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The Critics Corner: Albums
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Boyce Avenue- All That We Have Left
Solid major label album debut from Florida acoustic rockers
Album: All That We Have Left
Label: Universal Republic Records
Release Date: June 15th, 2010
Rating: 4.0 out of 5

Review written by: Stephanie Mora
The musically diverse Manzano brothers, Alejandro (lead vocals, guitar &piano), Fabian (guitar & vocals) and Daniel (bass, percussion/drums & vocals) have built themselves from the ground up. From creating and writing music together in 2004 to becoming a youtube channel sensation in 2007 with their covers of popular songs to finally signing with a major record label in 2009, the brotherly trio have had quite the journey but their passion for music has paid off. On June 15th, 2010, Boyce Avenue will have their major label album debut with the release of All That We Have Left on Universal Republic Records. With most mainstream albums falling prey to overproduction, Boyce Avenue's album is like a breath of fresh air. All That We Have Left offers a unique sound that is a mixture of acoustic and rock. The acoustic/rock sounds allows the Manzano brothers to showcase their strong musical and lyrical talent.

The album begins with an instrumental track titled, Daylight. Not many bands can pull off having an instrumental track on their album but for Boyce Avenue it works.This track proves that the Manzano brothers can play their instruments and play them well. In Daylight, the guitar, bass and percussions work in perfect harmony to create an uplifting track. The title Daylight fits perfectly with the track because it's a progression of a slow and soft melody to a fast and uplifiting rock melody. From here the album moves on to tracks two and three, More Things To Say and Broken Angel. More Things To Say has lyrics that everyone can relate to because it's about not saying everything that you want to/need to say to a person. We all always have more things we could say. The track starts off as pure acoustic with just the guitar accompanied by Alejandro's lead vocals but then it shifts to a softer acoustic rock song with the addition of light drum beats. Broken Angel is a song about how a girl sacrifices herself and her needs to be with a man who doesn't treat her well. The track begins with a beautiful piano solo and the shifts to the piano being accompanied by the guitar and drums for a soft rock sound.

Track four is titled, Every Breath and Boyce Avenue has an official music video for this song that can be found on youtube. Every Breath is one of the strongest songs on the album. It's a pure rock song about two people being there for one another through out every up and down. Every instrument, guitar, drums, bass and even the piano, all work together in this song to craft the perfect rock melody, and it's definitely a song that will be blasted from many car stereos this summer. Every Breath is followed by track five, Find Me. It's the complete oppostite of Every Breath in the sense that it's a pure acoustic song. Find Me is about finding that right person and having everything feel right when you're in their arms. The track is more powered by vocals and only uses very light guitar rhythms and drum beats to power the melody.

Next up we have the tracks When The Lights Die, Change Your Mind, Not Enough and Hear Me Now. When The Lights Die is a track that everyone will be talking about. It offers a taste of something different. It shifts from slow to upbeat a multitude of times, and there is a beautiful guitar solo accompanied by light piano keys towards the end. When The Lights Die is about ending a relationship but then when the lights go out, right before you fall asleep, realizing that goodbye might have been a mistake. Change Your Mind is an upbeat song about trying to convince someone to take a chance on you. Even though the song is about a person not wanting to take a chance, the melody of the song provides some hope and gives truth to the title, that a mind might be able to be changed. Not Enough and Hear Me Now are both upbeat, catchy rock songs where the guitar, drums and bass all work together to create the perfect rock melody. Both songs have strong lyrics that discuss the struggles to please a person and be happy.

Shifting from the two rock songs is the acoustic track, Dare To Believe. Dare To Believe sends a powerful message about believing in the good in people and the world. Because if we dare to believe all the lies and darkness, all hope and innocence will be lost. This track is powered by vocals and accompanied by a beautiful piano arrangement. Next there is the track, Briane which is a song that is about a specific person but their name is never actually used in the song. It's an apologetic love song that is accentuated by the ups and downs in the melody.

Closing out the album are the tracks On My Way and Tonight. On My Way is one of the strongest songs on the album lyrically and a personal favorite of mine. It's an acoustic song with such a soft, serene melody that it puts more focus on Alejandro's vocals. When Musiqtone but Boyce Avenue on the Hot Seat we learned that On My Way is a very personal song written about a soulmate they know is out their but haven't found yet. This makes the lyrics and the song more meaningful. There is so much passion in the words that are sung, that listeners will believe that there is an unfound soulmate out there for them too. The last track is the song Tonight which is a perfect way to end the album. It has a catchy melody that provides a powerful message. It's a message about taking the time to work out your problems and make decisions. It's a message that provides hope.

All That We Have Left is a more than solid debut from Boyce Avenue. There is bound to be a song on the album that listeners can relate to and appreciate.With that being said, the entire album as a whole might not appeal everyone. Some music fans might find the slower, acoustic songs tiring and boring after a while. Even if listeners do not enjoy the type of sound Boyce Avenue produces, there is no denying that they are a talented band. Between the three of them, they play a slew of instruments like veterans, their vocals are stunning and pure, and their lyrics come from the heart. The debut of All We Have Left has allowed Boyce Avenue to share their passion for creating and playing music with the world, and after all, that's what the music world is all about.
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