The Velvet Teen - Out Of The Fierce Parade (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Velvet Teen

Out Of The Fierce Parade (2002)


The Velvet Teen is really good.

That's a good enough opening sentence as any, right?

Figured as much, you probably want to know more. The only thing is, I'm not too sure what to say.

"Out Of The Fierce Parade" is this Santa Rosa, CA threesome's debut album, and it's a doozy. For starters, it's a ten-track concept album telling the story of life [all the way from birth to death]. You don't even have to hear the music to appreciate the lyrics, which read as beautiful as your favorite poet's work.

It's only fitting that the music sounds as beautiful and grand as the lyrics suggest. A lazy listener [or record reviewer] would make the easy comparison to Radiohead, and while that isn't too far off, singer Judah's voice can sustain his gorgeous falsetto high notes without turning into a Thom Yorke-esque warble. Think of Jeff Buckley's better vocal stuff and you'll have a good idea. The music is lush and full in tracks like "Into The Open" [unarguably the CD's best track] and rocking and catchy in tracks like "Radiapathy," but sparse and cold in tracks like the aptly titled album closer "Death." The band really pulls off this concept album, as the listener follows along with each lyric to see how this life will turn out.

This is also a situation where the album's artwork compliments the music contained within perfectly. The back cover has ten different etchings, each representing a different song on the album, and the booklet art is absolutely stunning. I'd like to shake the hand of whoever drew this.

I wish I would've gotten this album earlier in the year. Every time I listen to it I hear so much potential, but I have yet to really sit down and dig into the disc, as it's the end of the year [and my "waiting for review" pile grows deeper by the day]. If I had more time to dedicate to just listening to this album, I could almost assure that it would make my Top 10 of 2002 list. As it stands right now, this is an outstanding album and band and you should all keep your eyes out for them.

Caspian Can Wait
Into The Open