"Neon Ballroom" Review

(Rip it Up (New Zealand))

The first album was an overnight success, the follow up takes a similar path musically and is even bigger, going massive in America. And the world awaits with baited breath for the next one. Yes it's that difficult third album syndrome. And silverchair have pulled it off, just... Opening track Emotion Sickness is a grandiose bouquet of subtle elegance. It orally swoons, Daniels Johns' engaging voice runs in perfection with David Helfgott's elaborate piano accompanient. Another show stoper (i.e., you can't mosh to it) is the delightful Ana's Song (Open Fire), Miss You Love is also a classic, with a chorus that lodges instantly. But if only the album continued in this pattern. silverchair seem apprehensive of moving away from their fan base. So the post grunge songs are here in plenty, sure they do them well, but all the time you know Daniel John's songwriting skill has progressed beyond playing three chords and shouting very loudly. The single Anthem For The Year 2000 will no doubt be next to Prince on playlists this New Year's eve, but Spawn Again is just awful. Yet if Daniel has the strength to follow his convictions, their next album could quite possibly be a landmark record. Here's hoping.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars out of 5
[Thanks to Steph for the transcript.]