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Review – Boyce Avenue "All You’re Meant To Be" (2008) August 27, 2008

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2008, Boyce Avenue.

Written by Andrew

In this, the age of the internet celebrities, it is quite rare to get anything more than a few crack-happy laughs and a slew of random insults out of the popular Youtube videos. Thankfully, one band is trying it’s damnedest to buck that trend and that band is Boyce Avenue. After gaining a massive following on everyone’s favorite video site with their covers of Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and OneRepublic’s “Apologize”, this fearsome Florida foursome has proved they are not just an internet sensation. Though they have released numerous cover albums depicting their wonderfully acoustic covers of hit music, the original stuff comes in their debut album All You’re Meant To Be.

Don’t go into this piece of work harboring any delusions that this band is going to rock your socks off with jamming riffs and drum fills. Boyce Avenue is, if anything, a vehicle for the vocal talents of Alejandro Manzano, the youngest of the Manzano brothers who make up the majority of the band (alongside Fabian, Daniel, and drummer Stephen Hatker). Alejandro’s voice, while certainly not the most perfect in range, has a smooth essence to it that goes hand in hand with the harmonious music his brothers throw into the mix. It’s beautiful to say the least, there honestly just are not words for it. While the opener “Hear Me Now” is not exactly the perfect display of this band’s abilities, it’s easily the best choice to start the collection as it’s a great, catchy little ditty that could succeed on Top 40 radio.

“Dare To Believe” is when you start realizing just how very damn special this band is. The soaring intro brings you straight into that oh-so-gorgeous voice in spectacular fashion. This song is where Boyce Avenue demonstrates their ability to blend the passionate vocals with music that matches it tone for tone. So many other bands just sing emotional lyrics without feeling them and you’ll never get that with Boyce. “Find Me” stands out as another song where Alejandro’s voice captivates your mind and leaves you with chills running down your spine as he bursts into the song’s uplifting chorus.

By a few tracks in the album, the CD’s biggest flaw is made noticeable. Not many of the songs on this album will stand out and fling themselves at you as you listen to them. What Boyce lacks in memorability though, they more than make up for in sheer talent and passion. If you take the time to listen to every track they begin to seperate and stand out for their own merits. While many of them may blend into each other, it’s clear as you listen closely that every track brings it’s own themes, styles, and pure music to the table. “Not Enough” the first single, is a powerful track that serves as the only major instrumental standout, while “Tonight” is a moving ballad that doesn’t even really have a chorus, but instead one fantastic string of melody.

Lyrically, All You’re Meant To Be is a bit of a mixed bag, but not in a bad way. Every song is written fabulously and performed to perfection, but is unlike most CDs these days in that there is no simple, overlying theme. While “So Much Time” reflects on the pain of heartbreak, “All The While” is a song of redemption and optimism, a stark contrast to say the least. Boyce Avenue really offers a song for just about everyone on this unfortunately brief escapade, which makes it a truly intriguing listen as you pick apart the lyrics for every song.

When I say unfortunately brief, I really do mean it. While the disc contributes a bare ten tracks as it is, that last one is just a slightly different mix of “Hear Me Now.” That leaves a super skinny nine tracks for Boyce to show off the goods. Luckily for them, they sure manage to pull it off, but even so, it’s a shame to see band with eight years of practice behind them to only muster up nine songs. It doesn’t hinder the experience too badly though, All You’re Meant To Be is still a disc worth adding to your collection, especially to fans of mellow rock acts such as OneRepublic and Coldplay.

The Point – Boyce Avenue’s debut is chock full of beautiful melodies and great vocal talent, but lacks true standout songs and is way too short.

8.5 out of 10

Download This – “Not Enough”



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