Fences - Fences (ALBUM REVIEW)

Click READ MORE to check out our review of the new album by Fences.

I’ve been listening to music long enough to not get too excited when people start ranting that something is going to be the next big thing (or is being compared to greats like Elliot Smith or Conner Oberst). One thing I have learned as a music fan is it really cannot be great until you listen to it and decide it is great for you. That being said the new album by Fences is a really good album and it causes you to ask the question: Is the guy with the most tattoos in the room the one that always wears his heart on his sleeve? By looking at Fences (aka Chris Mansfield) much like Dashboard Confessional who also has the heart-on-sleeve mentality, you notice he has quite a few tattoos. That really is not important, just kind of an observation.

It is probably one of the best albums I heard this year. The music is well crafted; the lyrics are genuine, at times blunt, and better than what the average songwriter creates. The mood of the album is spot on perfect for this time of year. There are few artists that I think are better than what is out right now upon first listen. I got this feeling the first time I heard Fences self-titled album. I cannot find many missteps on this album. It has certain and I hesitate to use the word “indie” pop mentalities, but lyrically it outshines a lot of what is out right now. Mansfield vocally either is on par or outperforms many artists with similar sounds. “Hands” is a track that shines lyrically.

Sara Quin (of Tegan & Sara fame) produced this album and did a phenomenal job with it. It is spot on. The mixing is nice. Everything is as it should be. It is a vast improvement from the demo quality of Fences debut EP The Puke EP. One downfall to old fans is that many tracks from the Puke EP show up, but they have been re-done and they sound a lot better.

I think this is top 10 albums of the year material. I don’t think you can find many missteps on the album. It is not 100% original, but it makes up for it with quality song writing and production. Sometimes certain people just do it better and make it feel more original and authentic than others are able to make it feel. With Fences, debut album, that is just the case. Do not miss this one and when my end of the year list arrives do not be surprised if this is somewhere in the top ten.

No comments: