmi, Desmond Child.



          The Rasmus' latest album (September 2008) was written as a tribute to their fans, Lauri Ylönen, the lead singer has said. For at least the past four years, the fans have been throwing plastic black roses to the Finnish guys as they perform on the stage, although the band are not quite sure why.
          People give roses as a gift, used to express their deepest emotions, and what a gift this album is for Rasmus fans everywhere, and indeed anyone who appreciates decent music. After waiting two years from their previous album (Hide From The Sun, 2006), it is now easy to understand exactly why it took so long. Much effort has gone into this album, and not just from the boys- it was produced by music legend Desmond Child, who has produced albums including the likes of Metallica- one of the The Rasmus' main influences.

          If you read my previous reviews you will see that I have referred to Radiohead's "The Bends" album as a masterpiece. I will now say that The Rasmus' "Black Roses" clearly deserves the credit of being called a masterpiece. Now, I'm not comparing these bands any further as they share very little similarities but I do believe that The Rasmus are not getting that sort of credit that they so rightly deserve.

          I will now try to capture the essence of the songs by giving each track its own rating, and I will do it for the music quality rather than being bias as a clear Rasmus fan:

          ~* Tracks~*

          1- Livin' In A World Without You- 10+/10
          When The Rasmus first gave the world a peek at the new album by performing this song at a festival in Berlin in the summer, there was much controversy. Never before had Lauri quite dared the style of vocals within this song, where he almost starts to rap. Personally I think it's more like fast talking to the music and it adds excellent effect, I'd say by further bringing out the sex appeal in Lauri's voice. It's clear that he writes from his own experiences and the lyrics really bring out the emotion in the song, something that a lot of artists lack now a-days. This is a song that deserves to be on the radio, perhaps even more than "In The Shadows" and is a song most guaranteed to stick with you from the first hearing.

          2- Ten Black Roses- 10/10
          Again first revealed to the world at the festival in Berlin, this title track is every bit as deserving as the first for this rating. The original version (performed live to London audience 24/02/09) was written by Lauri when he was just 16. Still sticking with those roots but with added maturity, the lyrics in this song is enough to melt your heart, with mesmerising lines such as "Kiss yourself for me in the mirror, Tie a black rose into your hair." As he raises his voice for the chorus, it is clear that this will be a regular on the live set-list. It's not just the lyrics and vocals by any means, the guitar riffs and string arrangements really do make this a stand-out track.

          3- Ghost Of Love- 9/10
          After hearing the sound of 'Ten Black Roses' at first this track was a slight disappointment, I mean it sounded great, just not quite so brilliant. This is track did however greatly grow on me, as I'm sure it will for everyone. I especially like the witty idea behind the lyrics and the first lines are particularly great "I am near you, you can't see me." {Note: Great fun to have as your ring tone and accidently leave the phone down the sofa in the pub: as I did, then a middle-aged man sat there looking confused as to where the music was coming from!} This is one of the songs where the instruments are at their best.

          4- Justify- 10++/10
          This is the second single of the album and in my personal view, is the best song that the Rasmus have ever produced. The song begins with a beautiful first verse which really does make you feel "lost in time." This is the song where the power in Lauri's voice really does make a shiver run down your spine. Everything about this track is beautiful- the vocal patterns, the arrangement of instruments, the mixing...just everything.

          5-Your Forgiveness- 9/10
          Again, a track that took longer to grow on me but then surely enough I became hooked especially on that one guitar riff bar. If you hear the track, then you'll know what I mean. Again fantastic lyrics, full of vocal power and definitely one which will get you moving. No doubt about that.

          6-Run To You- 7/10
          I'm surprised about this one. Its lyrics again are wonderful, and capture you deeply within the story. (The Rasmus have said that Black Roses was written to be like a movie script of a man's life with four main chapters. Although I think of it as more than a story.) Lauri says that it makes him think of a 1940's scene where the soldier says goodbye to his lover with a handkerchief and that just about sums it up. Great song but not one that I constantly have on repeat.

          7-You Got It Wrong- 8/10
          This is THE song (along with L.I.A.W.W.Y) to listen to when you're just fed up of that certain person. Filled with uplifting lyrics, awesome guitar (and bass, Eero!) this is one which seems to be impossible to get bored of.

          8- Lost & Lonely- 9/10
          This is one of the most 'serious' tracks on the album and you can tell that from the almost dark, Finnish, sounding strings in the introduction. With Lauri again speaking for a few lines and pouring emotion into the chorus, this is one to really cause a stir inside of the listener. Dark lyrics but fantastic song with a great solo towards the end.

          9- The Fight- 9/10
          For a few minutes it seems that the Finns have forgotten their roots and believe that they are Vikings. This is the fastest Rasmus song ever recorded, with the most furious drum beats and speedy guitar riffs. In it, Lauri sings that he "may never get his story carved in stone, but I will rise again." And with music like this, it wouldn't surprise me if he did!

          10- Dangerous Kind- 10/10
          One of my instant favourites this is a surprise track after the furious "The Fight" and offers a much more light-hearted sounding, almost dance like track. We're even treated to Lauri's famous "uh--uh-oh", although it's not quite to the extent of "In The Shadows." With this track, its hard not to just start jumping. Funnily enough, he even attempts a northerner's (British) accent; 'now I'm doing me time.' Awesome stuff!

          11- Live Forever- 10/10
          Again, the style changes here, and now we're onto a chilled mellow sounding piano song. This is clearly the most reflective and poetic of the songs, and although we may not all have "swam in the fountains beneath the Northern Stars," it's a song everyone with experience of life can really feel. A great song to end a perfect album.

          12- Yesterday You Threw Away Tomorrow- (UK BONUS TRACK) 7/10
          Again this is a great track but to be honest isn't one of their greatest and sounds rather similar to other tracks. Still brilliant when you're mad at that certain someone!

          Well there we have it. I hope that this doesn't go on too long and sounds repetitive and that I have done this amazing album justice.

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        • Product Details

          Disc #1 Tracklisting
          1 Livin' In A World Without You
          2 Ten Black Roses
          3 Ghost Of Love
          4 Justify
          5 Your Forgiveness
          6 Run To You
          7 You Got It Wrong
          8 Lost And Lonely
          9 The Fight
          10 Dangerous Kind
          11 Live Forever
          12 Yesterday You Threw Away Tomorrow