"Neon Ballroom" Review

(Aussie Massive Magazine)

It's been 2 years since silverchair released their last album, the highly acclaimed Freak Show.  The pressure surrounding that release was enourmous : how would they follow up a debut album that sold four million copies?  This time around teh pressure's not so great, and it
shows.  Neon Ballroom is different, silverchair is experimenting and the results are awesome.  "I was determined to make an album that sounded different," Daniel Johns said.
"I thought we'd taken the three-piece rock thing as far as we could".

And nowhere is this more evident than on the opening track 'Emotion Sickness' featuring the piano work of David Helfgott.  Another thing different about this album is the range of Johns' voice.  Gone is any teeny whine, with tracks like 'Miss you Love', 'Black Tangled Heart' and
'Steam Will Rise' displaying the real emotion - from tenderness to pure venom - in his voice.

"These songs are definately a lot more personal.  On this album there'sprobably a wider range of moods and themes in the lyrics and they're more based on direct experiences."

In 'Miss you Love', Johns sings : "I love the way you love, but I hate the way I'm supposed to love you back", and in 'Black Tangled Heart', he protrays a feeling of hopelessness with the final lyrics "Maybe I'll fall in love...and never know".

The real strength of Neon Ballroom, is in its experimentalism, but songs like 'Spawn Again' and 'Satin Sheets' contain classic silverchair trademarks.  By now, most people would be familiar with 'Anthem for the year 2000', but the stadium rock piece is only a small reflection of the scope of Neon Ballroom - one of the best CD released in a long time. Tracks not to miss include 'Emotion Sickness', 'Steam Will Rise', 'Miss You Love' and 'Satin Sheets'.