This is the third full length album by Anberlin and the follow up to 2005’s catchy Never Take Friendship Personal. On Cities, the band attempts to retain their catchy, intelligent punk-pop sound, and continue to tread into the same old territory.
The album focuses on guitar driven tunes with soaring harmonies like Godspeed and Adelaide. Adelaide actually sounds like it should have been on their last disc with its refrain, “Adelaide, Adelaide, you really had me going this time/ Adelaide, Adelaide, you need to quit, quit making a scene.” A Whispter and a Clamour is a great song that is unfortunately almost ruined by its sing-songy quality, but the driving chorus and lines of, “It's not the lies that you sing/ But what the silence will scream…Clap your hands all ye children/ There's a clamor in your whispering” are great. Another standout is the slower, mushier tune Inevitable. Some of the band’s solid writing is evident here with, “I wanna be your last, first kiss/ That you'll ever have/ I wanna be your last, first kiss/ Amazing how life turns out the way that it does/ We end up hurting the worst, the only ones we really love.”
Once listeners dig into this disc a bit they will realize Anberlin performs their signature style over and over again. Unfortunatley in between some of the catchy and compelling tunes are a few throwaways and this ultimately is the album's downfall. This is not all bad for fans of their earlier emo sound, but there is just not enough to recommend here even though Cities has some good moments. Fans who want another Never Take Friendship Personal will be satisfied, anyone else will not.
1.95 out of 4.00 on the Vin Swanson Scale.