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Review – Crossfade "Falling Away" (2006) July 2, 2008

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2006, Crossfade.
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Written by Andrew “Gravity” H.

If one were to describe the first album from South Carolina rockers, Crossfade, one word to use would be rough. While many of the other words would have unspeakably wonderful qualities such as catchy, powerful and rock-your-socks-off-crazy, the self-titled debut from the aforementioned was loud and obnoxiously gritty at times, something one can only hope to improve upon with a second try. That second try is Falling Away, an 11-track potpourri of rock that can’t decide quite what it should be. All it knows, is that it shouldn’t be rap-rock, something Crossfade tried with the debut.

“Washing The World Away” opens the album impressively. It’s catchy, means well lyrically and shows off the talents of the smaller version of Crossfade this album incorporates. A melodic intro is followed by powerful and driving guitars even before the vocals slide in with a sleek style previously unheard. The album already makes evident it’s better production, as this opener is smoother than anything on the previous endeavor. Here however, is where Crossfade makes the mistake that will plague this album. “Washing The World Away” ends at a respectable 3:54, but it sure as hell feels like it needs to be longer. Imagine cutting off Trapt’s “Headstrong” following the bridge. Yeah, I know.

The next two tracks are near-identical in quality and style. Though both are catchy and likeable, and continue with the newer and better production trend, neither stands out as much as “Cold” or “Colors” from the debut. The album’s lead-off single “Invincible” is a solid little ditty that should have done better on radio considering the love-laden lyrics. Still the album still feels a little off until “Falling Away” which sounds more like a track from the self-titled and also clocks in as the longest track on the album, which again, feels a need to abbreviate everything.

“Everything’s Wrong” is a strong and emotional track that may be the finest Crossfade has to offer in that department, which is why it feels odd to then slide into the thrashingly crazy “Why” a song which while deliciously rockin’, stops before you want it to. Frontman Ed Sloan screeches out the final line as the song abrubtly turns off, just at it was picking up momentum. The same problem attacks the hauntingly melodic “Breathing Slowly” which ends oddly with an instrumental of about a minute that feels as if it’s building to a powerful final chorus, which never comes. The album closes with a mediocre tune called “Anchor,” an excitingly engaging “Drown You Out,” and a pathetic attempt at a ballad with “Never Coming Home.”

What’s to like? Falling Away is a slick and well-produced piece of music. With losing a member, Crossfade gained respectable production skills and every song on this album succeeds in sounding clean cut and fresh. The downside is half of these songs would have benefited from an extra minute. Had “Washing The World Away” and “Breathing Slowly” reached their full potential, this album would slide up several spots in score. Add that to a couple of generally bland tracks and Falling Away sits at pretty much the same level of quality as Crossfade’s last opus, for entirely different reasons. Perhaps with their third attempt, this talented group can achieve some kind of zen balance of things they do right, otherwise the third strike may just have them fall away from the mainstream rock audience.

6.5 out of 10

Download This – “Everything’s Wrong”

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