Feb 182009
Authors: Ian Mahan

By Ian Mahan

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

It’s been nearly three years since The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus released their debut album, “Don’t You Fake It,” and, frankly, it seems that the band should have taken their own advice for their follow up.

The catchiness of songs such as “Face Down” is nowhere to be found on “Lonely Road.”

The album does have its high points and there are some tracks that are worth mentioning in the cluster of overproduced, anthem like pop-rock songs.

The first track on the album as well as the first single “You Better Pray,” is a solid attention grabber that is sure to have listeners suckered into seeing whether or not something more radio friendly will come up in the next song, only to be let down.

“Pen and Paper,” the better of the two singles released on the album provides more of a tone that fans that would expect from The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.

“Represent” begins with an interesting acoustic guitar intro that is misleading ,then leads into a song that has the potential to send chills down ones spine with lines, “will they make you who you are,” referring to life’s pressures and “letting the free world light the way.”

“Believe,” perhaps the most honest song on the album, is extremely well written and the most convincing example of the band showing some sort of emotional maturity as well as musical development from their power chord crunching days.

“And I still believe,” croons Ronnie Winter in a voice that sounds like a gospel singer who has just had his heart broken, “there’s still more heart than ache,” one of the following lines that exemplifies just how much heart is behind the song.

The rest of the songs on the album seem more like filler work for the Jacksonville, Fla., based band and are somewhat confused with Nickelback-like influence in the title track of the album, and an early 90s palm mute progression in the aptly titled “Senioritis.”

Overall, the album isn’t all trash worthy, but the gems are hidden among songs that would be found underneath most compost.

One thing to note about the band is that they are growing up, and puberty is a changing and awkward time, so maybe The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus is going through that awkward melodically confused period in their song writing.

Staff writer Ian Mahan can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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