The instrumental intro to “Cities” creates a mysterious atmosphere, leading into the first track. The chaotic sound with sirens and effects creates an interesting contrast with the rock songs that follow.
The intro is hardly over or lead single Godspeed kicks in. And Anberlin shows they haven’t just been sitting around doing nothing. Godspeed is a catchy alternative rock song with some amazing hooks and splendid vocals. The band has grown into a tight rock collective with a lot of power.
Next up is one of the band’s best songs, Adelaide. The fast-paced rock song has absolutely radio potential and both lyrically and musically it shows clever songwriting. The band’s passionate performance adds extra emotion to the song and the powerful vocals and tight instrumentals make it a highlight on this strong album.
A Whisper & A Clamor
My favorite song off “Cities” is probably A Whisper & A Clamor. The subtle synthesizer has an interesting effect, while the lyrics are among the band’s best. The incredible energy the band unleashes in this song is amazing and everything just clicks.
The Unwinding Cable Car
Starting with the melodic intro, The Unwinding Cable Car is another highlight on this album. The guitar is very melodic throughout the song and has some killer hooks, while the vocals are excellent (the echo is interesting). Anberlin passionately brings the words to life with a song that shows they’ve grown lightyears in their songs that aren’t in overdrive tempos. There’s definitely an emotional, sensitive side to the song that comes out beautifully.
There Is No Mathematics To Love And Loss
The synths are back in There Is No Mathematics.., which is another well-written song. The band turns up the tempo a couple notches again and gets the energetic juices flowing again. The synths might be slightly overdone but it doesn’t really take away from the strength of the song.
There are interesting contrasts in Hello Alone in loudness, tempo and the chorus is an instant hit in my opinion. One of the songs on this album that have the ability to dominate rock radio.
Alexithymia is a great song, probably the best vocally on this album. The drums are very important in this track that is both rhythmically & melodically complex. The very dynamic interaction between the different musicians are so well done that Alexithymia is definitely one of the best tracks on “Cities”.
One of the best built up rock songs on the album is Reclusion. The angsty sound, enhanced by the synths, is one of the drives of this song, along with the tempo and energetic, passionate performance that shows this band is a great collective as well as strong musicians. The timing, which is quite complex at times, is picture perfect and Reclusion is yet another plus on this great album.
We then reach Anberlin’s most emotionally laden song so far. The melodic, gentle Inevitable is the ultimate proof Anberlin can pull this off too. One of their best songs, lyrically & musically, and it speaks right to your heart. The band outdid itself in the songwriting department and with a rich and diverse sound (the strings are amazing), they created another powerful song.
On Dismantle.Repair. the band varies in tempo, intensity, sound, loudness and lets out everything in their musical arsenal. We can see how complete this band has become musically and how well they can show it to the world.
The album closer is appropriately titled (*Fin). It’s a song that might become an instant classic among the fans. It’s another slower-paced song with many melodic lines and great musical sophistication. Vocally it is very strong while the rest of the band is in absolutely perfect harmony with eachother. The song works to an ultimate climax where the loudness and tempo are cranked up. (*Fin) is a modern rock symphony!
With “Cities”, Anberlin shows their true faces. There’s not a weak song on this album. The band’s songwriting has gotten stronger, the performances of the songs more passionate and powerful, and they still have the catchy, energetic and fast-paced rock sound that fits them like a glove. Anberlin truly is one of alternative rock’s crown jewels!