Anticipation was something I felt since the very first time I heard finger eleven. The band’s first CD, aptly-titled ‘Tip’ was literally just that – the tip of the iceberg. I felt like if I didn’t hear more new material as soon as possible, I would suffer from detoxification pains. This band has so much emotional, and creative intensity fueling their lyrics and their music; thus creating mass appeal with legions of fans in the United States, and their native Canada, that mine was a natural reaction to desire more of them. Mercifully, on July 25th of this year, finger eleven’s sophomore relase, ‘The Greyest of Blue Skies’ will arrive.
From the very first chords of track 1, ‘First Time’, the seasoned finger eleven listener will feel as if they have come home again. The same familiar intensity flows throughout this gorgeous collection of expressive and touching songs as it did on ‘Tip’. But with their dedicated following, a masterful production job by Arnold Lanni, and a new, more polished, and slightly heavier sound; finger eleven is sure to become even more of a phenomenon this time around.
As the listener continues through the many corridors and emotions of ‘The Greyest of Blue Skies‘, they will happen upon a song called ‘Sick Of It All’, which showcases all four of the band members’ talents in one passionate track. Scott Anderson vocally pours his soul out, while James Black and Rick Jackett willingly bleed for us with each pleading strain from their guitars. The combination of bass lines from Sean Anderson and drumbeats from Rich Beddoe compliment each other perfectly, as well as being the foundation for the guitar and vocal contributions. One has to wonder (with envy) what the inspiration was behind songs like this one.
Other standout tracks like ‘Suffocate’, ‘Drag You Down’, ‘Famous’, and ‘Bones and Joints’ also make immediate and haunting impressions. If you’re a Depeche Mode fan, as many of us are, there is a surprise waiting for you as well. Even the artwork created for the CD and the newly revamped fingereleven.com website are both stunning and provocative. While experiencing ‘The Greyest of Blue Skies’, there will be times when your emotions will soar, and others when you will feel the impact and the sorrow in your gut.
Nevertheless, music like this makes the true enthusiast happy to be alive, and grateful for their sense of hearing. This is yet another unforgettable work of art by an undeniably talented band. Thank you, finger eleven.