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The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus – Lonely Road
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Lonely Road - Virgin Records
A few years ago The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus jumped onto the scene with their massive anti-family violence single, Face Down. Their album, Don’t You Fake It, was a generic pop-emo album but was strong enough to catch the ears of millions of fans anyway. It may have been predictable but people still ate it up. In the years since that release the band wants you to believe that they’ve improved and matured and that all of that growth has been funneled into Lonely Road. The sad thing is that they haven’t improved or matured, in fact they have taken a step back and Lonely Road is one of the most bland, cliche-ridden and over produced major label flops I’ve heard in a long time.
After having listened to the record almost a dozen times, I’m still unable to really recall any enjoyable moment of the album. 95% of the album slips into the background and becomes forgettable while I wish the other 5% would join it. The band hasn’t necessarily left their little soundscape that they’ve cultivated for themselves with Don’t You Fake It but they’ve expanded on it, trying to make the sound much bigger than they actually can.
Thrown haphazardly throughout the record are random guitar solos that have no relevance or come at inopportune times. Ronnie Winter’s vocals have become more irritating. He’s left the screams behind completely and gone for a higher arena-rock sound but with an annoying high pitched twinge to it. You hear it right from the start of You Better Pray, which kicks off with an unnecessary guitar solo and then Winter’s “ohhhhhhhhss!” before he topples into a high pitched squeal that is just annoying. That’s the first song, the most memorable moment of the album, and it is annoying and bland.
Lonely Road falls victim to every single cliche of the major-label over produced rock album. They try and build it up by piling in additional instruments in hopes of creating a sort of epic or atmospheric sound; but it fells all too forced and all too fake. There’s no passion or sincerity in it anymore. Just listen to the pitiful closer, Godspeed to see it in all it’s horrendous splendor. When they cut back all that crap and just try for a more straight forward pop-rock song like they do on Senioritis then it becomes bearable. It’s still not really that good, but at least there’s some intensity and energy in the song which makes it much better than everything else on the record.
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus were clearly a one-hit wonder. They had no idea what to do with a follow-up and just followed the blueprints laid out before them. The label may try to get them to spit out another album but after that they should be gone for good, and I, for one, can’t wait.