Album Review: Redux - The First 10 Years by Silverstein

Silverstein is a band that ages like fine wine. Many bands struggle to rediscover the energy of their debut album, but Silverstein is one of the rare breed who have only gotten better with age. Their sound has managed to evolve throughout their career without losing the signature "Silverstein" blend. This is clearly evident on Redux: The First 10 Years, as the band breathed new life into their past by re-recording twelve songs spanning their first four full length releases.

The album begins with "Smashed Into Pieces" from their 2003 debut album When Broken Is Easily Fixed. The song still hits with the same energy as it did years ago, and highlights the growth of Shane Told's vocals as his voice has matured over the years. Again... like fine wine. The addition of piano and violin adds depth to the bridge of "Bleeds No More," which also replaces the line "you're the best thing that ever happened to me" to a clip of Helena Bonham Carter's character Marla Singer from Fight Club telling Edward Norton's character the opposite. Brilliant.

I have mixed feelings about "My Heroine" being re-recorded for this album. I know this is a fan favorite, and a classic show topper during live performances. As such, it is a must on any list of Silverstein's greatest hits. But nothing will beat the semi-acoustic version from their live album. I'm a sucker for the acoustic build up to full band accompaniment. However, the version re-recorded for this album has some solid vocal harmonies added to it, as do other tracks on the album.

"Vices" is perhaps one of my favorite re-recordings done for this album. The riffs of Paul Marc Rousseau, who replaced original guitarist Neil Boshart, really cut through the music and enrich the feel of the song from it's Shipwreck In The Sand counterpart. The group vocals added during the breakdown are a nice touch, capturing the essence felt during live performances of the song.

Call me a softy, but "Still Dreaming" has always been a favorite song of mine, and the acoustic re-imagining of this song is no different. Shane Told is one of the rare vocalists who can really pull off both screaming and clean vocals effectively. Their acoustic versions of heavier songs always have a unique feel of their own, while also maintaining the emotion of the original. Hey Silverstein, if you're listening, Acoustic Album ::cough cough:: haha!

In Summary: Redux is a solid collection of re-recorded songs from Silversteins early career. Structurally, these are all the same songs you know and love, but they have been vastly enriched with deeper instrumentalism and the growth of Shane's vocals. Again, Silverstein is a band that ages like fine wine.

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