494: New Horizon

Hey, what do you know, I've been waiting out there this entire time.  The Answer's latest album, New Horizon, launched last week in the UK, and I, of course, pre-ordered my Limited Edition physical copy from Amazon.uk, as always.  The CD arrived yesterday, the same day that the album was made available in the US for much cheaper than what I paid.  Guess I didn't really think that one through all the way.  Either way, The Answer's new album is absolutely fantastic, with nothing but kickass hard rock from start to finish, and never a lull in between.  The Answer have always had an incredibly unique identity with their music - you could never hear their style from anyone else but them - and that is still present on this album.  Maybe not as much as their last two albums, but it's still there.

That's actually the biggest complaint I have about New Horizon.  There's not as much uniqueness and variety as there were on their previous albums.  The reason why The Answer have such a unique sound is because of the way they blend and reinterpret different genres -  blues, rock, and gospel, especially.  Hell, no one includes gospel in rock music these days - but The Answer fucking does.  And all of their previous albums (some more than others), include this blend of genres.  Some tracks are more rock, some are more blues, some are a blend of everything, and each album has a wide range of styles to choose from.

Not so much on New Horizon, though.  It's pretty much a straightforward rock album from start to finish.  There's not a lot of blues in it, there's not a lot of gospel in it, and there's less variety than they usually have.  It's a much more uniform, one-dimensional album.  To illustrate my point, I'll show you guys the ratings I gave the songs on this album versus their last several albums.  Every time I listen to a new song in iTunes, I give it a rating, the highest possible being 4 stars.  Only my absolute all-time favorites get 4-star ratings (there are only 150 songs in my library that have earned it, out of all the thousands and thousands).  The Answer's second album, Everyday Demons, got the following ratings: 3/4/3/2/1/3/4/3/3/2/4.  And their third album, Revival, got: 3/4/3/4/2/4/4/2/4/2/3/2.  Now here are the ratings for New Horizon: 3/3/3/2/3/2/3/3/3/3/3/3/3.  As you can see, the first two albums have a wide variety of ratings, ranging everywhere from 1 stars to 4.  These albums had highs and lows, different styles and different genres.  New Horizon, on the other hand, remained constant from start to finish.  There were no highs, there were no lows, there was not much variety.  Now, obviously, 3 stars is a pretty good rating from me, which means this album STAYED CONSISTENTLY GOOD from start to finish.  If this were any other band, this album would be an enormous accomplishment.  It's only because it's The Answer, and they've set the bar so high for themselves, that it leaves me wanting more.  I give New Horizon an 8/10, less than their two previous albums, but still fucking amazing compared to most other bands out there these days.

If you live in the US, UK, or Canada, you can purchase the album digitally on iTunes, or physically at stores, on Amazon, and on The Answer's website.  As for everyone else in the world.... sorry folks, you'd have to import a physical CD.  But the good news is that ALL OF THE ANSWER'S PREVIOUS ALBUMS ARE NOW AVAILABLE ON ITUNES, so you should be able to purchase those no matter where you live in the world.  If you haven't checked out their other albums yet, you should really go and do that, they will change your opinions on modern rock.  See you guys later!

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