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Grey Daze - "Amends" out April 10

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4 hours ago, Astat said:

01. Sickness - 6/10

 

The opening track establishes two themes that continue throughout a lot of this album:

 

1. A distinct disconnect between the newly-recorded instrumentals and Chester's vocals. What they attempted to do here is akin to Frank Zappa's old "xenochrony" composition technique, where he'd isolate a guitar solo from one of his band's many live extended jams, then write an entirely new song around it. And I don't think they'd take offense to me saying this, but these guys aren't Frank Zappa. Completely re-writing a song to fit around old vocals isn't easy, and they did it with varying degrees of success from song to song. On the contrary, while some of Chester's vocals are alternate takes from the ones that originally appeared on Wake Me and/or No Sun Today, it's also very clear that in many cases they used Melodyne or Auto Tune to manipulate the pitch of the vocals to fit the new music (which can be unflattering to Chester's voice at times - these are already vocal tracks from a time when he was still "finding his voice" to some degree, manipulating them and making him sound super compressed with really "un-Chesterlike" timbre isn't doing him any favors). This begs the question of why they claimed they "wrote these songs around the vocals," when clearly they did a lot of work to the vocals to make them fit the songs as well. It's like they couldn't make up their minds which way was better to handle things, and flip-flopped throughout the process of making the record.

 

2. Guests who are under-utilized to the point that you'd never know they were even on these tracks if the album credits didn't say so. When I think of Page Hamilton's guitar playing, I'm either thinking of some mammoth-sounding drop-tuned riffing, or some really noisy, dissonant droning stuff. But on this track, the only thing you really get guitar-wise that's high enough in the mix to be identifiable as a guitar is the long, sustained chords in the chorus. Like, pretty much anybody who's played guitar for more than a few months could pick one up and play that part. So what's even the point of having Page there? They brought him in as someone who was a friend of Chester's, so why not have him put down some crazy cool part that Chester would've been stoked to hear? Is it just for the sake of having another big-name guest on the record?

 

Anyway, those two main points aside, this version of Sickness isn't terrible. It's produced/mixed FAR better than some of the songs on this record (which we'll address later), to the point that I don't quite understand why Pete Nappi only produced this one track. The drum groove mixed with the distorted bass and electronic touches is a really cool backdrop for Chester to sing over, and they didn't do anything TOO out of left field with his vocals on this one. My biggest complaint is that the bridge doesn't feel like a completely finished idea, like there's supposed to be a guitar solo or some other lead instrument layer there that never got put on the track. The last chorus also sounds like a straight copy-paste of the first two, so it doesn't really give the song a climax, it just comes back around to the chorus and abruptly ends. This one was a few tweaks away from being a killer opening track, but as it is, it just feels kind of...lukewarm.

 

02. Sometimes - 7/10

 

This one's produced by the combo of Chris Traynor and Kyle Hoffman, who also produced What's In the Eye. Traynor (currently the lead guitarist in Bush) plays guitar as well, and it's also one of two tracks Jamie Muhoberac plays keyboards on. This was always one of Grey Daze's strongest songs in my opinion, so I'm glad they elected not to change the arrangement too much. I like the new piano ending, although I think it ends a little too abruptly by cutting out the extra repetitions of "sometimes" that were part of the outro in the original song. Chris Traynor's wearing two hats as producer/guitarist here, and he's always been known more as a studio guy/sideman anyway, so I'm not going to be critical of him not getting a more prominent part on this track like I was with Page Hamilton on the previous one (funny that a former member of Helmet is a major contributor to an album that also features Helmet's frontman though!). Another pretty well-mixed song, maybe a little more muddy than Sickness but there still aren't any layers that are problematically hard to hear. This song, again, is hampered by a bridge that doesn't quite move the song along as well as it should. There's still a lead guitar part over it, but it's nothing compared to the fiery blues-rock solo Jason Barnes played on the Wake Me version (one reason I actually always preferred that version to the No Sun Today one). Speaking of Jason, what ever happened to him being involved in this project? They were going to do the reunion show with both him and Cristin on guitar, and there was one social media post very early on in the album recording process that showed him working in the studio, but then he just disappeared. And I have to address a huge elephant in the room here too...why didn't they keep some of Bobby Benish's guitar work on this album as a tribute to him? I know this album's supposed to be all about honoring Chester, but the fundraiser show for Bobby back in 2002 never happened, and he died without ever getting much of a tribute. They do dedicate the album to his memory as well as Chester's, so why not feature him on it somewhere? Anyway, a stronger track than Sickness for sure, and my GOD what a powerhouse vocal performance Chester puts in on this one, but the song still falls a little short for me.

 

03. What's In the Eye - 4/10

 

This one has the same production duo as the previous track, and also features Marcos Curiel of P.O.D. on guitar alongside Chris Traynor. Marcos actually contributes in a meaningful way on this one, the high tremolo-picked guitar work over the last chorus is totally his kind of thing and it adds a nice boost to the end of the song that was lacking in the arrangements of the first two tracks. The newly-constructed bridge is interesting enough, thankfully they kept the original chord progression for the outro though. The verses stay pretty true to the original version, but I can't stress enough how much I HATE what they did with the chorus here. They basically just decided to change the whole tonality of that section from D minor to D major, but they didn't do anything to Chester's vocals, and they sound TERRIBLY out of place with each other as a result. I feel like they were trying to go for that mixed "playing in a minor key but starting the big chorus on a major chord" thing that's present in a lot of classic Linkin Park songs like Somewhere I Belong and Crawling, but without having the vocals compensate for it, it doesn't work at all. One of the few cases where I wish they WOULD have tweaked Chester's vocal melody. Also, I'm perplexed why this song sounds so much worse mixing-wise than the previous track when it's the same two producers and same mixer on both of them...the drums just completely get drowned out in the heavy parts, and a lot of the distorted guitars are unusually harsh EQ-wise. This one was a pretty big disappointment.

 

04. The Syndrome - 9/10

 

We get our first taste of the duo of Esjay Jones and Lucas D'Angelo's production on this track, and it's immediately obvious that they could have (and, in my opinion, should have) done the whole album. This song is SUCH a drastic departure from the original version, and the original is a top 2-3 Grey Daze song that I hold in extremely high regard, but they really knocked it out of the park. Sean Dowdell's son Carston plays drums on this one, and honestly, he probably outplays his dad - that double kick part in the bridge is killer. Carah Faye from Shiny Toy Guns provides some backing vocals in the verses, and while I wish they were a little louder, at least you can hear them. My only gripe with this one is that the extra "are you happy" line tacked on at the very end of the song seems really pointless, the song had already said everything it needed to say by that point. This one covers a lot of ground sonically, and it's a real highlight. Best case scenario "risk vs. reward" situation here. Excuse me while I ignore the first 3 tracks for the foreseeable future and put this one on repeat. Oh, probably a good call to rename this one from "The Down Syndrome" too.

 

05. In Time - 5/10

 

This is the first track on the record that I actually had to go back and listen to the original version first to even remember what it sounded like. Ryan Shuck plays guitar, and Lucio Rubino is the producer. Another big departure on this one, and while I honestly love everything they did with the instrumental (the first couple verses have a bit of a Julien-K flavor to them, I don't know if that's due to Ryan's presence or just a coincidence), the problem I have with it is that Chester's vocals on the chorus are just WAY too aggressive to fit with the instrumental in the first two choruses. It's really the biggest case of the first point I made at the beginning of this review - both parts, individually, are VERY good in this case, but they just don't work together no matter how bad you want them to. I also hate how they stuck the "pain, so much pain" vocal in the middle of a bunch of other vocal stuff in the bridge, having it stand alone as a statement was really the high point of the original song. Also, that explosion sound effect at the very end was SO cheesy that I actually laughed. Cringe to the max. Ryan doesn't do anything noteworthy on guitar here either, but I won't be critical since he's known more as a vocalist (why they didn't have him sing something on this record, I'll never understand). Ultimately, the production on this track is great, Chester sings great, and I appreciate what they tried to do here, but this vocal and instrumental were just never meant for each other.

 

06. Just Like Heroin - 7/10

 

This one's a packed house of collaborators, as Esjay Jones and Lucas D'Angelo co-produce this one again, but Chris Traynor's also credited as a third producer along with playing guitar, and Jamie Muhoberac makes a second appearance on keys. I was really surprised they chose this song in favor of something like Hole for the record, it was such a weird, down-tempo song in the first place, plus the lyrics are a little...uncomfortable, given the circumstances of this album's release (obviously this is about drugs rather than suicide, but "It's my time to fade/dying on the floor/excuses are just excuses" doesn't make that clear at face value). This track is at the center of what I consider the biggest controversy on this album though - there are some female backing vocal "ahh ahh" parts throughout this one (plus some harmonies that could also be a female voice), and most prominently, those screams in the bridge don't sound anything like Chester, but there isn't another vocalist credited on the track. After doing a little research, my suspicions were confirmed - these uncredited vocals are by Esjay Jones. This wouldn't be too big of an issue if it weren't for the fact that Grey Daze and Esjay are trying to pull the wool over our eyes and avoid admitting it's her, and they can't seem to get their story straight. When asked about the "vocals at the end of Just Like Heroin" on Instagram, Sean replied that it's a mix of Esjay and Chester "both screaming," although he's clearly referring to the last chorus where Chester's singing vocals and the screams from the bridge are layered together (this is the only time in the song this layering happens - I guess Sean's definition of "screaming" includes Chester's aggressive singing). However, I personally asked Esjay about it on Facebook, and she said that the screams are "several vocals from different Chester takes on the original reels with all the backing/atmospheric vocals layered together, then HEAVILY effected to make a 'scream.'" Not only does this contradict Sean, it's straight-up bullshit (Esjay seems like an otherwise good person, I'm assuming she's legally bound by some kind of NDA to avoid talking about certain production details that Grey Daze doesn't want to admit to). First of all, those screams in the bridge aren't layered at all, it's a single voice screaming. Second, there isn't a combination of vocal processing plugins in the world that can take a non-screaming vocal, distort it in such a way as to sound like an authentic human voice screaming, and then (for no apparent reason) completely change a vocalist's pitch and timbre to the point of making them sound like someone of the opposite gender, again without making the vocal sound unnatural. Third, Esjay happens to be the lead vocalist for the band Pigs, which recently released a cover of Duality by Slipknot, and lo and behold, it includes some of her screaming vocals - they sound like EXACTLY the same person. TL;DR - Grey Daze had their producer do screams on this song, and then covered up the fact that it was her to try and trick people into thinking it was Chester even though it doesn't sound a thing like him. Not only does Sean Dowdell think the fans are "delusional" and "never met Chester," apparently he thinks they don't even know what Chester's voice sounds like. ...But anyway, I'm judging this based on its musical merits, so I'll wrap this up by saying this is just as big of a departure from the original as The Syndrome was, and it ALMOST equals it, but the amount of editing they did to Chester's vocals here is really distracting, and once it's apparent the screams aren't Chester, they sound super out of place. Solid production again though, and if Chester would have sung the verse melody "authentically" instead of them having to adjust the pitch all over the place to create it, it would be a really nice part. The end product is really good here, just a couple things about it that rub me the wrong way (I'm not factoring the drama regarding the band's honesty about the screams into the score though, as it doesn't affect the music).

 

07. B12 - 2/10

 

This one features Korn guitarists Head and Munky, as well as Sean Dowdell's other son Brennan Brochard playing drums. This one also has a completely different production/engineering team from the rest of the record, led by producer Alex Aldi. And all I have to say is...what the FUCK were they thinking here? Head and Munky don't really add much here except for the cool low fuzzy guitar part in the bridge, so add another one to the list of wasted collaborations, and more importantly, I can't think of another song on the record that misses the point of the original so badly. The original B12 was a bouncy, fun, tongue-in-cheek track that served as a nicely-contrasting vehicle for Chester's ranting about the world. In particular I always loved how sarcastic the "hooray, hoorah" vocals came across on the original version, and that vibe has been COMPLETELY abandoned here for something that sounds like a watered-down Three Days Grace instrumental. The drums sound more like a drum machine than actual drums, and they really don't have any punch. You're gonna put Head and Munky on a track and not give them a big kick-heavy groove to play over? That's like, their whole thing. The changes to Chester's melody towards the end of the verse and in the chorus are really distracting again on this one, and the melodramatic approach they took to the instrumental manages to make the lyrics go from fiery to cringeworthy without even changing any of the words. This one gets two points for the instrumental itself being...okay. Otherwise, this might be the worst track ever released with Chester's name on it.

 

08. Soul Song - 8/10

 

The piano and string duet of Jean Yves D’Angelo and Heidi Gadd make their first appearance here, along with the much-hyped appearance of Chester's son Jamie on backing vocals. Chris Traynor makes another appearance on guitar, although he doesn't have a production credit this time, leaving it to the team of Esjay Jones and Lucas D'Angelo. The strings and piano are a fantastic addition here, and Esjay and Lucas knock it out of the park on the production side yet again, but Jamie's appearance is unquestionably the most disappointing guest spot on the album. I GUESS he's singing the lower octave on the choruses? I literally can't pick out a voice that isn't Chester's on this one at all. I get that having him on the record was more of a gesture of helping the family heal than anything, but for as much as they promoted him being on this track, you'd think you'd at least be able to hear him. That aside, this is one of my favorite tracks on the album, it was always a beautiful ballad paired with some soaring chorus vocals, and they kept that intact here despite completely building a new instrumental from scratch. My ONLY complaints are with the outro. This is a little nitpicky but the way they executed the double chorus at the end results in Chester singing "The rivers of blood opens up the sun," and I can't hear something like that without cringing (this isn't unprecedented for me, Lonely Day would be my favorite System of a Down song ever if not for the "The most loneliest day of my life" lyric in the chorus!). I realize Chester never sang "open up the sun" in the singular form so they had to use what they had, but for all the vocal manipulation they did on this record, they couldn't have just put a de-esser and a quick fade on the end of one word to make a lyric make grammatical sense? Come on! The abrupt cutoff with the vocal echo at the end just doesn't work well either, there's such a lovely build-up at the beginning of the song that this one really could have used some more piano/strings to lead things out at the end. Seems like not knowing how to end songs is a recurring theme on this record...I still REALLY like this track overall though.

 

09. Morei Sky - 7/10

 

Jean and Heidi make their second appearance on piano/strings here, and Esjay and Lucas produce again (pretty much a continuation of the previous track minus Jamie and Chris). This one's also the centerpiece of the album in a way, with the lyric "If I had a second chance, I'd make amends" being the inspiration for the album title. This one comes SO close to being another standout track, but it unfortunately suffers from poor mixing more than a lot of other tracks on the album. The kick and snare are just way too quiet in general, and in the second verse the piano kind of drowns out the other instruments (it's like they had it really loud for the first verse and forgot to turn it down once the other instruments came in). I also CAN'T STAND the really weirdly-effected "losing, losing" vocal snippet being so isolated in the intro and outro. It sounds fine in the busier parts of the mix, but it sounds super artificial and awkward by itself. The little clip of studio banter from Chester at the end is a nice humanizing touch, but I'd like to have heard a slightly longer clip with him responding with a laugh or something. Just "How's that sound, Dave?" by itself is a weird cliffhanger kind of thing to end on. I WANT to love this track but it's just so muddy-sounding that I can't rank it above some of the others.

 

10. She Shines - 9/10

 

This one's the last track with Esjay and Lucas producing, and it features the guitar duo of a returning Head from Korn alongside Jasen Rauch from Breaking Benjamin (Jasen was the producer of Head's solo project Love and Death, hence the connection). This is definitely one of my top two favorites, along with The Syndrome. It's not hampered by questionable mixing decisions like the previous track, the contributions from the guest guitarists produce some really heavy riffs, and there isn't anything super weird going on with what they did to Chester's vocals (the lower parts in the verses have a lot of effects on them, but they actually do on the original recording as well). The ONE thing that keeps this from getting a rare 10/10 rating from me is the decision to shift the repeated "so eager" vocals from falling on the offbeat to being on the downbeat. If you're used to the groove of how that part worked on the original version, it's REALLY weird hearing it with the vocals shifted a half beat forward like that. That part is going to take some getting used to, but otherwise this one's going on repeat with The Syndrome and Soul Song.

 

11. Shouting Out - 6/10

 

The original version of this track featured guest vocals from Kimberly Rogers, and Laura "LP" Pergolizzi takes that role on the updated version. I admittedly probably went a little overboard with accusing the band of recruiting someone professionally known as "LP" to guest on a track just to fool people into thinking Linkin Park was somehow involved with the project, but it still strikes me as odd that she was recruited to be on this record just because Chester mentioned a song of hers that she liked to Sean one time...but anyway, we get yet another producer on this track in Cass Dillon, and the heavily electronic-tinged production is definitely unique. I like how LP's vocals blend with Chester's, and I overall like the direction of the track, but it never quite builds to anything nearly as big as you'd expect it to. The outro ends way quicker than it feels like it should, and it's never a good thing when an album ends on a "that's it?" kind of note. Nothing super wrong with this one, but it's just a kind of "meh" way to end the album.

 

OVERALL SCORE: 70/110

 

My issues with Sean Dowdell as a person are well-known. My issues with the handling of this project are well-known. But ultimately, I never really expected to HATE this record because I liked the original Grey Daze material so much in the first place. Tracks like She Shines, The Syndrome, and Soul Song are real standouts, and I can't say enough about how great of a job Esjay Jones and Lucas D'Angelo did in particular (none of their tracks got anything less than a 7 from me). Chester, as always, shines on this record. His level of talent at what he did was nearly unrivaled, and I'm glad that his incredible vocals on some of his pre-Linkin Park work are finally being heard by a wider audience. However, this record's score is significantly brought down by B12 and What's in the Eye being absolute duds, and In Time attempting to marry a vocal and instrumental together that never would have worked together no matter how badly they wanted them to. Several other songs that would otherwise score more highly have their scores hampered by issues on the production/mixing side of things, and many of the guests on the record may as well have not even been there. I feel like having so many producers involved also hampered the band's ability to put out a cohesive product, and while Jay Baumgardner generally has a great reputation in the industry, I feel like his mixing on this album wasn't his best/most consistent work.

 

If the goal of this record was simply to release it to posthumously honor a friend's talent while updating these songs for a modern audience, it succeeded in the broadest sense. Was it as good as it could be? No. Was it good ENOUGH/a better idea than simply remastering the original Grey Daze recordings? Ehh...maybe. It's clear that this record and the original versions are meant to serve two completely different purposes and be seen as almost unrelated entities (although it would be nice if Grey Daze would quit doing everything they can to scrub their first two records from the Internet, ironically as they falsely complained Warner Records tried to do many years ago...). My biggest takeaway from this record is that for as much as I want to really like it, I can't help but wonder how much better it would've been if Chester would've been around to contribute to it. Maybe the end product in that scenario would have ended up so different that it's not even worth trying to consider, but I'm still really bummed about how excited Chester was to play with Grey Daze again, only for it to never happen.

 

Despite a couple big clunkers, you did a pretty respectable job with the music, Grey Daze. Now please work on being better people.

I appreciate the fact that you tried to put your issues with the band aside and tried to give an opinion about the music only. 
I agree with you on ma y of the things you stated in the review, but disagree on others (like to me B12 despite being a bit messy is still pretty good, a 6.5/10 and I love the new In Time), but hey, it’s music, the most subjective thing in the world. 
Thank you for giving an honest opinion about the music without thrashing it as “garbage” just because you didn’t feel on board with the project. 
As someone who loves the album and always loved GD, I really appreciate this😊

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44 minutes ago, vinifeijo said:

What i get is it may be worst for old GD fans, because the songs were modified a lot.... its like LP doing de HT remaster and changing the songs to a more "one more light" style.

Yeah, that's a good comparion. I'm listening to OG GD for almost 15-20 years now. Sure, the production back then was messy and not at all polished but that's the charm of it considering the time it was produced in and the means to do it. Many songs feel more authentic to me. Even their more mellow and quiter moments feel so much stronger to me because of their rawness.
But yeah, it's just one of those things I guess.

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4 minutes ago, Trumtram said:

Yeah, that's a good comparion. I'm listening to OG GD for almost 15-20 years now. Sure, the production back then was messy and not at all polished but that's the charm of it considering the time it was produced in and the means to do it. Many songs feel more authentic to me. Even their more mellow and quiter moments feel so much stronger to me because of their rawness.
But yeah, it's just one of those things I guess.

I listen to Grey Daze since like 2008 and TBH despite enjoying the old versions I think every song on Amends is better than the original 

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you can love, you don't have to enjoy.... but just... don't hate the thing... Chester is on it. please.

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My impression after one listen is that it's a bit disjointed. It doesn't come off as having variety, which it could if tweaked in the right way, it just comes off as different ideas and different executions. 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Astat said:

06. Just Like Heroin - 7/10

 

This one's a packed house of collaborators, as Esjay Jones and Lucas D'Angelo co-produce this one again, but Chris Traynor's also credited as a third producer along with playing guitar, and Jamie Muhoberac makes a second appearance on keys. I was really surprised they chose this song in favor of something like Hole for the record, it was such a weird, down-tempo song in the first place, plus the lyrics are a little...uncomfortable, given the circumstances of this album's release (obviously this is about drugs rather than suicide, but "It's my time to fade/dying on the floor/excuses are just excuses" doesn't make that clear at face value). This track is at the center of what I consider the biggest controversy on this album though - there are some female backing vocal "ahh ahh" parts throughout this one (plus some harmonies that could also be a female voice), and most prominently, those screams in the bridge don't sound anything like Chester, but there isn't another vocalist credited on the track. After doing a little research, my suspicions were confirmed - these uncredited vocals are by Esjay Jones. This wouldn't be too big of an issue if it weren't for the fact that Grey Daze and Esjay are trying to pull the wool over our eyes and avoid admitting it's her, and they can't seem to get their story straight. When asked about the "vocals at the end of Just Like Heroin" on Instagram, Sean replied that it's a mix of Esjay and Chester "both screaming," although he's clearly referring to the last chorus where Chester's singing vocals and the screams from the bridge are layered together (this is the only time in the song this layering happens - I guess Sean's definition of "screaming" includes Chester's aggressive singing). However, I personally asked Esjay about it on Facebook, and she said that the screams are "several vocals from different Chester takes on the original reels with all the backing/atmospheric vocals layered together, then HEAVILY effected to make a 'scream.'" Not only does this contradict Sean, it's straight-up bullshit (Esjay seems like an otherwise good person, I'm assuming she's legally bound by some kind of NDA to avoid talking about certain production details that Grey Daze doesn't want to admit to). First of all, those screams in the bridge aren't layered at all, it's a single voice screaming. Second, there isn't a combination of vocal processing plugins in the world that can take a non-screaming vocal, distort it in such a way as to sound like an authentic human voice screaming, and then (for no apparent reason) completely change a vocalist's pitch and timbre to the point of making them sound like someone of the opposite gender, again without making the vocal sound unnatural. Third, Esjay happens to be the lead vocalist for the band Pigs, which recently released a cover of Duality by Slipknot, and lo and behold, it includes some of her screaming vocals - they sound like EXACTLY the same person. TL;DR - Grey Daze had their producer do screams on this song, and then covered up the fact that it was her to try and trick people into thinking it was Chester even though it doesn't sound a thing like him. Not only does Sean Dowdell think the fans are "delusional" and "never met Chester," apparently he thinks they don't even know what Chester's voice sounds like. ...But anyway, I'm judging this based on its musical merits, so I'll wrap this up by saying this is just as big of a departure from the original as The Syndrome was, and it ALMOST equals it, but the amount of editing they did to Chester's vocals here is really distracting, and once it's apparent the screams aren't Chester, they sound super out of place. Solid production again though, and if Chester would have sung the verse melody "authentically" instead of them having to adjust the pitch all over the place to create it, it would be a really nice part. The end product is really good here, just a couple things about it that rub me the wrong way (I'm not factoring the drama regarding the band's honesty about the screams into the score though, as it doesn't affect the music).

 

The screams on this song not being Chester seems like an odd thing to not be truthful about. Anyone listening to this album understands the situation and that Chester wasn't here to record new vocals. Having a collaborator add vocals is hardly something that should be hidden... They had a collaborator add screams to the track. They sound great. The person doing the screaming deserves credit for adding to the song and elevating the material.

 

I like this song as well as the others you mentioned as standouts.

 

I think B12 falls pretty well short of the standard of the best songs on Amends, but I don't think I would give it a 2. Lol. Then again, I admittedly was not very familiar with Grey Daze's material before this project started getting going in 2017. I knew they had existed and I knew they were Chester's band before LP, but I hadn't really given them enough of a listen to get attached. So it's interesting to see that some of your scores are understandably affected by your connection to the original songs in light of the new instrumentals, while I'm able to listen without that same connection.

Edited by Justin

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Disregarding all the drama and how I feel about Grey Daze as people, I don't like this album. That's not to say there aren't positives to it. Syndrome and Soul Song were pleasant surprises and I actually really liked what they did with In Time. The instrumental is really dope and the contrast between Chester's aggressive vocals in the chorus and how subdued the track is actually works pretty well IMO. Apart from those three, though, there's nothing here I could ever see myself going back to. For the most part, the production is an absolute mess and B12 holds a special place as the worst thing any member of Linkin Park is attached to.

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27 minutes ago, SasstielExperience said:

Disregarding all the drama and how I feel about Grey Daze as people, I don't like this album. That's not to say there aren't positives to it. Syndrome and Soul Song were pleasant surprises and I actually really liked what they did with In Time. The instrumental is really dope and the contrast between Chester's aggressive vocals in the chorus and how subdued the track is actually works pretty well IMO. Apart from those three, though, there's nothing here I could ever see myself going back to. For the most part, the production is an absolute mess and B12 holds a special place as the worst thing any member of Linkin Park is attached to.

Wow, I like B12 more than like 4 tracks on PT and many on TRT songs, but it’s a matter of taste 😊 Listening to the full album this morning on the cd for the 1st time and I was blown away by some of the songs, it’s super strong to me, even if it has weaknesses 

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, PurpleFlinstoneVitamins92 said:

Wow, I like B12 more than like 4 tracks on PT and many on TRT songs, but it’s a matter of taste 😊 Listening to the full album this morning on the cd for the 1st time and I was blown away by some of the songs, it’s super strong to me, even if it has weaknesses 


Music is subjective. It comes down to personal taste. Some of the songs in TRT sound outdated now, but to me that album is iconic.

 

I do think I like Chester’s performances (lyrically and vocally) here more than OOA overall, though. I never was a big fan of that album.

Edited by Justin

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17 hours ago, Justin said:


Music is subjective. It comes down to personal taste. Some of the songs in TRT sound outdated now, but to me that album is iconic.

 

I do think I like Chester’s performances (lyrically and vocally) here more than OOA overall, though. I never was a big fan of that album.

I really liked OOA at first but this is better 

 

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Nothing beats the original songs... these new ones to me feel like missing their soul or meaning behind them, or maybe I just miss the hopeless darkness I guess... 

The only song I like off of this album is In Time.
The piano in Morei Sky reminds me very much of Evanescence – My immortal.

I kind of feel, that without Chester's voice these remade songs would not make much money... 

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55 minutes ago, linkingabo said:

Nothing beats the original songs... these new ones to me feel like missing their soul or meaning behind them, or maybe I just miss the hopeless darkness I guess... 

The only song I like off of this album is In Time.
The piano in Morei Sky reminds me very much of Evanescence – My immortal.

I kind of feel, that without Chester's voice these remade songs would not make much money... 

Interesting, to me they gave new life to songs that instrumentally wise were meh or straight up bad (like the original Sickness with that horrible irritating guitar) , but as I said it’s a matter of taste and perspective. I was ok with the old ones, I just cared about the vocals, and now we have this album That to me feels complete. If they make a second one, I’d be super in 

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I'm not a production expert, but it feels like the was produced by Imagine Dragons... sounds so loud and compressed.

 

On the music, nothing feels like it's an improvement on the originals. Some decent songs, but nothing that I want to listen to again.

 

I don't mind the name change of The Down Syndrome, but I always liked the line "... that smile on your face seems it seems happy. Are you happy?". I'm not sure if I read too much into it, but isn't it a reference to down syndrome people? They have this semi-imprinted smile on their face that makes them always look happy.  

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If the instrumentals were created under ''Linkin Park'' most of you would be saying that this is a legendary album.

 

Esjay Jones and Lucas should work w LP probably in another universe cause in this one i think that is very very unlikely.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, JZLP-AmendsUltimateFan said:

If the instrumentals were created under ''Linkin Park'' most of you would be saying that this is a legendary album.

 

Esjay Jones and Lucas should work w LP probably in another universe cause in this one i think that is very very unlikely.

 

 

Totally agree on this, some of the songs here are really really great, and I'd think the same if Chester was alive

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2 minutes ago, JZLP-AmendsUltimateFan said:

If the instrumentals were created under ''Linkin Park'' most of you would be saying that this is a legendary album.

You're acting as if people on here never critique the mixing/production of LP's stuff. Living Things suffers from a lot of the same problems as this (the vocals just kind of sitting atop a wall of noise that's hard to actually make anything out of), and probably the most common thing said about that album is how awful the production is (and it is truly bad). I can promise you that if this was Linkin Park - Amends and it was exactly the same, I would dislike it just as much as I do now.

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12 minutes ago, SasstielExperience said:

You're acting as if people on here never critique the mixing/production of LP's stuff. Living Things suffers from a lot of the same problems as this (the vocals just kind of sitting atop a wall of noise that's hard to actually make anything out of), and probably the most common thing said about that album is how awful the production is (and it is truly bad). I can promise you that if this was Linkin Park - Amends and it was exactly the same, I would dislike it just as much as I do now.

I'm not a sound engineer, but I played the full album with headphones and sounds good, like, not every song, I'm not saying B12 is awesome production wise, but it's fine.

Don't get ALL the issues with the sound of the album TBH, and I'm nkt acting defensively, just don't get it ;) 

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45 minutes ago, PurpleFlinstoneVitamins92 said:

I'm not a sound engineer, but I played the full album with headphones and sounds good, like, not every song, I'm not saying B12 is awesome production wise, but it's fine.

Don't get ALL the issues with the sound of the album TBH, and I'm nkt acting defensively, just don't get it ;) 

 

 

I played full volume and it sounds fine, I can listen so clear every fucking instrument.

 

Also there are people complaining about vocal "guests" are not loud, this was an artistic decision in favor of Chester it's an album where he has to shine the guest vocals are only to back him up. 

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On 6/30/2020 at 6:43 PM, JZLP-AmendsUltimateFan said:

 

 

I played full volume and it sounds fine, I can listen so clear every fucking instrument.

 

Also there are people complaining about vocal "guests" are not loud, this was an artistic decision in favor of Chester it's an album where he has to shine the guest vocals are only to back him up. 

Yeah, and I really like the vocal melodies of the girl LP in the last Track, good touch 

 

If I had to rate the songs, it'd be something like this:

Sickness: 7,5

Sometimes:8,5 

WITE: 7

Syndrome:9

In Time: 9

JLH: 8

B12: 7

Soul Song: 9

Morei Sky: 9

She Sines:9  

Shouting Out: 8

Awesome album

 

EDIT 7/3: Album is still holding strong on Itunes holding #46 and a great #16 in Germany 

 

 

ROGUE EDIT: what did I just tell you about double posting

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Posted (edited)

Just a few years ago, I would've been absolutely ecstatic over the concept of Grey Daze reuniting or even being recognized in the mainstream music media. Their first two albums are criminally underrated grunge masterpieces and some of the best work in Chester Bennington's career. In fact, I was ecstatic when they announced they were reuniting in June 2017. I remember at the time, I was really frustrated with how little recognition Chester's grunge era was getting and how music elitists were making fun of him for being a "nu-metal boy band singer" and a "sellout" after One More Light came out (an album which I admit I wasn't a fan of at the time, obviously Chester's death changed my perspective of it) and I thought he would get more respect from rock critics if they found out he used to be in a grunge band before joining Linkin Park, but Sean Dowdell and his friends (no pun intended) have done everything in every way possible to ruin my excitement and destroy every last shred of respect I had for Grey Daze. I used to compare them to the likes of Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, but now I know what a bunch of greedy fucking pricks they are, which is the exact opposite of what grunge bands stood for.

 

I won't even bother listening to this fucking album. After all the bullshit Sean has pulled in the past year or so (blocking sales of Wake Me & ...No Sun Today copies by falsely claiming them to be fakes, bringing in some of the most toxic members of Chester's family who were largely responsible for his childhood being so fucked up for that garbage "mini-documentary", sucking up to Samantha and giving her at least half the profits of this album after he previously ranted in his book and on Twitter about how horrible she was and how much Chester hated her, recruiting a guy who called Chester a "coward" just barely after the news of his death came out to perform on this "tribute" album, and Sean's absolutely disgusting comment about Morei Sky recently), I just can't bring myself to even give this trainwreck shitshow the time of day. It just angers me and breaks my heart that this was the way that Chester's pre-Linkin Park career has ended up being presented to new listeners. Again, Grey Daze have done everything possible to ruin Chester's legacy with all this bullshit that I can fucking guarantee they wouldn't have even tried to pull if he was alive.

 

I won't begrudge anybody for listening to or buying Amends, but I can't do it. Sean Dowdell is a dickhead and has done more than enough damage to my favorite singer's legacy at this point.

Edited by kcg

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7 hours ago, kcg said:

Just a few years ago, I would've been absolutely ecstatic over the concept of Grey Daze reuniting or even being recognized in the mainstream music media. Their first two albums are criminally underrated grunge masterpieces and some of the best work in Chester Bennington's career. In fact, I was ecstatic when they announced they were reuniting in June 2017. I remember at the time, I was really frustrated with how little recognition Chester's grunge era was getting and how music elitists were making fun of him for being a "nu-metal boy band singer" and a "sellout" after One More Light came out (an album which I admit I wasn't a fan of at the time, obviously Chester's death changed my perspective of it) and I thought he would get more respect from rock critics if they found out he used to be in a grunge band before joining Linkin Park, but Sean Dowdell and his friends (no pun intended) have done everything in every way possible to ruin my excitement and destroy every last shred of respect I had for Grey Daze. I used to compare them to the likes of Alice In Chains and Soundgarden, but now I know what a bunch of greedy fucking pricks they are, which is the exact opposite of what grunge bands stood for.

 

I won't even bother listening to this fucking album. After all the bullshit Sean has pulled in the past year or so (blocking sales of Wake Me & ...No Sun Today copies by falsely claiming them to be fakes, bringing in some of the most toxic members of Chester's family who were largely responsible for his childhood being so fucked up for that garbage "mini-documentary", sucking up to Samantha and giving her at least half the profits of this album after he previously ranted in his book and on Twitter about how horrible she was and how much Chester hated her, recruiting a guy who called Chester a "coward" just barely after the news of his death came out to perform on this "tribute" album, and Sean's absolutely disgusting comment about Morei Sky recently), I just can't bring myself to even give this trainwreck shitshow the time of day. It just angers me and breaks my heart that this was the way that Chester's pre-Linkin Park career has ended up being presented to new listeners. Again, Grey Daze have done everything possible to ruin Chester's legacy with all this bullshit that I can fucking guarantee they wouldn't have even tried to pull if he was alive.

 

I won't begrudge anybody for listening to or buying Amends, but I can't do it. Sean Dowdell is a dickhead and has done more than enough damage to my favorite singer's legacy at this point.

I love how comments like these are tolerated but if someone say that Mike’s music isn’t phenomenal HOW DARE YOU. 
Amends is awesome as fuck, one of the best things involving Chester ever. 

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26 minutes ago, PurpleFlinstoneVitamins92 said:

I love how comments like these are tolerated but if someone say that Mike’s music isn’t phenomenal HOW DARE YOU. 
Amends is awesome as fuck, one of the best things involving Chester ever. 


The Rising Tied and Post Traumatic are both mediocre albums and none of the CoronaJams I've listened to so far have been worth listening to more than once. The Drive Me Mad remix is better than anything Mike's released on his own lately.

 

You were saying?

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, Astat said:


The Rising Tied and Post Traumatic are both mediocre albums and none of the CoronaJams I've listened to so far have been worth listening to more than once. The Drive Me Mad remix is better than anything Mike's released on his own lately.

 

You were saying?

I was saying that if I’d say something like this (as I already did) I’d be labeled as “Geki clone”. 
And, by the way, the tone was a lot different. What happened if I said “Mike’s music is fucking garbage, he should quit putting out shit like this and reunite LP”? 
Same tone as the message above. 
That message is pure hate on a project involving Chester, careless about music. 
And I’m 100% fine about people not caring about the project, and I also praised your album review because you tried (and succeeded) to express an opinion about the MUSIC regardless about what you think about Sean and the others involved in the project. 
Your 2/10 to B12 is because you really don’t like the song, not because “oh there’s Head on the song who said Chester was a coward so the song is garbage”. 

Edited by PurpleFlinstoneVitamins92

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I got Amends the other day. It has good moments, but is distinctly underwhelming.

 

I always liked the original Grey Daze, and they have clearly taken a cue from how Reanimation drastically reworked tracks, changing the original grunge style to an electronic/industrial hybrid, and featuring guest musicians (who are barely perceptible on most tracks). The songs don't exactly represent the best of Grey Daze in my opinion, they seem to have generally gone for the darker songs to fit with the new style of music. It's not uncommon for a remix album to put a focus on the lesser known songs; however, for many it will be the first time they hear Grey Daze, so it presents a misleading idea of what they were like. They didn't have an electronic element in their original incarnation, for one thing.

 

The style they went for is well produced, and it puts a new spin on some of the tracks I never really liked, particularly "Sickness" and even an interesting twist on some I did like, "B12". On other tracks I always liked the originals of like "Morei Sky" and "Shouting Out", they change the atmosphere a bit too much. The big issue is that the dark mood removes the light and shade that was key to a lot of Grey Daze's work and just makes it a bit of a downer to listen to.

 

I obviously can't condone the way that Sean and the others connected to this project have acted, but it's an interesting listen and I'm still happy to see this band get wider recognition.

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