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Megalithic Symphony (Deluxe Version)

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Album Review

Following his group sojourns with major-label projects Home Town Hero (on Maverick) and Under the Influence of Giants (on Island), Aaron Bruno resurfaces as a one-man band (albeit with a lot of help, including longtime partner Drew Stewart) under the name AWOLNATION on Megalithic Symphony. A megalith is a large stone, so a megalithic symphony would seem to be an ambitious suite of rock music, and the album fits its title if one interprets the ambition as an unfettered eclecticism and sense of whimsy, as tethered to constant dance beats. Bruno seems to have built his tracks up from the percussion patterns, and once he got the beats he liked, he layered on top poppy melodies supporting lyrics sung in falsetto or a gritty tenor, with plenty of goofy electronic sounds in between. The "anything goes" quality takes in a spoken-word track ("Some Sort of Creature") and songs that recall everything from Prince to Men Without Hats. It all comes together on the 15-minute closer, "Knights of Shame," which begins with Bruno imploring, "Dance, baby, like the world is ending," continues through various sections including a rap by Cameron Duddy, and ends, after a minute or so of silence, with a hidden track that finds Bruno strumming his acoustic guitar and croaking, "It's been a long time waiting for you." Megalithic Symphony engages the ear from moment to moment and allows Aaron Bruno to try out a variety of ideas, many of them half-baked, but all of them entertaining. [A Deluxe Edition added a second disc of remixed and live tracks.]

Customer Reviews

Yeah AWOLNATION is great

That's not what my review is based on though. People who give this 5s just because they like the band miss the point of reviewing albums. I check reviews in the hope that my fellow ITunes user will give me an actual review of the album. The new songs here are by AWOLNATION so they are fun, exciting and worth buying. I would not say that they are anywhere near as good as some of the best songs on the first album and I have only listened a few times but I immediately loved the first album. I honestly don't love remixes in general but I'm no expert on them so that's up to the buyer. I was a little annoyed that in the list of 8 new songs, they almost snuck a live performance of a song from the 1st album in there. I don't like live performance songs because they don't actually capture the greatness of a live performance. I wish they would have just made a new album with the 7 new songs here, and added 2 or 3 more songs. However, AWOLNATION is great. I do like these new songs but they are definitely not deserving of a 5 star rating and I already bought the first 14 and am uniterested in the last 10. I give this 3 out of 5 in an attempt to decrease the overrated rating of this album and give those who sort by most critical a chance to read a real review. I am not saying what I think of every single song because everyone has different tastes and I have not listened enough times to give that in depth review. I just hope that people will stop distorting album ratings based on their opinions of the band in general.

Buy the Regular Album

I like this album, don't get me wrong, but it's not that amazing. In my oppinion, buy the regular album, save your money. From listening to it, the only song I liked was thiskidsnotalright, and MF a little bit. I don't know much about remixes, but I didn't like any of them. The regular album deserves five stars and is amazing, so just buy that.


AWOLNATION is the best band ever! I'm so happy the deluxe version of Megalithic Symphony is finally released! If you've never heard AWOLNATION before, it's a must have for basically anyone who has an iPod!


Born: November 11, 1978 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '10s

A solo project of Aaron Bruno, AWOLNATION began as a creative outlet for the songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Bruno, who had been a member of Home Town Hero and Under the Influence of Giants, needed a break from the collaborative process and hoped to find a place for some of his songs that didn't fit with his other bands. With AWOLNATION, Bruno built a kind of creative free-for-all for himself, allowing him to mix genres as he wanted in a style reminiscent of Beck, blending live instrumentation,...
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