AFI’s “Crash Love”: a new direction

200px-CrashlovecoverAFI’s eighth studio album, Crash Love continues the band’s transistion from their hardcore punk roots to the the chart topping act we are familiar with today.  While their last album, decemberunderground saw the group dabble in electronica and dance-rock elements, Crash Love is a more straight forward rock record, featuring a  light dose of eighties influenced sounds.  It is a good mix. 

The opening track, ‘Torch Song’ is a generic rocker, catchy but forgetable.  The album really takes off with the second track ‘Beautiful Theives”, complete with a backing choir chorus and soaring lyrics.  From then on, the disc doesn’t really lose any steam.  There are some lackluster moments mixed throughout, but it’s definately not top heavy.  In fact, one of the best tracks can be found near the end of the disc, the ballad-esque ‘Darling, I Want to Destroy You’.  As with most of the songs on the album, it uses slightly morbid and bleak imagery to descibe light aspects.  When you glance at the liner notes, singer Davey Havok revolves most of his lyrics around themes of love and relationships.

Overall, the album is the one of the strongest peices of work AFI has ever produced.  It pushes the boundries of what is expected from the band, much in the same way 2003’s Sing the Sorrow did, which will undoubtly upset many fans who long for the ‘old AFI’.  But this time around, the disc seems more complete and mature.  AFI has grown up, if their fans refuse to, that is their loss.  Crash Love rocks.

On a related note, AFI will headline this years Jingle Bell Rock at the Winnipeg Convention Centre on Decemeber 15th with guests Cage the Elephant and MAdM.  Tickets are $40.  For more info, check out http://www.jinglebellrock.ca/

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