The Fiery Furnaces – I’m Going Away

22 07 2009

This is another first for me, seeing as I’ve never listened to The Fiery Furnaces. The band consists of siblings Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger, and they’re from around the Chicago area. They just released their seventh studio album, and it’s called I’m Going Away.

The Fiery Furnaces - I'm Going Away 1

While their website looked nice, I couldn’t find anywhere to get songs off their new album for free. You can buy the albums there, though, if you like them enough. It’s pretty cool that they have a section with all their lyrics. Their MySpace has one song off the new album (“The End is Near”). If you’re interested in getting songs off their old albums for free, search them on SadSteve.

Track 1: I’m Going Away

I can’t believe this is the title track. The most positive thing I can say is that it’s definitely indie sounding. This was not a great start to the great album. I’m honestly not sure why this track was on the album to begin with. On the bright side, not much place to go but up.

Track 2: Drive to Dallas

I love the music on this track. I really like the music on most of these tracks. The vocals just ruin it to me. One thing I will give this track is the way they bring back the beginning, right after that crazy breakdown, with like a minute or so left in the song. I really like the reprises of the intro, and they do it a few times throughout the album. Lots of potential in this song, but the vocals ruin it.

Track 3: The End is Near

The main piano melody is awesome, and super catchy. The vocals are, once again, pretty annoying, and they just take away from the song. It has a crazy bridge or crescendo or what have you, and then it gets quieter and the intro comes back in, just like the last song, which is a plus.

Track 4: Charmaine Champagne

Not a fan of this song. Like, without the vocals is would be barely bearable, but the vocals just really destroy it. A very indie sound. I could see how people like this band, but I don’t. It’s like a Neutral Milk Hotel type thing. A very unique sound that takes some getting used to but has substance.

Track 5: Cut the Cake

It seems like there’s a really strong Bob Dylan influence on the vocals in this song. Just listen to where the emphasis is placed throughout the song. It’s pretty easy to hear right at the beginning, and at the “I bought ten copies of the paper” part. 3

Track 6: Even in the Rain

Super catchy again. They really have a good sound, as far as the music itself goes. They’re instrumentally sound. And honestly, the vocals aren’t as bad on this track. I mean, they’re not good, but they’re not terrible. The guitar around three minutes into the song is pretty whack, but the guitar comes back strong towards the end of the song.

Track 7: Staring at the Steeple

The drumming is pretty sick in this song, and the little bridge thing around the two minute mark (and again at the three minute mark) is pretty dope. The vocals sound more like they’re spoken in this song. I don’t think they had enough material to make this song last 3:55. Would’ve been better if it was a bit shorter.

Track 8: Ray Bouvier

I think usually vocals are successful either if they’re technically superb or if they’re just outrageously catchy. These vocals are neither technically superb nor outrageously catchy. The music tries to bail it out, but the tune isn’t strong enough to carry a whole song when the vocals are so weak. 2

Track 9: Keep Me in the Dark

I really like the chorus of this song, actually, and that’s a good thing because the chorus is pretty prominent in this song. The bridge sounds kind of whack to me, but the fact that the vocals aren’t overbearing gives this song some life. 3

Track 10: Lost at Sea

This is, instrumentally, my favorite track on the album, but I can not stress enough how much these vocals kill the potential of these songs. Like, if I was to hear the instrumental of this song, I’d like it more than the version with vocals. There’s an idea. The piano bridge with the bongos (or whatever that is really low in the background) is pretty killer. 4

Track 11: Cups and Punches

I think “Charmaine Champagne (reprise)” would be another fitting name for this track. The beginning with the guitar riff is really nice, and until the vocals kick in, I kind of hear a Beatles-type sound. This track wins my award for most wasted potential. With some good vocals, I could picture this song being better than just okay. The wild part at 2:30 just sounds like garbage. 3

Track 12: Take Me Round Again

Six minutes and thirty-five seconds of like two and a half minutes worth of song. That’s about when I got bored of this song. This is another average song. The Fiery Furnaces exit my life in only slightly better position than they were in when they entered it.

The Fiery Furnaces - I'm Going Away 2

Not gonna lie. That wasn’t a terribly enjoyable album. Yesterday, I mentioned how the Portugal. The Man album had won me over as a listener. Well, this album did not have that effect on me. While I may give The Fiery Furnaces a few more listens, I’m rarely, if ever, going to decide I’m in the mood to listen to The Fiery Furnaces.

Overall: 2/5

The Fiery Furnaces - I'm Going Away

Listen to:

1) The End is Near (the first 20 seconds kind of suck)

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