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Album Reviews; Everyone Loves Music, Right?
Topic Started: Mar 27 2011, 04:44 AM (8,755 Views)
DucksFAN
Unregistered

Title explains this thread. I'll start:

Artist: Saliva
Album: Under Your Skin
Released: March 22, 2011

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REVIEW:

Saliva's previous album Cinco Diablo was very disappointing to me, personally, after such a great outing with Blood Stained Love Story. Thankfully, the three years in between albums has been great, as I believe Under Your Skin is quite possibly Saliva's best album.

The Good: Pretty much everything. Album opener "Badass" is pretty much vintage Saliva. Hard rock to the core, and a little rappish for the chorus, this song hooks you in. "Better Days" is also sound, with a very hook-laiden chorus. "Nothing" is the best song Saliva has ever written. Really. This song alone warrants a purchase on the album. "Never Should've Let you Go", "Hate Me", "Prove Me Wrong", and "The Key" are also exceptional.

The Bad: Not much, and what is listed here is very marginal. "Toxic Suicide" just doesn't stand out, and "Spotlight" sounds very similiar to previous songs reeking with pompous swagger. The only poor song on the album is "Burn It Up". Very disappointing.

Conclusion: Very, very strong outing by Saliva. This album contains many more power ballads and I believe is a good move for them. But there is still some hard rock songs Saliva fans have come to know and love. Not to mention great vocals on all the tracks, and many, many great guitar solos; Most notably on "Hate Me" and "Nothing". Drums and the bass duo are air tight. I WHOLLY recommend buying this album. 9/10 score.

Track Listing:

01.)"Badass"
02.)"Better Days"
03.)"Nothing"
04.)"Hate Me"
05.)"Never Should've Let You Go"
06.)"Prove Me Wrong"
07.)"Burn It Up"
08.)"Toxic Suicide"
09.)"Turn The Lights On"
10.)"Spotlight"
11.)"Get Out Alive"
12.)"The Key"
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ParanoidPaal
Unregistered

I want to get around to posting a review of Amon Amarth's new album.
Might also get around to review some other (kinda new) albums.

The way you reviewed that was a pretty nice. short and simple way to review. I think I'll give it a go.
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DucksFAN
Unregistered

Artist: Yellowcard
Album: When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes
Released: March 22, 2011

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REVIEW:

Admittedly, I had no idea who Yellowcard was about two weeks ago. I have no knowledge of previous outings from this group. That is going to change, especially after being blown away by When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes.

The Good: "The Sound Of You And Me" is the album opener, and is a highlight. Listeners not familiar with Yellowcard will be surprised by this pop punk bands decision to include a violin. Is this a good choice? The answer is a clear yes. "For You, And Your Denial", which is the first single, is fantastic. All the way from the violin intro to the kick of the power chords, this is great. Everything is great from the vocals to the guitar to the violin. The drums are pretty fantastic too. "Soundtrack", "Hide", the ballad "Hang You Up", and "Life Of Leaving Home" are all stand out tracks.

The Bad: It's only about 37 minutes long.

Conclusion: I didn't know Yellowcard until two weeks ago. That is going to change. When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes is not just one of the best rock albums this year, in my opinion, it is also one of the best pop-punk albums I've listened to. If you haven't heard Yellowcard, you're missing out. Support these guys by buying their album. You will be in for an unexpected surprise, as I have been. Also, I dare you not to sing along to "With You Around".
10/10 score.

Track Listing:

01.)"The Sound Of You And Me"
02.)"For You, And Your Denial"
03.)"With You Around"
04.)"Hang You Up"
05.)"Life Of Leaving Home"
06.)"Hide"
07.)"Soundtrack"
08.)"Sing For Me"
09.)"See Me Smiling"
10.)"Be The Young"

(Thank you to YeLLowCarDxGirL for great quality videos with lyrics, because we all love those.)
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failureatlife
Unregistered

I'll do a review of something tomorrow. Quote me on that.
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DucksFAN
Unregistered

Artist: Nickelback
Album: Dark Horse
Released: November 18, 2008

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REVIEW:

Nickelback's Dark Horse is the sixth studio album, and has high expectations after their previous effort, All The Right Reasons, released in 2006, went on to be certified 8x platinum in the United States alone. Is it better than All The Right Reasons? Read on to find out.

The Good: "Something In Your Mouth" starts the album with a slick guitar intro, then proceeds to hook listeners in with a sing-along style chorus. Bass is very noticeable in this song. "Gotta Be Somebody" is a great song. Vocals here are really nicely done, and production values are sky high. "I'd Come For You" is a ballad with easy lyrics. Chad Kroeger really stands out with his voice on this track. Elsewhere, guitar takes center stage on "Just To Get High", "Next Go Round", and the infectious "Shakin' Hands". "Burn It To The Ground" is exceptional on all fronts. "Never Gonna Be Alone" and "If Today Was Your Last Day" are songs most everyone knows, and are good as well. "This Afternoon" is a great album closer, and ends with a fading feel good chorus. Nickelback also employs a country flair on a few of the songs, which I thought was a nice little touch.

The Bad: "S.E.X." is a pointless, generic song. Sexually-charged lyrics occasionally get annoying. A few of the songs sound similiar structurally. Not as good as All The Right Reasons in writing, or composition.

Conclusion: Dark Horse is not better than All The Right Reasons. While many of the songs are great, it seems as if the band ran out of themes to write about, thus leading to a couple pointless, non-tongue in cheek songs about hookers and dirty dancers. Overall, solid, but if forced to choose between this and their previous effort, I'd stick with All The Right Reasons.
8.5/10 score.

Track Listing:

01.)"Something In Your Mouth"
02.)"Burn It To The Ground"
03.)"Gotta Be Somebody"
04.)"I'd Come For You"
05.)"Next Go Round"
06.)"Just To Get High"
07.)"Never Gonna Be Alone"
08.)"Shakin' Hands"
09.)"S.E.X."
10.)"If Today Was Your Last Day"
11.)"This Afternoon"
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ParanoidPaal
Unregistered

Artist: Amon Amarth
Album: Surtur Rising
Released: March 29th 2011

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Introduction:
Amon Amarth’s 8th studio release, an album I’ve been eagerly waiting for for a few years now. When I heard of it I went apeshit. So fucking awesome. I cannot think of a single Amon Amarth song I dislike or even slightly dislike, and this album strongly continues that trend.

The album opens with a powerful and brutal song called “War of The Gods” which was released about a month before the album’s initial release on their website. This song really sets the mood for the rest of the album. Big, powerful, epic and brutal as fuck.

The Good:
The album punches out powerful and mighty melodic death metal Viking themed songs as the band always has and it is probably their most brutal album to date. As you listen to the lyrics you find that throughout most of the songs on album it tells the tale of Ragnarök as the Nordic God Surtr ends the world, and Johan’s voice, greater and more powerful than ever, tells the tale and sounds inspired as always.

The strongest track on the album is easily “Töcks Taunt – Loke’s Treachery Part II”. During the chorus Johan’s incredibly mighty voice reached a new height that sent chills down my spine and made just about every hair on my body rise. As the song progresses it’s goes into a clean part and Fredrik shows of some more varied drumming than he usually has, very cool.

The album has a lot more guitar solos than other albums, and all by whom I assume are Olavi Mikkonen (Johan Söderberg also has some lead duties, but he mainly plays rhythm). The guitar solos are very good. They’re not random shredding you might be familiar with from other death metal acts, they’re good, beautiful and awesome solos, just what you’d expect from the founding Finnish guitarist.

The riffs on the album range from brutal as hell to soft and beautiful clean guitars to melancholic distorted tremolo picking. The drums are as always awesome and really compliment everything on the album; the beats are great and make you want to bang your head.

The Bad:
On my first listen I was almost disappointed, the album actually sounded slightly bland, but as soon as I listened to it again, I was fully convinced. I don’t know why it wasn’t that great on my first listen, I might not have been in the best Amon Amarth mood or maybe the songs just needed to grow a little on me. Who knows, all I know is that this album gets better the more I listen to it.

Conclusion:
The 2008 album “Twillight of the Thunder God” was a lot more accessible than any of their previous work and gave them an even bigger reputation; Surtur Rising follows the trend very well, not the accessible part, but the even bigger reputation part. This is probably Amon Amarth’s most brutal album yet, filled with guitar solos, amazing solos and great riffs, this isn’t just one of Amon Amarth’s strongest outings, it’s probably on of 2011’s strongest albums. I strongly recommend this to any fan of Amon Amarth and Melodic Death Metal.

Score:
9/10


What did you think of the review? It’s my first review of an album ever. Anything I could have done better, anything I did well? Would be nice with some critique. I personally enjoyed this set up a lot. Thumbs up to Ducks!

Oh, and I got this album about one week early, online shopping is awesome.
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DucksFAN
Unregistered

Great review Paal! I really enjoyed reading it, and it was very well-written, IMO.

One thing, that is not really a critique, but a suggestion, is to add links to each song on the track listing. If there literally weren't any videos, then fine, but for people who want to try the album out, links would help them. :)

Keep contributing please! :D
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DucksFAN
Unregistered

Artist: As I Lay Dying
Album: The Powerless Rise
Released: May 11, 2010

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REVIEW:

As I Lay Dying returns from a 3 year absense with The Powerless Rise, and a triumphant return it is. 2007's release An Ocean Between Us saw a few major changes in As I Lay Dying's sound. First, bassist Josh Gilbert took the torch as for clean vocals, and a somewhat softer approach to metalcore in general. These changes were well recieved by fans and critics alike. Now, The Powerless Rise is poised to combine the previous two efforts from this San Diego based band into one great album. But was this fusion successful?

The Good: Tim Lambesis has stated that he has widened his vocal range, and this is quite evident in the album opener "Beyond Our Suffering". He goes low, very low. An absense from AILD's sound has been guitar solos for the most part, but we get one here. Beastly. We get our first taste of clean vocals on "Anodyne Sea", the second track. Lambesis's snarls combine with beautiful singing from Gilbert and leads to a very enticing outlook on the whole album from this one song. Right away, listeners will see some very deep lyrics to read into. Did I mention the breakdown? "Parallels" is the best song on the album. The brutal intro will appeal to the harcore metal seeker, yet the clean singing (Which actually makes up most of this song) is fantastic. A slick guitar solo adds emphasis to the already ass-kicking song. "Anger And Apathy" has the best screamed vocals on the album, and "Condemned" and "The Plague" control the guitar solos. Unbelievable work on those solos. The drums are outstanding. OUTSTANDING. The second best song, "Vacancy" is awesome. The breakdown is amazing. Finally, "Upside Down Kingdom", which contains the album title in the lyrics, will level listeners into believers of metalcore.

The Bad: What bad?

Conclusion: Metalcore at its finest. There is none better than The Powerless Rise. Say what you will about metalcore. It's too loud, too savage. AILD has crafted an amazing album that is as technically proficient as it is thoughtfully crafted. This is metalcore. This is As I Lay Dying.

Score: 10/10

Track Listing:

01.)"Beyond Our Suffering"
02.)"Anodyne Sea"
03.)"Without Conclusion"
04.)"Parallels"
05.)"The Plague"
06.)"Anger And Apathy"
07.)"Condemned"
08.)"Upside Down Kingdom"
09.)"Vacancy"
10.)"The Only Constant Is Change"
11.)"The Blinding Of False Light"
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BigMac
Unregistered

Artist: Ozzy Osbourne
Album: Tribute
Released: March 19, 1987

Hooray for the first pre-2000 album here!

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REVIEW:


I just bought this album last week. Fucking fantastic. Released in tribute to the ex-guitarist Randy Rhoads (no shit) five years after his death, this album showcases everything that was good about Ozzy. The songs, the energy, the solos. Everything is awesome.

The Good: Pretty much everything. It has obvious Blizzard and Diary classics, like Believer, Crazy Train, Suicide Solution, I Don't Know, etc. Steal Away (The Night) features a quite good drum solo at the end. He's no Neil Peart or anything, but he gets the job done. Suicide Solution, the next track, features a Eddie-Van-Halen-esque solo, but better than anything I've ever heard EVH do. It's so full of shredding neo-classicalism that my brain got stuck to the wall behind me. Iron Man, Children of the Grave, and Paranoid also make welcome appearances here. At the very end is outtakes from Randy's time recording Dee, an acoustical instrumental for his mother, that really shows the perfection he strived for. Ozzy is....well, Ozzy. Minus the swearing and bat-biting*.

The Bad: Not a lot. I wish they could have had Diary or another Sabbath song, but I digress. Also, it's still amazing, but not the best live album ever. I kinda like ones with lots of improv and/or crowd involvement. Also, the no bat-biting thing.

Conclusion: I recommend this album to fans of Ozzy, or really any metal-head, who don't already have it. Not to much to say other than what I've already said.

8.5/10

Track Listing:
01 I Don-t Know
02 Crazy Train
03 Believer
04 Mr- Crowley
05 Flying High Again
06 Revelation (Mother Earth)
07 Steal Away (The Night) [drum solo]
08 Suicide Solution [guitar solo]
09 Iron Man
10 Children Of The Grave
11 Paranoid
12 Goodbye To Romance
13 No Bone Movies
14 Dee [studio outtakes]

Standout Tracks
Believer
Steal Away (The Night)
Suicide Solution
Dee


Hope you guys liked the review! I'm not really good at these, but I said what-the-hell.


*I hope at least.
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failureatlife
Unregistered

First of all, YOU GOT RID OF DERP?!?!? HOW COULD YOU?

Artist: The Black Keys
Album: Thickfreakness
Released: April 8, 2003

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REVIEW:

So, two white guys from Ohio playing blues in 2003. Seems a little odd, right? The Black Keys are the essence of simplicity on this album. Dan Auerbach plays guitar and sings, while Patrick Carney plays drums. And that's it. No frills, no intricate weaving overlays or "deep" songs. Just two guys playing down n'dirty blues. And it really works.

The Good: If there's one thing that's good about this album, it's the feel. How it sounds, what's being played and sung. The mixing in the album gives it a great "unpolished" sound, further adding to the blues-cred. Also, I really love Auerbach's voice. He's not the best or most talented singer, but he has character. And his guitar matches that character. Snarly fuzz up in that bitch.

The Bad: I'm gonna be brutally frank here. If you're looking for hooks, you're in the wrong place. The music may be fantastic, but there's not much pop sensibility anywhere here. "Set You Free" was the only really catchy song here. Also, the lyrics are mostly about heartbreak and love, which is standard blues procedure, but they're still really nothing to write home about.

Conclusion: If you love blues and dirty guitar, buy this album. If not, I beg you to reconsider, but this album won't really change your views. Sucks to be you.

Score:9/10


SONGS:

1. "Thickfreakness"
2. "Hard Row"
3. "Set You Free"
4. "Midnight in Her Eyes"
5. "Have Love Will Travel"
6. "Hurt Like Mine"
7. "Everywhere I Go"
8. "No Trust"
9. "If You See Me"
10. "Hold Me in Your Arms"
11. "I Cry Alone"
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kmr95
Unregistered

Artist: Green Day
Album: 21st Century Breakdown
Release Date: May 15, 2009

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Review:

Shockingly, this album is more than "21 Guns". WEIRD HUH? In fact, there's a whopping 18 tracks. A big album for a long wait for this album after "American Idiot". Is this album as good as "American Idiot". Nope. Not even close. But is this album a good album? Yes. Green Day changed their sound in "American Idiot" and are not going back. Green Day is never going back to that small band who played punk and was young, carefree and did whatever the fuck they pleased. In "American Idiot" and in this album, you see that Green Day's music is more issue-based. Billie Joe writes songs about his life more than ever as well as some politically-driven songs.

The Good:

This album has some kickass tracks, such as "Horseshoes and Handgrenades", "Know Your Enemy", "Murder City", "East Jesus Nowhere", "Last of the American Girls" and "American Eulogy". However, "Last Night on Earth" and "Restless Heart Syndrome" are wonderful slow songs, which is a rarity on this album. Green Day strays away from ballads and goes towards more IN YO FAIC music in this, and that's not a bad thing necessarily at all. "21 Guns" is a good song too, but other songs are much better imo.

The Bad:

I do love the title track in this album, "21st Century Breakdown", but it also bothers me. Badly. Listening to the song, it looked like Green Day was going for a style in the title track like what they did in "Jesus of Suburbia" and "Homecoming" in American Idiot. 9+ minute songs with melody changes and theme changes. And in the title track of this album, that's what Green Day was going for. The melody changes twice in the title track and the themes change with the melody. But the ending of the song feels rushed. Completely. After they change the melody the second time, it only gets about 45 seconds until the song ends. It's so rushed. It's like Green Day went "HERP DERP SONG ENDZ NAO" suddenly, and I felt they rushed making this song and just left it hanging, where it could have been much better, had they made the song longer. And I wouldn't have cared if they made it 9 minutes. What they did with the title track bothered me. "American Eulogy" had something like this too, but they only had two parts to the song, fully developed and it didn't bother me as much they way that song went. There were some songs that I felt were rushed as well but it didn't bother me as much as the title track.

Conclusion:

If you only really liked Green Day's older stuff and you weren't a fan of "American Idiot". Good luck liking this album. Green Day didn't change their style back to their old punk sound. If you were a fan of both their old and new stuff, or were just a fan of "American Idiot", you will love this album. But give it a try. It's worth listening to and I think if you give it a chance, you will like it.

Score: 8.5/10 Good Overall, but a slight letdown compared to "American Idiot".

Tracks: (Cbf to imbed links to 18 songs)
1. "Song of the Century"
2. "21st Century Breadown"
3. "Know Your Enemy"
4. "Viva la Gloria! "
5. "Before the Lobotomy"
6. "Christian's Inferno"
7. "Last Night on Earth"
8. "East Jesus Nowhere"
9. "Peacemaker"
10. "Last of The American Girls"
11. "Murder City"
12. "Viva la Gloria? (Little Girl)
13. "Restless Heart Syndrome
14. "Horseshoes and Handgrenades"
15. "The Static Age"
16. "21 Guns"
17. "American Eulogy"
18. "See the Light"
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ParanoidPaal
Unregistered

@Failure that sounds like a pretty interesting album, although it's not on spotify, so I wont listen to it.
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cscrocker
Unregistered

I agree with failure. It's not their best but it's still a great album. Black Keys FTW.
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DucksFAN
Unregistered

Artist: Nickelback
Album: All The Right Reasons
Released: October 4, 2005

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REVIEW: After I reviewed Dark Horse, I noticed I referenced All The Right Reasons many times. So, for those of you (Probably not many) who are wondering, "Is ATRR really that good?", I decided to write this review. If you don't know several songs off this album, you should probably be ashamed of yourself. Nickelback mixes easy pop-rock hits with hard rock outings the band was previously known for. This is the first album to mesh the two, but does it work?

The Good: "Follow You Home" opens the album with a bang, and a guest. Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top handles the guitar and a verse in this song. First off, the melody from Chad Kroeger is great, and Billy Gibbons is, as always, splendid on the guitar. Creepy, stalkish type lyrics contain nice rhymes and easy to remember lyrics. I loved it. "Animals", quite possibly one of Nickelback's most famous songs, is just outstanding. There are no other songs like it anyway. The verses are so infectious, and the drums are so great, you could repeat this one song over and over again. "Photograph" is fantastic. The lyrics to this song are just so well-thought, and they hit home. The acoustic guitar on the verses are nicely done, and well-recieved. "Savin' Me" and "If Everyone Cared" are great, if not somewhat similiar sounding songs. The vocals on these two songs are just outstanding. The only ballad on the album is "Far Away", and this is probably Nickelback's most popular song of all time. It is absolutely wonderful. High production values and sound effects almost, coupled with a chilling performance by Kroeger make this track standout. "Side Of A Bullet" has a guitar solo by "Dimebag". "Next Contestant" is one of the tracks that has the heavy guitar Nickelback fans are used to, and has a nice interlude. Finally, "Rockstar" is quite funny and accesible, while "Someone That You're With" is very catchy.

The Bad: Unfortunately, the sort-of title track "Fight For All The Wrong Reasons" just doesn't stand out from the midst of great songs here. A lot of the songs sound similiar to other tracks. Despite having a solo from "Dimebag" Darrell, "Side Of A Bullet" stinks.

Conclusion: What a lot of people don't recgonize is that Nickelback isn't trying to be anybody special. Whether somebody has ever hit on your girlfriend, regretted missed opportunities, or missed the one they loved, Nickelback relates to you as no other band can. They are honest, intense, and mostly deep songs that I felt emotionally involved with during my listen through All The Right Reasons. Looking for a good, solid 40 or so minutes to relax and listen to straight up rock with no filler? Nickelback can do that better than anyone ever could.

Score: 9.25/10

Track Listing:

01.) "Follow You Home"
02.) "Fight for All the Wrong Reasons"
03.) "Photograph"
04.) "Animals"
05.) "Savin' Me"
06.) "Far Away"
07.) "Next Contestant"
08.) "Side of a Bullet"
09.) "If Everyone Cared"
10.) "Someone That You're With"
11.) "Rockstar"
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DucksFAN
Unregistered

Artist: Disturbed
Album: The Sickness
Released: March 7, 2000

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REVIEW: The debut album from the Chicago metal band Disturbed. The album has plateaued at 4x platinum in the US, and holds some of Disturbed most well-known and popular songs. Only one of Disturbed records which has a nu-metal sound.

The Good: "Down With The Sickness" kicks ass, and houses David Draiman's almost pattened grunts that are very cool. "Voices" is great, and is very catchy. "The Game" has a great riff, and another good performance by Draiman (As always it seems). "Violence Fetish" is awesome, and the drums take center stage. "Stupify" is easily the best song on the album. Not only is the sound varied, the bridge is chilling, and the outro sends shivers down your (at least mine) spine. A quality re-make of "Shout" by Tears For Fears, is now called "Shout 2000", and is spot on.

The Bad: Unforunately, the second half of The Sickness is very weak. "Fear", "Numb", "Conflict", "Want", and "Meaning Of Life" are all repetitive, similiar sounding songs which just aren't very good.

Conclusion: Though many others would probably disagree with me, I think that the debut album misses the mark on quite a few levels. After being great in the first half, the second half, save "Shout 2000", is forgettable. Unless you want this album to complete your Disturbed collection (Like me), then there really is no point to bother with The Sickness.

Score: 5.5/10

Track Listing:

01.) "Voices"
02.) "The Game"
03.) "Stupify"
04.) "Down with the Sickness"
05.) "Violence Fetish"
06.) "Fear"
07.) "Numb"
08.) "Want"
09.) "Conflict"
10.) "Shout 2000" (Tears for Fears cover)
11.) "Droppin' Plates"
12.) "Meaning of Life"
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