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Diorama

Silverchair

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Album Review

One of the few true shocks in rock music is when a young band with a seemingly short shelf life manages to transform itself into a cohesive, enduring, and artistically diverse outfit. Take Silverchair, whose plodding angst anthems were the subject of much ridicule during the group's initial splash. But they somehow kept going and kept improving, and Diorama is the sound of a band finally growing into their own skin. These songs have a sense of space and tunefulness that was always missing from the band's previous efforts, and the production (by David Bottrill, with orchestrations courtesy of Van Dyke Parks) brings to mind everything from the charging anthems of Big Country to U2's first experiments with Brian Eno. Singer Daniel Johns steps into the forefront here, showcasing his rich voice and shockingly catchy, twisting tunes with melodies that are hardly predictable but often delightful. His efforts recall deceased singer/songwriter Josh Clayton-Felt, as they utilize a similar vocal approach and channel the same sort of psychedelic soul on tracks like "Tuna in the Brine." A song like "World Upon Your Shoulders" sounds utterly unlike the post-grunge efforts of Johns' earlier work, but in one song he takes the washed-out symphonies of Soft Bulletin-era Flaming Lips and the delicate falsetto pop of Jeff Buckley and combines them into a digestible pop nugget. The solid guitar work from Johns also shows growth, as the songs often drift into Edge-like noodling that compliments his voice much more than the chugging riffs of their first few albums. "Without You"'s Goo Goo Dolls-lite is an unwelcome twist, taking their newfound sense of melody and giving it a blustery chorus that robs the track of its power. The thick "One Way Mule" is another minor disappointment, reverting back to Silverchair's grunge sound for a song that has little of the intelligence and beauty of the rest of the album. But mostly this is a wonderful surprise from a band thought to have been finished in the late '90s. Being hesitant to give this a chance is perfectly understandable, but Silverchair has grown up and put together a fine mix of orchestral pop and rock on Diorama.

Customer Reviews

Genius whether you want to admit it or not.

To be honest, I was never a Silverchair fan. Frogstomp did nothing for me, Freak Show and Neon Ballroom had some great tracks but as albums they just didn't grab me (though I know there are people that would have different opinions). Diorama on the other hand - wow! I just feel like there's a wealth of talent that didn't come out in their previous efforts. It's so catchy as hell but interesting enough to constantly be surprised. Orchestral and sweet but with edge and grit when it's necessary (and welcomed). It's 10 years on as I write this and it's still standing the tests of time. Like them or don't - this album is absolutely worth every second of your time.

Brilliant

This album is just amazing!
Wow!
I couldn't recommend it enough!!
It's different enough to attract new fans but still got enough "silverchair" to keep to older ones happy too.
Love it!!!

Fantastic album

I was 12 when they released this album and I remember thinking ‘What’s the big deal about them?’. A few years later I bought the album and have not looked back since. I now have all of their albums and Diorama is one of my personal favourites. It has amazing orchestral music paired with edgy lyrics and it has such a different sound from typical mainstream with lots of heart. Really great album.

Biography

Formed: 1992 in Newcastle, Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Silverchair quickly rose to international stardom in 1995 by mining a mix of Nirvana and Pearl Jam on their debut album, Frogstomp. Buoyed by the angst-ridden single "Tomorrow," Frogstomp topped the Australian charts and cracked the Top Ten in America, making Silverchair the first Australian act since INXS to enjoy such success in the States. The three bandmates gained just as much recognition for their age; at the time Frogstomp was recorded, they were all 15 years old. Although grunge's popularity...
Full Bio