Pedro The Lion - Winners Never Quit
Jade Tree

I really can't write this review.  I mean, I've been avoiding it for some
time now.  I find it hard to write an objective review of this record when
the merging of christian ideology and "punk rock" has growning sickeningly
close.  Obviously, his personal viewpoints do not reflect on his music, but
it's damn near impossible for me to overlook the overriding christian themes
going on here.  The interesting thing is, he seems to be questioning the
very foundations christianity is based upon.  Lemme set you straight, this
is a concept album.  The artwork (stark, black and white photos, minimal)
and lyrics are telling a story of two brothers: one "bad" and one "good."
Problem is, the "good" one isn't totally good and the "bad" one isn't
totally bad.  That seems to be the main point of this package.  Musically,
David Bazan (he wrote and played all instruments here) is wavering between
two points.  On one hand we get a slower, sparse acoustic style.  On the
other, we have a more upbeat indie rock type of run.  Both are harmless and
fairly enjoyable, but it's hard for me to keep from asking where I've heard
it all before.  Bands like Rex, Ida, and The Red House Painters have
certainly tackled the former while any number of northwest indie stalwarts
have perfected the latter.  Where does that leave bands like Pedro the Lion?  

As far as I can tell, catering to the rabid christian rock scene. His lyrics and ideology are the only things that distinguish him from the aforementioned bands, in my opinion. While he's by no means directly praising christ or anything, even in his questioning the overtones are still there. To be honest, separating my personal viewpoints from those of David Bazan is making this review damn near impossible to write. If you like your indie rock with lyrics that are personal and social I would go with a records like the new Lapse, the new Sleater-Kinney, or the Ted Leo solo project. If you're a christian or someone who listens to the music independent of the lyrics, you may like this.
...david smith...

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