Coheed and Cambria are a band that baffled me for the longest time. I remember seeing them back in 2003 and I’ve worked hard to figure them out ever since. It’s not that they are a bad band per se, but there was always something holding me back from truly getting onboard with them, I could never fully invest in their sprawling space opera shenanigans, but then around the time of 2010’s “Year of the Black Rainbow” something clicked and then the “Afterman” albums followed and I was taken off guard and finally onboard the Coheed train.
Coheed and Cambria‘s new album “The Color Before the Sun” is somewhat of a revelation, an album not wrapped around a concept that unfolds in a fictitious universe, but an album rich in human emotion, full of real themes and it is spectacular. The opening two tracks ‘Island’ and ‘Eraser’ sound like emo classics, and by that I mean they have a warmth and depth to them that is reminiscent of the earliest and best work of bands like Jimmy Eat World and Dashboard Confessional (so please don’t take the emo tag as a slight). The album’s debut single ‘You got spirit, kid’ is a lively upbeat single that sounds like summer in minutes, it’s as loose and free as the band has ever sounded, it was definitely the perfect choice for a lead single.
Elsewhere ‘Ghost’ is quite possibly the best song that Coheed and Cambria has ever written, it leaps out from the speaker and grabs you by the neck in a way that demands your attention, it’s a beautiful song that highlights how far they have come in their time together. And while the music here may be less complex and full of hidden meanings than it has been in the past, there are still things hidden in its simplicity that creates an album that will gladly and willingly reward multiple listens.
Coheed and Cambria are a band that has a huge dedicated following that they have amassed over the years and that have followed their career through the Armory Wars of the bands earlier work and beyond. By taking themselves out of space and grounding their work in reality and pouring Coheed and Cambria, the people, into their work and infusing it with a more personal touch the band has created the best, most honest, and ultimately most fun and relatable album of their career and what people are rightly calling an album of the year contender.
If like me, you overlooked Coheed and Cambria when they were amongst the stars, then now might be a good time to re-evaluate your stance on them, do not let this album pass you by.