For all of you who have heard of AWOLNATION only because of the viral “Sail Cat” video and for all of you who have heard AWOL perform the same damn album in Kansas City three times, “Run” is the band’s apology for taking so long. This album shows off the band’s careful song choice and strikes a delicate balance between their sweet and screaming sides.
“Run,” the first track and the album’s namesake, reveals the band’s mastery for producing original-sounding songs that capture a listener’s attention by employing some serious dramatic tension. On first listen, the song seems to fall flat, as I could not have anticipated the total 180 degree shift that occurs at 2:12. It is an amazing example of the band’s duality.
The band continues to impress as the album transitions into “Fat Face” with a phone call used on the first and last track of this album. This is AWOL’s first opportunity on “Run” to allow their lyricism to shine through in a slower, calmer tone, and they do not fail to stay true to expectations.
The track “I Am” seems to be more of a conclusion than “Drinking Lightning” because of its more melancholic lyrics, which balances out the persistent uplifting drive of the album. While “Drinking Lightning” has a place in “Run,” its pace is too slow to end the album with the energy it deserves. This is especially true in the context of some of the previous tracks. This all being said, this is the only problem that I have with the album.
Still not sure about AWOLNATION? Maybe you are still a little bitter that they took so long? Try “Woman Woman” – the closest AWOL will come to a love song, which is totally fine with me. Or consider my personal favorite “Like People, Like Plastic,” which is the track that best returns to the addicting sound of AWOLNATION’s first album, “Megalithic Symphony.”
“Run” is able to stand on its own in a unique way, and it keeps AWOLNATION separate from the bands who are unable to produce quality second albums (looking at you, Imagine Dragons). Of all the quotable lyrics from this album, I will leave you with the one that I think really represents the band’s progression, “Motherfucker I’ll be back from the dead soon” – “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf).”
Photo courtesy of craveonline.com