With the release of the new AFI album on January 20, there has been a lot of mixed thoughts and feelings on it vocalized throughout the fan pages. It seems to be either a love or hate thing with not a whole lot of in-between. There have been a lot of comments on how AFI should go back to how they were in the early 2000’s, and even the 90’s. (Before reading further, let me say that I do understand that everybody has their own opinion and I respect that.)
I will admit that AFI’s music has changed…a lot…since their first album. Being a fan who didn’t hear of them until 2006, it took me a while to love and appreciate their pre- Sing the Sorrow music. What people are failing to remember, though, is that their first album was released 20+ years ago! People change. Music changes. How many of us are exactly the same as we were back in 1995?
Heck, how many of us are the same as we were even ten years ago?
When I first became a fan a decade ago, I was 21 years old and working at an ice rink. I was a few months shy of meeting my now husband. I still cared what people thought of me a little too much. Go back even further to the mid 90’s. I was in elementary school and listened to country music. *shudders* (Now, I will go out of my way to avoid country music.)
My point is, 25 years is a long time. People grow, evolve, and change. Why can’t the same be said for music and those who make it? Yes, AFI has changed over the years, but that is one of the things that I love about them. It is part of what has kept them as my favorite band for so long. They keep it fresh, unlike some bands who every new album sounds the exact same as the last. With every AFI album release, we never quite know what to expect.
This doesn’t mean that I love every single song on every album. Having a favorite band doesn’t mean you have to love every little thing they do. But I do respect everything that they do, and I can say with confidence that I will always be an owner of every new release. Because each album is different, I can switch which one I listen to based on my mood that day. They are so talented, diverse and genius in both their music and lyrics. They have so much to offer. No, they are not the same as they were in the Black Sails days, but how many of us are unchanged?
With that being said, The Blood Album is yet again different from Burials in 2013. But, it is just as amazing and proves how they really can do it all and still produce something incredible. I’ve listened to the album several times, and while there are one or two songs on it that have taken a little while to grow on me, I don’t hate them. As a whole, it is a very solid release and I do love it. There is a little of everything with some splashes of new that we haven’t heard before. Some of my favorites are So Beneath You, Still a Stranger, and Above the Bridge. As always, there really isn’t a bad song on the album, but there are ones that will be getting played on repeat more than others.
Whether you are a new fan or old, give the album a chance! Don’t go into it expecting the same music from 20 years ago, because you won’t find that. Truly listen with an open mind and realize that although it is different, it really is beautiful in its own way.
For those of you who are also AFI fans, if you have already listened (which I believe most of us have!) what are your thoughts on the album? Do you have any favorite songs from it?