Ayo Jegede
reviews editor
October 13, 2003
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Take Them On, On Your Own Take Them On, On Your Own
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Take Them On, On Your Own Take Them On, On Your Own
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Rock Music Reviews
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Take Them On, On Your Own

the opening track of BRMC's competent sophomore release--'Stop'--is a veritable aggregate of alienating bass, drums, and guitar with the first lines being, "we don't like you, we just wanna try you." the video to the song is a mix of a bad acid trip and reckless rock n roll scenesters. of course the problem is that the first single is nothing more than a single application of the same central theme throughout all of Take Them On, On Your Own. it's a fine album, worthy enough to be in even the most blunted UC Berkley art student's playlist (aka any Pitchforkmedia reviewer). but it still lacks substantial emotive qualities found on their debut cd, namely their incredible knack for making music swell and depress without being brazen which would have only led to a disparate collection of songs. unfortunately this is what the group's latest release sounds like.

many forget that what made their debut so majestic and florid was the subtlety. 'What Ever Happened to My Rock n' Roll' and 'Spread Your Love' are the closest sounding items to their newest work and even they aren't as unfettered in terms of energy. it was the ebb and flow of songs like 'Head Up High' and 'Rifles' which made their debut so languidly potent. but on their latest we find the band treading rather predictable subject matter with anti-government sentiment ('Us Government'), societal disconnect ('Generation'), and the automated status of rock star ('Stop'). the sound itself barely changes--except for the tender 'Heart + Soul'--which is usually confined to a wearisome aggression which only becomes tepid and rather uninspired. but for all the mud slung at this release it's still one of the better ones to come out this year. the score is only relative to the listener and would be higher for someone new to the group's work. nonetheless, it's still a letdown for those of us already familiar with the music.

Release date: September 2, 2003
Label: Virgin
Rating: 7.0 / 10

[RMR]