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Final Battle

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Album Review

The title of this entry from indie rock wunderkind Graham Smith isn't as climactic and final as it sounds. If anything, it's a new chapter for Smith, as he's even dropped the Kleenex Girl Wonder moniker. Faced with issues such as death (two of his bandmembers shockingly died within the previous few months), he's grown up a little and has written his most mature record to date. Unlike some previous recordings, Final Battle is free of comedic bits and self-indulgence. Drawing from drum'n'bass ("Lots of Love & a Long, Long Ladder" has sputtering beats), indie rock, and straightforward pop, Smith is focused and convincing. Lyrics about an apparent breakup are further proof that he's rather serious or doing a good job of pretending to be: "Game over, I'm giving up/I've had it with this/But I guess that that's what I get." Hopefully he won't give up, because if he continues at this pace, those comparisons to Robert Pollard will soon be legitimate.

Customer Reviews

Time to step up

I've been singing Graham Smith's praises to pretty much everyone I meet, and God knows, I shake a lot of hands. I've listened to this album backwards and forwards, and confidently call it one of my favorites of 04. Highlights are USHC Brand Men's Jeans, My So-Called Secret Life, 2 Guitars, and The Heat. Graham puts together a tight package, but he has some incrediably creative lyrics, for example: "I'm trying to communicate with just my tired lonely eyes, cause there's only one way: I'm like a Michael Crichton novel honey, I'm easy to read." Thats great stuff.

#1 most played in my library

I was playing around with iTunes at work the other day and was a bit surprised to realize that Graham Smith's Final Battle was not only on the first page of my library sorted by play count (over the last two years) but the top four most played songs in my list were from Final Battle. It didn't surprise me from the standpoint of how I feel about the album; its just that Graham Smith is not a well known or massively successful musician as far as I know. To most I rave about this album to, they've never heard of him. But people will hear of him eventually. You'd be hard pressed to fine a more prolific young musician and for my money, I have not found a better songwriter this decade. Final Battle to me is all about the anthem. Each song screams out in a way that whatever topic he is singing about seems to be the most important subject in the universe. His lyrics are interesting, deep at times, funny at times, frivolous at times; but always relentless. Graham should be paid twice as much as other songwriters for his efforts. 2 Guitars for example is six minutes of prose that just keeps coming. There is no chorus, just a roller coaster tale of life and love that is infinitely gripping and personal. I have listened to that song probably 200 times, worked to it, had it stuck in my head for days, and screamed along to it at the top of my lungs. The Heat was the first song I heard on the album, and could still be the strongest. You & Me & Leslie, HDTV, USHC Brand Men's Jeans, and Can You Do it Quickly Enough are all great songs. The rest are all solid, showing range and great potential. I would highly recommend this album to anyone looking for a fresh voice in the independent scene. Especially if you enjoy great lyrics, graham smith could quick ascend your play list as he has mine.

Final Battle, Graham Smith
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Customer Ratings