(pitchfork.com)

Album Review : AWOLNATION – RUN

a/Arts & Entertainment by

Despite forming in 2009, electronic rock group AWOLNATION had been a silent murmur in the EDM-rock crossover world until the massively successful “Sail” was re-released on its debut album Megalithic Symphony (2011). Now AWOLNATION is releasing its second full album, RUN, amid quiet fanfare and undoubtedly high hopes that another song will push the band from one-hit wonder to electro-rock staple.

RUN is the definition of an artistic identity crisis. The album starts strong in its eponymous opener, with electric violins leading into an eerie voice over claiming “I am a human being/ capable of doing terrible things.” The build to the song is slow and steady, but when the bass drops it drops hard into an unexpected electro-metal bridge. 

The following song, “Fat Face,” takes the established sound of the opener and erases it. It implements a mellow-dramatic choral background under such banal lyrics as “I walk to the rhythm/ To the rhythm of your heart.”

The musical confusion continues with the ’80s-esque “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)”—which, admittedly, is one of the best tracks on the album—to the acoustic serenade “Headrest for My Soul” to “Like People, Like Plastic,” which was oddly reminiscent of a climactic number in a rock opera.

 

RUN is not a bad album. The songs, however confusingly disjointed, are overall well-produced and pleasantly unique in their sound. AWOLNATION’s biggest failure is in turning what could have been two excellent EPs into one average album. That being said, if you’re looking for a solid electronic rock album, you could do much worse than RUN.

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • McCray

    I don’t think it’s intention was to be a concept album… it’s a solid offering of good songs from Awol.

  • Meteor

    I was very disappointed with the album. Otherwise the three pre-release songs (Run, Hollow Moon, Windows), the rest of them are either quite, simple, or boring. I was expecting more variety and dynamic entries. Megalithic Symphony blows it out of the water unfortunately. Everything could use a tempo boost as well.

  • Jason

    The album is not average, it’s experimental and unique as they continue to explore their musical direction. No one ever takes the time to digest music before they review it, it’s sickening. How are you supposed to have a balanced opinion after a quick listen? Also, stop obsessing over singles and using them to set the bar for every other song on the album. Just listen to the album.