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Fresh, smooth, a very distinct 311 album
I've got a problem with most music critics. People keep saying 311 are just remaking their music over and over through their 15+ years. But when you mix their musical talents and they're own genre-breaking formula of hip-hop vocal work with the unique stylings of Nick and SA's, smooth guitar work by Tim (This album proves it), bass like only P-Nut can, and flawless drum work by Chad, 311 does own this genre of music. They built it ever since their Omaha days, and they continue to expound on it, no matter how much you think they keep redoing songs. Every album has it's own flavor, EVERY album. If you try to deny it, you're simply lying to yourself. Now onto the album review. Transistor is by far the most experimental 311 disc that has been done. 21 tracks clocking over an hour. Rocking from the title track (Personally one of my favorite 311 songs), 311 still proves they can shake you up and get you movin. Switching back and forth, their songs move between their own potent rockin that kinda relates back to the latter tracks on the s/t CD, and the spaced out, deeply reverberated and lightened songs that drop one back into the 8:16 A.M. style of song but with a stronger beat and better production. One reviewer said "Rub a Dub" was the worst 311 song ever. Is that why they played the song on their Summer 2003 tour at 7 shows? 311 writes songs they enjoy playing, not because they will sell. The songs seamlessly flow together, and perhaps that's why people are not appreciative of it. Few of these songs could be on the radio, no doubt, but aren't most fans more appreciative of those tracks. I've been listening to 311 for about 9 months, I've got them all minus the early Omaha sessions. Rating the 7 CD's: 1.Transistor 2.Grassroots 3.Soundsystem 4.311 5.Evolver 6.Music 7.From Chaos I honestly have not found any 311 song I do not like. I mixed down 128 of 311's studio songs onto one MP3 CD. Hit the random button and you're going for quite a ride. No one should even begin to doubt that 311 are musical innovators and true to their art. Transistor is proof that the band can dabble in different musical styles and still sound uniquely 311. This is a great album, and while I don't believe it should be the first 311 album a newly introduced fan should pick up, (This is a Music or Evolver job), this needs to be bought. "CAN'T NOBODY DO IT LIKE THREE E-LE-VEN!"
Top 40 lovers, look elsewhere
I've been a 311 fan since Grassroots, and it puzzles me that everyone calls this "311's worst album". One thing is certain: This is definitely 311's most experimental album, so many of the people who jumped on the bandwagon with "Down" would be disappointed that this album doesn't feature several "Down" rehashes, as many bands who have a hit song tend to do (ex, Sugar Ray and Smash Mouth). The album as a whole doesn't have as much of a hip-hop flavor as 311's first three albums, but you still have "Galaxy", "No Control", "The Continuous Life", "Borders", etc., which sound enough like old school 311. On the other side, 311 take a few 180 degree turns from that sound on tracks like "Stealing Happy Hours", "Rub A Dub", and "Running", which are laid back and go into dub reggae territory. 311's lyrics are at their peak (they focus on astrology on several tracks, as you would expect with song titles like "Galaxy" and "Starshines") and they silence the naysayers who criticized them by saying "all their songs sound the same" - this is their most varied and eclectic album to date. It ties Grassroots for being 311's best album, and it's safe to say that anyone who has a few of their albums (not just the self-titled) will like this, even if it takes time to get used to the new sound. Whether you like it or not, you've got to hand it to 311 for not being afraid to experiment and not throwing out the same old formulaic drivel just to sell albums.
Very GOOD ALBUM
I love this album! It has all of the songs that we have come to know 311 by! FANTASTIC! Good Job Nick!