Review: Acceptance – Colliding by Design

Acceptance - Colliding by Design

This first impression was originally posted as a live blog for supporters in our forums on December 19th, 2016. First impressions are meant to be quick, fun, initial impressions on an album or release as I listen to it for the first time. It’s a running commentary written while listening to an album — not a review. More like a diary of thoughts. This post has been lightly edited for structure and flow.

This is an album I really never thought we would be getting. A new Acceptance album basically a decade after the last one. I’ve spent quite a while listening to this one now, maybe 6 or 8 full listens (and I’ve had some of the songs unfinished for quite a while and had played them many, many times), so I’ll try and offer a little of that context with the first listen as well. I really do think that this album is best listened to three or four times before having too many thoughts on it. I think this for a few reasons:

  1. I think that following up a loved album 10 years later is going to be impossible. Expectations on the band and what the listener thinks the music should be or sound like take some time to shake off and really listen to what the album itself is.
  2. It’s a different vibe of an album as a whole. It’s … slower? more melodic … more Coldplay, Young the Giant, Tears for Fears, Mutemath at times, some early JEW sort of stuff going on. It’s a very layered album that is thick, lush, and has a sound that sounds, to me, like the band had made three albums during the last 10 years and this is the progression that comes out at the end. Basically, there’s a big leap from what Phantoms was to this. It’s not Phantoms part 2.
  3. The songs find their own footing with more listens. They separate themselves and you can appreciate the small details and what the band was going for and how they really did put a lot of thought and intentionality into this album.
  4. I liked a lot of these songs on first listen, loved a couple, but it really did take me listening to the album as a whole multiple times for me to really sink into this release and discover how much I really do love it.

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