Biffy Clyro’s sixth studio album ‘Opposites’ is a double-album, offering us 20 new songs from one of Scotland’s biggest bands. The album is divided up into two albums, with the first disc being titled ‘The Sand At The Core Of Our Bones’, and the second disc being titled ‘The Land At The End Of Our Toes’. For those who don’t enjoy two disc’s worth of music by bands and prefer one single-disc album, then you’re in luck as ‘Opposites’ is also available in single-disc format, comprising of various songs from both discs on the album.
It could be argued that the two discs on ‘Opposites’ both explore different musical directions. Granted, I would say now that when it comes to music by Biffy Clyro, there isn’t actually a great amount of variety. Most songs are comprised of guitar, bass and drums and are just alternative rock songs at the end of the day. That being said, it seems that their is a difference in the two CDs in terms of how the rock-genre is being presented. It is interesting, as the two albums work well together as a double-album experience, and at the same time they also work well as two separate Biffy Clyro albums. To better explain this would be to use examples, like how ‘The Wall’ by Pink Floyd requires the listener to listen to both of the albums for the sense of the album experience. On the other side, you’d have something like ‘Abbattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus’ by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, where the two albums are both clearly defined as being two different albums. Now, on ‘Opposites’, the two albums work simultaneously as a double-album package, and in single-album form. I’m not sure if whether or not people would agree with me on this, but it is the impression I got when listening to both albums.
On ‘Opposites’, it seems that the music on the first disc mostly takes the form of rock anthems. It’s a style that works for Biffy Clyro, and it is evident when listening to ‘Opposites’ that it is a style they’re more than capable of writing within. It’s hard not to enjoy the music, as it is pure anthem music, that would clearly work amazingly within a live environment. As well as having these rock anthems, there are also some tracks that are more mellow, or as mellow as Biffy Clyro will allow, which just means that the tempo is turned down a bit, and everything moves slowly until it hits the crescendo. It is odd, as I find the format of having rock anthems, mixed in with these slower songs to be a fairly clichéd format for most rock bands, but it seems that Biffy Clyro is able to move comfortable within this genre and not make it sound so stale. The music, especially the rock anthems, just seem to stick int he memory as well as ‘Mountains’ did when it was first released. It’s great music that just gets you going.
I do feel though that the music on the second disc is slightly weaker than that on the first. Especially in the first half, where I just feel slightly bored of some of the tracks. Perhaps those are the tracks where in a few months time they grow on you, and it’s like rediscovering music all over again, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. It’s a shame, as I do feel that the second disc of music somewhat let’s down the whole double-album experience which is how ‘Opposites’ was meant to be heard. It confuses me that there is even a single-disc version, as to me, it just feels like whoever would be buying it wouldn’t be getting the full experience of ‘Opposites’, and would be missing out on many great songs, regardless of how much the second disc is weaker than the first.
Regardless though, I do feel that ‘Opposites’ is a good album. No matter how much the second disc pales in comparison with the first disc, the fact of the matter is that the whole album package is just great. I feel that the whole experience is mostly attributed to the first disc being so strong, that it makes up for the weaknesses in the second. As it is, by the time the second disc gets to its great songs, it feels like all its weaknesses can just be forgotten. At the end of the day, ‘Opposites’ remains one of those good albums that can easily be enjoyed, and would sound perfect live, which is basically what music of this genre needs to be.
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