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Just Surrender, a band I listen to when I want easy listening, a feel good rock band originating from New York, who were previously known as A Second Chance. This album 'If These Streets Could Talk' was their first studio album released in 2005; the previous two albums had been self-released. The current members of Just Surrender are Jason Maffucci (vocalist), Dan Simons (guitarist, vocalist), Steve Miller (drummer, percussionist), Jolly Ubriaco (guitarist), and Ryan Kienle (bassist). Previous members of the band are Kyle Shellhammer (bassist), Andrew Meunier (guitarist), Alex Haycraft (guitarist), Dan Gilmartin (guitarist), and Seth Lynch (guitarist).
One thing you may notice about the band is that the vocals are not consistent with one voice the whole way through the song, this is because Just Surrender do not like to give one person the 'limelight' so to speak, and instead would much rather share, splitting the vocals between two people.
1) I Can Barely Breathe
- A very generic rock song, you could say you've heard it before from other bands, but I would personally categorise Just Surrender as a more 'emo' band, therefore giving more reasoning to the similarities to other bands, as the emo genre is very generic, and you've pretty much heard it all when you've hear one song. Although I say that, I do really like this song, the vocals you can tell are sung by two people, and it goes really well with the guitar. The sad thing about this song is how simple the guitar would be to play, it's not great, it's not anything I haven't heard before which makes it a little disappointing.
2) Of All We've Known
- This song has a hint of 'screamo' in, not a great amount, but still a bit heavier than the previous song, and I think the guitar has picked up. The lyrics don't really do much, they're pretty generic, and seem to not be thought about that well. Still a good song to listen to on your iPod, it's not a song you'd turn over just because it's one of them songs you listen to and can easily listen to. The guitar riff...is not really a riff, more of a solo to show the guitarist can play a few notes...
3) Tell Me Everything
- My absolute favourite off of the whole album, it is a feel good, definitely emo song. If I'm having a down day, I listen to this song, the lyrics make you feel that little bit better, and make you kind of believe things will get better with lyrics like 'Tell me everything with be alright'. The song itself is a bit heavier and quite up-beat, the vocals and guitar do go really well together, and the guitar actually sounds a bit more complex than the previous songs on the album.
4) In Your Silence
- A heavy start to the track, for a second makes you think you're listening to another band than you thought, but then the vocals come in and you know you're listening to Just Surrender, the tone of the singing never seems to change...making it instantly known to be Just Surrender, but can get very boring in every song. Very emo lyrics again 'I wake up alone, and unwanted', yet again they are generic, and don't seem to have much thought go into them. It's a shame, this band have such potential.
5) Our Work Of Art
- A much 'muffled' beginning to the song, which soon progresses into a heavier track. It's a shame the beginning of the track is muffled because you can't really hear what the lyrics. With this song, I honestly believe the instruments drown out the singing, you struggle to hear the lyrics, which I think is pretty pointless if they're singing but you cannot hear a thing. I was fairly disappointed by this song when I heard it, they can do much better than this.
6) What We've Become
- A mellow opening, with a catchy toe-tapping beat, which carries on through the song. The lyrics unfortunately don't go with the rhythm of the music, the singing is faster than the music and that's disappointing. It makes you think that the song should be faster, but it isn't ever corrected throughout the song. Please work on your timing boys.
7) You Tell A Tale
- Sounds very familiar to a song already on the album...or maybe from another generic rock band? It's got quite a long intro...which is just repeated guitar solos...which doesn't change through the whole song...a very predictable beat, you know what's coming, and they don't expect you to think otherwise. Once you've heard the first minute of the song, you've practically heard it all.
8) Forgotten Not Forgiven
- Now this is more like it, a up-tempo different sounding track...wait, here come the lyrics will it ruin it?! No for once they actually sound different to previous songs! I knew you could do it boys! Yes, the lyrics still could be improved...but they are slowly progressing to get better as the album runs...it's a shame they can't be consistent. I like this song, it makes me happy, and the build up to the chorus is a favourite. They even incorporated a 'screamo' part into the song...very un-Just Surrender, but a nice change, and I think they pull it off well.
9) Is There No Truth In Beauty?
- A lovely change, a slow almost acoustic song, and a good change. This doesn't sound like they're trying too hard, and this style of song suits them so much. I love the vocals, and surprisingly the lyrics too...not as generic as previous, but still good, and they suit the singer. It's the only song that you really notice that there are two singers in the band...mainly because this song isn't by two singers, just the one. Maybe they should realise the band may work better with a lead singer instead of sharing it out?!
10) She Broke My Heart, So I Broke His Jaw
- A lovely song title don't you think?! It's heavy! It's not generic! It's Just Surrender at their best...in my opinion! Back with the two singers, and for once IT WORKS! Hallelujah! I know there's a reason why I like this band, and songs like this just prove that they are a good band, and they should get the recognition they deserve. You can see how much they have transformed...just in one album, maybe this was them experimenting? Seeing what works for them!?
Overall, this album is slightly disappointing, the reason why I love Just Surrender though is because I know what they're capable of, if you don't believe me, go check out the song 'Your Life & Mine' from the 'We're In Like Sin' album. They improve, the quality is better, and I am generally impressed with how much they have progressed from this album.
There are personal favourites on this album, I'm glad that Just Surrender have stuck at it, even though they have had several knock-backs from harsh critics in the past...but they're troopers, they really do amaze me with how much they've changed, and the fact you can tell more thought has gone into the songs. This album reminds me very much of a high school band recording their album in their garage...the following albums really make you realise it is in fact that this is a band, not a high school hobby.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 I Can Barely Breathe
2 Of All We've Known
3 Tell Me Everything
4 In Your Silence
5 Our Work Of Art
6 What We've Become
7 You Tell A Tale
8 Forgotten Not Forgiven
9 Is There No Truth In Beauty
10 She Broke My Heart, So I Broke His Jaw