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Friday, February 22nd
The Critics Corner: Albums
School Boy Humor
This Providence- Who Are You Now?

Third effort shows off a refreshing, unique flair
SBH Name: "Who Are You Now? "
Label: Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic
Release Date: March 17, 2008
My rating: 4.7 out of 5

Review written by: Cristina Carrazza
Since 2006, fans This Providence have been eagerly waiting the follow up to their self-titled sophomore release. After a four track EP released this fall, the wait is finally over. The result is “Who Are You Know?”  The wait was worthwhile; this alternative rock quartet certainly does not disappoint.

With a changing music scene, This Providence fans worried the band would give up their trademark sound for something more industrialized. Instead, we an even better version of the sound we have come to love since “Our Worlds Divorce.” This record is for those of us who want to turn up the volume and get lost in the music and lyrics. The album is characterized by beautiful lyrics complimented by carefully crafted instrumentals that effortlessly balance each other out.

The record begins with “Sure As Hell.” This song, which ends before reaching the two minute mark, is a slow, guitar driven haunting melody that really shows off Dan Young’s beautiful voice. I do not approve of its placement, however; I think it would have been much more appreciated as the last track of the album. The fun really begins with the first single,  “Letdown.” Starting with an upbeat introduction, this song will definitely will have you singing along to the story of this love gone wrong. This is one of those songs that takes a couple of listens to finally appreciate all of it. The instrumentals in this song are This Providence at its best – one of the best songs on the album.

Following is “Waste Myself,” a song already released on “The Bright Lights – EP.” This is one of those songs were the band makes you stop what you are doing and just listen to the music. We get more of some amazing guitar parts perfectly blended with vocals and other instrumentals, not to mention some amazing lyrics. “This Is The Real Thing” is probably my least favorite song on the album. It starts with a good upbeat guitar introduction, but the dance beats during the chorus seem out of place.

“Keeping On Without You” reminds me a lot of an older U2, with its instrumentals consisting of a beautiful harmony between bass and guitar. The vocals are also haunting; another song to lose yourself into. Picking up the pace is “Squeaking Wheels and White Light.” This song sounds like an improved version of “This Is The Real Thing,” which does a better job incorporating more dance beats to the chorus. 

Next is “My Beautiful Rescue (Renovated)” which was also featured in the EP. There is no doubt this is one of This Providence’s best-known songs; this new version trades the original acoustic feel for a rock sound. As much as I love this song, I wish the band could have featured some more new material. Following is another of the record’s best songs. Opening with a catchy bass line, “That Girl’s A Trick” is an upbeat, catchy rock sound that will definitely be a favorite by the first listen.
“Selfish” is yet another favorite. It opens with another catchy bass line that keeps developing with the song. The chorus is just explosive, but the song keeps a very indie feel throughout. The harmonies between drums and bass are extremely well done throughout the song. Slowing things down is “Chasing The Wind,” a sweet acoustic song. As the song progresses, the band adds an interesting mix of orchestrals, electric guitar and piano. It is definitely experimental, but nicely done. “Playing The Villain” begins with a powerful guitar intro. The drums throughout the song are some of the best on the album. The chorus is explosive, and extremely catchy. This is another favorite for me, think of it as the new “A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing”

If any song was going to take the place of “Hey There Delilah” in musical history it would be “Sand In Your Shoes.” This sweet, acoustic song talks about falling in love that summer when you are eighteen. Also featured on the EP, this song will definitely bring This Providence a lot of fame along the hopelessly romantic. The album ends with “Somebody To Talk To,” a slower rock song. The lyrics of the song will definitely have that lingering effect that will make you think long after the album stops playing. Not the best choice as a closer but a good song nonetheless.

This Providence has been one of my favorite bands for a long time. This record only makes that feeling stronger. “Who Are You Know?” is a great mix of alternative rock and indie. Put some earphones on and get lost in the sound of what is great, original music. In today’s music world, it is getting harder to find a refreshing, unique band. But This Providence sure highlights the potential of today’s alternative rock scene.

Michelle MitchellCristina Carrazza is the asst. regional head in the Midwest region at Musiqtone.com. You can contact her at cristinacarrazza@musiqtone.com or fill out this feedback form below.
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