lisa pikaard reviews the latest from the hard rockers…
The third studio release by Saving Abel, Bringing Down the Giant is a good album, not great, but good. For those of you who are not avid Saving Abel fans but may have caught a listen to the title track, a pretty powerful rock song with a music video that has a serious and respectable anti-bullying message, you may be sad to hear that the rest of the album fails to replicate the power and real rock essence that is behind “Bringing Down the Giant.”
Don’t get me wrong; there are some really solid songs on Bringing Down the Giant like “Parachute,” or “I’d Do it Again,” but the beginning of the album sadly starts off a bit flat for my liking. While there isn’t a single person I know who isn’t tempted to listen to a song simply because it’s entitled “Michael Jackson’s Jacket,” the track isn’t one that will linger in my mind. That tune is followed up with a slightly better song entitled “Amazing,” which reminds me of the mid to late 90s rock bands like the Goo Goo Dolls and Lifehouse.
At this point, the album gets different. Very different. There is an interlude entitled “Pine Mountain (The Dance of the Poor Proud Man).” It has a banjo. That is all I can say. The song transitions into “You Make Me Sick” and I am just not feeling this clashing of sounds. The crossover of the country vibe with the raspy vocals of Jared Weeks is something to hear but the song takes just a bit too long to pick up for me. It’s definitely not what you’d expect to hear on a Saving Abel album, that’s for sure.
There are some saving graces for Bringing Down the Giant, however. After the unsuccessful blend of country and rock, the album finally picks up for me. “New Loser” has a bit more of a rock vibe than some of the other songs. “Me and You” starts with just vocals and a guitar, but it builds into a beautiful and really strong song. It’s one of the better tracks on the album. From there, we have the song “I’d Do it Again.” It is a solid rock song- not hard rock, not pop rock, just rock\This song takes about 20 seconds to hit its stride but once it does, it really does hit the mark. “Bittersweet” is a song that blew me away and I would have said it is the best on the album but then it’s followed by “Parachute” and “Constantly.” Both of these tracks are well above the rest.
Overall, any song on the second half of the album has something special while the first half is simply average. As I said before, Saving Abel did alright with this one. They didn’t take my breath away or make me want to have Bringing Down the Giant on shuffle and repeat but they definitely have a few tracks that deserve to go into rotation.