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Cexcells – Blaqk Audio

In CD Review, Music on August 16, 2007 at 2:43:42 am

Blaqk Audio’s debut album was released yesterday… well, when I say yesterday, I mean Tuesday, August 14. And damn it’s good!

For those not in the loop, Blaqk Audio is Davey Havok and Jade Puget from AFI (the vocalist and guitarist, respectively). They came up with the concept of an electronic side project called “Blaqk Audio” a little while back (about 5 years ago, or so). But they didn’t really have time to start developing the album until a year or so ago. The album that resulted is called “Cexcells” (pronounced “sex sells”). And here’s my track-by-track review:

  1. Stiff Kittens – The first track is also the first single off the album. It’s a bit of a light track, with some nice keyboards in the intro. It then progresses into a heavier drum beat, and the keyboards return. All in all, a great kick-off for the album.
    “If you show me heaven, I will meet you there”
    The “hey hey”s in the background are fantastic. They’re a bit reminiscent of AFI, without too much commonality.
  2. Between Breaths (An XX Perspective) – This is a bit of a weird track. Don’t get me wrong: it’s good. But it’s weird. The chorus reminds of Marilyn Manson, where the verses are almost whispered.
  3. Snuff on Digital – One of my favourite tracks from the album. It’s a pretty dancy track, with a heavy beat. I love it. I wish I had this CD when I was DJing last Sunday. This would have been a great track to play.
  4. Bitter for Sweet – The first track released onto the band’s MySpace page, I had grown a little tired of it, having heard it for a few weeks. However, there are some things that are new in the album version that were not present on the MySpace version. This track is still excellent. I love it.
    “Would you save my life if you knew why?” […] “Could you save my life if you knew why?”
  5. Where Would You Like Them Left? – A bit of a slower track. It has some more ambient keyboards, less heavy drums, and a slower tempo. It’s almost, dare I say it, relaxing.
  6. The Fear of Being Found – The intro to this track sounds a bit like blowing on glass bottles. I could hear this being used as background music in an episode of Top Gear. This one is definitely a slow track, and very emotional. It’s excellent.
  7. On A Friday – Back to a little more heavy dance music. It’s almost trance-like in places. Not much to say on this one, really. It’s good, but not great.
  8. The Love Letter – Lots of AFI influence here. Lots of guitars in this one. It’s super. It’s another slow one, but it’s angrier than The Fear of Being Found.
  9. Semiotic Love – More dance stuff. I love this track right now. Easily one of the best songs on the album. It reminds me a bit of The Postal Service, and I’m not sure why. There are some pretty luscious strings on this track, and lots of “digital” sounds. It sounds really orchestral.
  10. Cities of Night – This one reminds me of Between Breaths (An XX Perspective). It’s got the same weird drum beat in it. The accents are just a bit close to swing time for it to be perfect 4/4. I like it, but I think it’s one of the weaker entries. That is, until the chorus. I could listen to the chorus of this song for the longest time. It’s another orchestral sounding piece.
  11. Again, Again and Again – Really fast dance track, this. I love the contrast between Davey’s vocal delivery, and the speed of the background music. Some woman (can’t remember who) provides some great background vocals in this track.
  12. Wake Up, Open The Door and Escape To The Sea – Damn. That’s a long track title. I couldn’t even be bothered to type it; I just copied it from iTunes. Anyway… this is my favourite track from the album. No question. It’s slow, emotional, and freaking amazing. The entire album is worth it just for this one song.

Now that that’s covered, you should go and buy the album (iTunes link). I bought mine at HMV, which means I don’t get any cool extras with it. If you buy yours at Best Buy, you get the song “Mute” (a bonus track). Buy your copy at Hot Topic, and you get a cover of “Girls and Boys” (originally by Blur), and a special edition cover. And if you buy yours off iTunes, you get the bonus track “Black Electric”.

Overall Album Rating:
9/10

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