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Reinvention replaces
grunge beginnings

Silverchair - Young Modern
(Eleven Music)
4 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Dec. 5, 2007

Review by Andy Argyrakis

Sure, Silverchair may have launched during the boom of the grunge movement with the mega-single "Tomorrow" (amongst many others), but the band has steadily evolved through a variety of time periods and circumstances. The guys have gone through major label red tape, creative differences and even time apart, but this welcome return highlights the trio's evolutionary process to impressive degrees. Long gone are the days of charting alongside Pearl Jam and even its mid-career experimentalism in favor of this accessible but artful return to the alternative rock charts in current contexts.

The project includes production by front man Daniel Johns, Nick Launay (Arcade Fire, Talking Heads), plus arrangements from Van Dyke Parks (the mastermind behind the Beach Boys and Brian Wilson), who leads an 80-piece Prague orchestra through several tracks. But no matter who's working behind the scenes (and despite the time elapsed), Silverchair's chemistry remains intact, kicking off with the dance floor shuffle of "Young Modern Station" and merging into the melodic dynamics of "Straight Lines."

"Reflections of a Sound" brings the harmonies up to an even more transcendent level (adapting the timeless Beach Boys/Beatles model), while "Those Thieving Birds (Part 1)/ Strange Behavior/ Those Thieving Birds (Part 2)" spans over seven minutes, moving between tender acoustics, grand strings and a symphonic-styled build up with an alt-rock underpinning. The piano/lap guitar playoff during "Low" translates to an instantly classic flavor, paving the way for the warm and welcoming sunny sendoff "All Across the World." Yet no matter what road Silverchair explores on Young Modern, it showcases an exciting new sound, which is likely to resonate with an entirely new generation.

Watch Silverchair - "Young Modern Station"

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