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Achilles' Heel (Remastered)

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Editors’ Notes

Pedro the Lion goes out on a high note artistically (if not emotionally) with Achilles’ Heel. As before, David Bazan’s world-weary vocals and trenchant songwriting are at the center of the action, with T.W. Walsh and newly recruited James McAlister making crucial contributions on an assortment of instruments. Unlike on previous Pedro albums, Achilles’ Heel doesn’t focus on a single theme; this time, the lyrics range across a variety of human failings and transgressions. Bazan offers rueful comments on the music business (“Bands with Managers”), takes a dark view of marriage and parenthood (“I Do”), and wrestles with knotty questions of faith (“Foregone Conclusions”). Soul-sick laments like “A Simple Plan” and “The Fleecing” are tempered by a sense of mercy, if not redemption. Musically, the tracks benefit from Bazan’s brawny guitar work (especially on “Keep Swinging”) and McAlister’s sparkling keyboard touches. “The Poison”—an unsparing portrait of one man’s personal hell—brings the album to a bleak but powerful close. All told, Achilles’ Heel is a melancholy final roar from one of Christian music’s most groundbreaking bands.

Customer Reviews

So good

Pedro at their best

My favorite Pedro album

The whole thing is excellent from beginning to end. If you need a place to start, get A Simple PLan and Start Without Me, the two catchiest and accessible tracks.

Last but not least.

David Bazan has a knack for fitting complex lyrics over deceivingly simple and memorable melodies. There's as much to be said for the story songs as there is for the extremely personal songs, and both are delivered with his typical wayfaring-stranger vocals. Though not quite as raw and emotional as Control, there is still a heavily emotive dynamic to the lyrics.

On the melodic end, the record is perhaps one of Bazan's better produced albums. The tone and simplicity of the riffs perfectly compliments the lyrics presented. It has its understated moments of brilliance with subtle chord changes that flow so well you almost never notice them.

Ultimately, this album seems to represent a shift in Bazan's craft from ultra-personal to more story driven. It feels as complete and well-made as any Pedro album, and it creates a solid cathartic experience that's just as strong every single time it's played.

Biography

Formed: Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

After a shifting lineup, Pedro the Lion finally eventually became a one-man outfit. That man is David Bazan. A Seattle native, Bazan cut his teeth playing in hardcore bands before forming Pedro in 1995, taking the band's name from a character he made up for a possible children's book. Under the moniker of Pedro the Lion, Bazan creates melodic pop in the vein of Bedhead, Hayden, and Sebadoh, with a lyrical focus on relationships — with both other people and God. Bazan also plays in the band...
Full Bio
Achilles' Heel (Remastered), Pedro the Lion
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