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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Face to Face -- Ignorance Is Bliss


Here is the line that divides those who like good music from those who simply like genres. Before Ignorance Is Bliss, Face to Face were only known as a punk band who played punk music. Ignorance Is Bliss is not a punk record. If a punk rock fan takes the angle, "This band completely sold out, this is just regular old rock music," though, they are admitting they don't enjoy one of the greatest rock albums ever made because the tempos aren't fast. Never mind the fact that Ignorance Is Bliss is full of energy--it isn't punk, and for that reason ,a lot of close-minded "fans" of the band dismissed it immediately.
Make no mistake, though. Despite the genre change, Ignorance Is Bliss is not only a step up from Face to Face's previous work--it is a perfect album. The production and sounds are beyond satisfying, the songwriting is incredible,  and the performances are as good as you're going to get. Trevor Keith's voice finally gets the huge treatment it deserves. His lyrics take the "screw you, you hurt me" path to it's more mature conclusion--"man, I guess I have my own problems, too." All of these factors add up to thirteen very powerful tracks that flow incredibly well. The most important factor of the album's success, though, is an intangible. There is just something about the attitude of Ignorance Is Bliss that makes it better than its peers.
Over a decade later, I thought this album's power over me would weaken, but in my recent listens for this review, I was as equally moved. The theme in the title is still just as relevant today as thirteen years ago. It is a lot easier to just allow other's actions to affect you without questioning, and to just take your own behavior as rational and acceptable without ever evaluating yourself. Doing otherwise always brings conflict and difficulty, and sometimes it's debatable if the results are even worth it. Sometimes it's easier to just ignore everything going on around you. The effort of guarding yourself just doesn't seem worth it. If things go wrong, you can always blame somebody else. Or you can rebel against that mindset. Maybe this is a punk record.

1999 Beyond
1. Overcome 3:16
2. In Harm's Way 4:24
3. Burden" – 4:17
4. Everyone Hates a Know-It-All 3:07
5. Heart of Hearts 4:00
6. Prodigal 5:13
7. Nearly Impossible 5:20
8. I Know What You Are 4:10
9. The Devil You Know (God Is a Man) 3:38
10. (A)Pathetic 3:13
11. Lost 4:14
12. Run in Circles 3:50
13. Maybe Next Time 3:52

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