For The Classic Crime, 2014 marks their ten year anniversary from the band's interception. Since then, the group has consistently released alternative rock music, including three albums with Tooth & Nail Records and one independent full-length project funded on Kickstarter. Last year, the band returned to the crowd-funding site to create a celebration of the previous ten years, calling the project What Was Done, Vol. 1: A Decade Revisited.
Most of the project revisits songs from The Classic Crime's past albums and provides an acoustic take on them. Anyone wishing the band would focus on the efforts of their most recent discography may have to wait for Vol 2. The Silver Cord noticeably seems underserved as neither "Just A Man" or "Closer Than We Think" make an appearance. The Classic Crime's first album, Albatross, receives the largest volume of attention while only two songs are taken from 2012's Phoenix. This really isn't necessarily a problem because the new, acoustic versions of the older music reflect more careful workmanship than an average acoustic venture.
Although most of the ballads the band chose to tinker with don't seem to need a makeover (especially the acoustic version of the strong "Name" which sounds very similar to the original), the rockier tracks from Albatross sound the best in their updated form. "We All Look Elsewhere" has a strong cello presence, and it sounds more evenly paced than before. The guitar is the dominant instrument on the What Was Done, and it drives both "The Coldest Heart" and "Who Needs Air" to become highlights. The fun title track from Vagabonds still retains a punk-pop feel even in its acoustic form. Both "You And Me Both" and "Beautiful Darkside" are excellent takes on already stellar songs from Phoenix. "Selfish," a soft, emotional ballad, is the first of the brand new songs from the album, and the other, "Where Did You Go," has a haunting chorus. On the downside, "Headlights" and "The Fight" sound a bit too tacked on vs. the ten more interesting songs that came before.
What Was Done sounds less like an obligatory release to keep fans happy, and more like a studio album full of new tracks. A loose comparison could be made to Matt & Toby (the side project from Emery), because What Was Done is a great look into the softer facet of an accomplished rock band. The lyrical content shouldn't surprise anyone as the project mixes Classic Crime's usual style of well-written cynicism and hope with obvious spiritual connections. The well-executed acoustic rock music is the distinguishing quality of the album that could have been just a lazy effort. As it is, What Was Done is a great entry in The Classic Crime library that easily stands on its own.- Review date: 10/27/14, written by Nathaniel Schexnayder of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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