home Album Review The Juliana Theory – Emotion Is Dead – CD Review

The Juliana Theory – Emotion Is Dead – CD Review

With their new notoriety for tight pants and slick stage maneuvers; one has to wonder if the emotional value coming from the latest release by The Juliana Theory will hold up. “Are they playing a joke on us?” “Is this parody?” Many fans of the band have asked these questions, while trying to decide if the new CD, Emotion Is Dead (Tooth & Nail Records) is what they expected, and whether or not they like it..

The beginning of the CD is deceiving. The first track, “Into The Dark”, leads you to believe that this is going to be a melodic experience with lots of harmonies, and memorable, soaring choruses. There are also some decent guitar jams, like on “To The Tune Of 5,000 Screaming Children”. This is exactly what fans of The Juliana Theory have come to expect. There are even some nice orchestral arrangements intermingled that remind the listener of the roots of pure classical music.

However, what come next are hints of bubble gum, an occasional aroma of mall variety pop, complete with sha-la-la-la’s, on “We’re At The Top Of The World (To The Simple Two). The scent lingers just long enough for a sweet, purely “emo” song like “Is Patience Still Waiting” to emerge triumphantly before barreling into Chemical Brothers-like twists and turns of “Emotion Is Dead Pt. II”. I have to agree. Is this a rave album? Were they shooting for some sort of a dance-remix thing? Do they secretly wish they were a Backstreet Boys cover band? What is going on with The Juliana Theory?

Emotion may be dead while boy band performances continue to reign supreme. However, in the midst of all this cheesy Hell, The Juliana Theory have still managed to satisfactorily combine emotional lyrics, with epic, silverchair-esque flair on Emotion Is Dead, especially on “Were Nothing Without You”. Admittedly, the CD is a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but after a few listens the queasy feeling subsides. Let’s just hope they don’t go hiring any choreographed, back-up singers any time soon.

Lesa Pence
lesa@unearthed.com

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