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Lostprophets – “The Betrayed” (2010) March 24, 2010

Posted by rawkfistmusic in 2010, Lostprophets.
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Written by Andrew Hart

A lot of people weren’t all that content with the latest album from the U.K.’s Lostprophets, a disc called Liberation Transmission that was a real amalgam of poppy rock and crazy-long song titles.  While myself and others may have been pleased with the more upbeat and hooky material, it was certainly a deviation from earlier Lostprophets work, which focused primarily on atmospheric transitions and unique song structure.  All of that is well in the past now, Liberation Transmission was released in 2006, so maybe it’s time to move on and accept the long-awaited The Betrayed. I can’t for the life of me fathom the idea behind the title, all I can say is it’s been way too long since Lostprophets have broken through with some new material, and there’s plenty to be excited about on this eleven song gem.

First off, those who miss the heavier and more transitional material of days gone by will love “If It Wasn’t For Hate, We’d Be Dead By Now.”  Don’t freak too hard, the long song title is all this intro track has in common with the previous album.  Track one is a powerful, drum-fueled, quickie that packs a heavy punch.  A lot of the album focuses on refining what the band has done for it’s last three albums, but the opening track is a significant standout from that.  Similarly, the Lostprophets have a grand finale in “The Light That Burns Twice As Bright.”  The song itself is airy and beautiful, similarly to 2004’s “Sway,” with a really fantastic crescendo.  The fun does not stop there though, as the final eight minutes of the album are a cluster of interesting beats and sounds, an instrumental that would fit well on a sci-fi movie soundtrack or Nine Inch Nails album.  These two tracks certainly pack a unique punch.

That’s where the real big differences end though.  As stated before, The Betrayed feels more than anything like a refining of a craft.  Each track contains reminiscence of at least one Lostprophets album before it, whether it’s the non-stop electricity of “Dstryr and Dstryr” or the insane poppiness of leadoff single “Where We Belong.”  Song transitions make their return from the Start Something years, making this album a smoothly flowing experience marred only by brief gaps between songs.  However sometimes there is too much similarity for comfort.  “Dstryr and Dstryr” takes a lot from 2004’s “Burn Burn,” while “For He’s a Jolly Good Felon” borrows a great deal of it’s tempo from the 2006 single “A Town Called Hypocrisy.”  While it does seem like Lostprophets are working on perfecting their style, they need to be a little more unique in the future.

Ultimately though, The Betrayed is a delight of an album packed with memorable songs that aren’t too poppy nor too dark for a casual listener.  Lostprophets have achieved a good balance with this album and have churned out some great gems like “Dirty Little Heart” and “Streets of Nowhere,” each having a boatload of great traits that make them songs that can be listened to again and again.  A lot of songs on this album can get burned out fast, but for each of those (like “Next Stop Atro City”) there’s a gem of a song that takes a few listens to really get under your skin.  In all, The Betrayed is not a brilliant album, but it is far from a failure, and is a worthy addition to a consistent catalogue.  Now if only it would see an American release any time soon.

7.5 out of 10 – Download “Streets of Nowhere”

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