“Brainwashed (Deluxe Version)” by While She Sleeps, Album Review

Brainwashed Album CoverBrainwashed is the second album from the UK heavy metal band, While She Sleeps.  It came out in late March of 2015, through Search and Destroy Records.

What stands out to me in Brainwashed is the unique vocals. They’re harsher, but the lead singer doesn’t seem to be screaming them. Instead, Taylor sings with conviction, he pronounces his words clearly, he lets the lyrics music flow through him. I’m reminded of a quote by Walt Whitman; “I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.” That’s exactly what the vocals remind me of.

The lyrics are also ones that everyone can relate to a little bit, even if some of them are the extreme examples of what they’re speaking of. Even if they’re the extreme cases, they speak the truth without over dramatizing it like other bands will. But most importantly, the lyrics in the songs on Brainwashed are the lyrics that will speak for those who don’t feel like they have a voice. The people who are going to relate to them most are the people that need them the most. This isn’t an exactly a new thing for the music world – lyrics are supposed to speak to those who need them most. But While She Sleep particularly manages to make themselves stand out in that particular area.

The deluxe edition of Brainwashed came with three more songs than the original edition. Instead of just tacking these songs onto the end of the album, they integrated them into different spots of the album. The new tracks that you can find on the deluxe edition are “Your Evolution,” “We Are Alive At Night,” and “The Woods.” Having them be added and integrated to the overall album in this way makes it so they expand upon the album and the story of the album. Instead of getting a few short stories in addition to the album, you’re getting extra chapters and extra details.

The instruments are unique, and are meant to create emotion. You can tell that this is a band that has been pouring years into their instruments. What I liked about it was that each instrument stands out to you while at the same time forming together to create an emotion. What I didn’t like about it was that, about halfway through the song, you start to grow bored. You can hear every instrument, every element, and you can definitely hear the variations in the melodies. But for most of the songs, there weren’t enough variations to keep my attention. This was only a very small thing however, and it didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying all of the songs on Brainwashed.

Some of my favorite songs on the album were “Your Evolution,” “Four Walls,” and “Life in Tension.” For one, the sounds and the instruments in these songs stood out the most to me. There’s just something about them that particularly grabs your attention. The lyrics and vocals were also ones that I wanted to learn and sing over and over again. That’s what I look for in albums; that it factor that makes me want to listen to it over and over again. And the deluxe version of Brainwashed definitely has it.

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