City Sleeps - Not an Angel (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

City Sleeps

Not an Angel (2007)


Wow. Okay. Mom always said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing at all," but I'm having an extremely difficult time finding anything nice to say about City Sleeps and their debut, Not an Angel. I mean, even the worst bands and records usually have some sort of redeeming quality about them. But this is just...awful. Not an Angel is bland, overproduced radio rock at its absolute worst. And no, I don't know what is bland, overproduced radio rock at its absolute best, but I'm sure it's terrible and that I never want to hear it ever.

For 12 tracks and 36 minutes, producer John Feldmann leads these guys down the primrose path of safety and accessibility. It's obvious this album was assembled with fortune, fame and heavy radio rotation in mind. Every instrument is fine-tuned and perfectly mixed, the vocals soar and all the songs follow the whole 'quiet verse, huge chorus' formula that seems to excite program directors and deaf radio listeners everywhere these days. Feldmann even shows up doing background vocals on "I Can't Make You Love Me," which has a bit of a Goldfinger feel with its ska-ish guitar parts. It doesn't hold a candle to anything Goldfinger has ever released (yes, ever) and that's still the closest thing to a compliment I can muster about this record. It's that bad. These guys make Saosin look like Queen.

So yeah, look for City Sleeps and Not an Angel to be featured in every action sports video game, energy drink commercial and poorly directed horror movie for the next year or so. I'd give this record no stars if that were an option.