So, ACB's new one arrived at my doorstep a few days ago. The day before its actual release (GASP!), I got it in the mail, along with the bonus pre-order EP. Happiness ensued.
As Cities Burn has always been a favorite of mine, mostly for their superior lyric writing. I was a fan of "Son I Loved You At Your Darkest", their 2004 release, mostly for the former, but also due to their passion conveyed in their music as well. It was screamo without being screamo, trendy without the trends. There was something real behind each song.
With "Come Now Sleep", they increased, not only in ability, but also in songwriting, passion, and the way they have changed, without changing. Granted, they saw a couple guys depart (former singer TJ, and bassist Pascal), and they did some internal shuffling around, but what resulted is an amazing album, full of amazing songs. They don't pretend to have all the answers, and certainly don't pretend understand everything this life throws at you, but in that they offer not only hope, but the notion that it's ok to trust in God, to believe in who He is, and still have questions. Honestly, it's pretty refreshing. Most bands in the genre and "Christian" music in general, seem to offer up the pat-answers and token responses. ACB has no pretensions about struggling with some of the tougher questions of life, but they don't do so in a "poor me" way, or a way that says they will mock what they don't understand.
For those who were fortunate enough to score ACB's special pre-order EP companion, you'll find demo versions of 3 songs off "Come Now Sleep", apparently the first 3 songs that were recorded with the new lineup, as well as a live version fresh from this summer's Cornerstone 2007 of "The Widow", always a fan favorite.
This is easily one of my favorite albums of the year, and it has every possibility of being one of my favorites of the last 10 years. Amazingly written, incredibly musical, and evidently passionate, this is an album not to be missed.