Today I went and listened to Chameleon Circuit’s new album as well as meeting them. It was a fantastic evening, and, as promised, my review is below! In order for me to write this, I had to spend the entire listening session writing notes against each of the titles in my lyric book. So I hope it’s ok!
“Still Got Legs” is vastly different to the debut album of Chameleon Circuit. This album feels much more professional, produced and finished – even though we were unable to hear the complete product as it’s still a work in progress.
Legs seems to be less about a few very strong songs and some more filling ones (as seemed to be the case in the first album), but more about each song being separate, different and strong in it’s own right. With this, however, comes a slight vagueness – if not a freedom – as to which genre (other than trock) this album most fits into. Alex said that “it is a combination of many different styles; rock, electronica… Its just Michael genre.”
Legs is also a much more full-on album, and as such, the occasional songs with acoustic guitar seem to be a little empty, rather than the norm. Some songs even roam into the depths of metal and on one occasion a little screamo (the sound of drums).
I love how many references there are to the actual tv show in this album, with many of Murray Gold’s themes being used throughout, it just seems more like an ode to Doctor Who, rather than an attempt to ride on the back of it – a worry for all bands writing about brands.
When I asked the band who was responsible for the new sound and feel of their music, the unanimous decision was that it was down to Producer, Michael Aranda. When he discussed some of the techniques that he used to produce this album, it seemed clear that he was passionate about Chameleon Circuit, and as such, the band pretty much said that he’s the fifth member, as, he is responsible for many of the instrumental parts on the album.
As different as Legs is from the debut album, they seem to have kept their values as heart, as there are still a few very funny moments throughout, and it just seems clear that the band have had fun making it.
One thing, which did annoy me a little, though, (which was not really the bands fault) was that because it had been so long since the first album was released, there were a few mentions to Tennant’s doctor and the final episodes, and so, if you’re hoping for a solely Matt Smith related experience, that’s not quite what you’re going to get. As a result of this, though the album has been arranged to sound best and flow well, it can sometimes be a little off putting and confusing as to which series we’re in.
The main thing about this album, is that the lyrics seem to have been thought through a lot more, and as a result, have much more meaning! Michael also said that by getting members to sing each other’s song, they give new meaning to them. And I agree with this whole heartedly. Legs, seems less about trying to make every other line rhyme and a lot more about conveying a message.
My favourite songs, are probably “regenerate me”, “teenage rebel” and “kiss the girl” seeing as the first is very atmospheric and fits this series of Doctor Who well, and the latter two are both very catchy!
My favourite MOMENTS though are in “still not ginger”. This song is wonderfully playful, funny and enjoyable! So whilst it may not be melodically my favourite song, it certainly is for most quirky and fun.
However, there are a couple of songs which I’m not too sure about, for example, “Silence and the end of all things” has a very odd format of no chorus and two lined verses, this however, kinda works, and the use of one of Murray Gold’s themes on the line ‘bluest blue’ really makes up for any faults in it.
As for “everything is ending” and “the sound of drums” the first is a sort of romantic ballad duet and the second sounds a little like a song from a musical, in the best way possible way. “big bang two” has had a total refit and sounds fantastic, “Nightmares” has a metal feel to it, and I didn’t enjoy this one as much as others, possibly as it’s not the usual genre that I enjoy. “travelling man” is a song in which the lyrics are vital and are naturally the focus, the tune is a little like a lullaby which fits well to the feel and message of the lyrics.
“the doctor is dying” is a lot more cinematic and uses sounds from the show, and a very atmospheric ending to create an all together different song from the others on the album. “mr pond” is an example of a song which, with the surrounding songs, sounds a little empty (its also a song which the people around me insisted is a cover of ‘Mrs Nerimon”, I still don’t think it is).
All in all, well worth pre-ordering. It’s set to be a very interesting combination of rock and punk fit for all. Different people, like different things, and maybe if the last album wasn’t for you, then this one might!
As for the actual day, it was one of the best of my life. The atmosphere was wonderful, the band were lovely and willing to answer questions and sign various things! And I made some new friends too! Plus, they had pizza! : D
If you are going tomorrow, just be aware that the mix is not quite right yet, and that everyone there is absolutely lovely!
And take a rubix cube. (I’m looking at you Laura)
Thank you for listening to my inconsequential opinions once again.
PS but really though, it’s a fucking fantastic album, well worth buying.