Candlebox have released their sixth studio album, Disappearing In Airports, via Pavement Entertainment. The band has stated that the current line up of Kevin Martn (vocals), Dave Krusen (drums), Mike Leslie (lead/rhythm guitar), Brian Quinn (lead/rhythm guitar) and Adam Kury (bass) has been infused with a new energy and openness. “I want to take Candlebox into a new world, and this record is very different, very diverse for us,” says band founder and frontman Kevin Martin. “It’s about growth and pushing the band in the direction for a new audience.”
After listening to the album, one thing is certain, Kevin Martin has a lot to say. From start to finish, there is something everyone will like, both musically and lyrically, and I dare you to find a song on here that doesn’t appeal to you. The album opens with Only Because of You. Initially the song reminded me of something Rob Thomas would have on a solo album, but it is a great representation of Kevin’s ability to tell a story with his lyrics.
According to Martin, “Vexatious is about this emotionally destitute, social networking-obsessed society we live in. No one cares what anyone else thinks or feels. It’s all me, me, me and, if you ask me, it’s f–king sad.” Released as the first single, the song is super catchy sounding and Kevin’s vocals have an addictive quality to them, drawing you in. “Can you make it a day without making your way to the edge?” Watch the official video below.
Next is Supernova, which starts off with a quick sounding scratch guitar lick over a steady beat. This, combined with Kevin’s powerful vocals makes for another catchy song. While it may be a song for his wife, anyone can relate to it. Alive At Last, a slow and somewhat somber song, Kevin mentions, “is about that last breath, about the people who are struggling, whether it’s with terminal cancer or something that’s destroying them. It’s a little bit existential.” The opening verse starts off with a pretty intense visual, “I’m slowly floating through the clouds, receiving all your messages, nothing prepared me for the sound, it’s deafening. I can feel your gravity letting go, positioning my body for the journey home.” Once again, Kevin’s ability to paint a picture with words is certainly evident in this song.
Kevin has stated, I’ve Got A Gun is about his thoughts on the small mindedness of people who think people are trying to take their guns away. “I’m saying gun control is an issue and these mass shootings need to stop and that’s the approach of the song.” The song starts off with news reporters talking of shootings but the song itself is quite larger than life with a big sounding chorus. The introduction of horns towards the end of the song really give it a magnificent sound.
The one thing that is a constant on this entire album is the great guitar playing from Mike Leslie and Brian Quinn. They really give a unique life to each and every one of these songs. I Want It Back is a little more laid back and the guitar tone is a bit twangy, but when you add in the massive sounding “woah’s” going on at the beginning and towards the end, this song is definitely worth playing on repeat. While I don’t think it’s on purpose, the first opening notes of The Bridge are very similar to Everlong by Foo Fighters, however, that is as far as the comparison goes. It’s the heaviest song on the album and there is some more killer guitar work going on, especially during the solo. The song appears to be about a person that needs saving. The line that stands out to me is, “But my friend, when you’re candle’s burning out, my friend, well who’s going to light it now.”
On Spotlights, not only is there more amazing guitar work throughout the song, you can really hear the emotion in Kevin’s voice. “If you never burn bright, if you never take flight, you’re always looking back.” The album is a good mix of upbeat and slow tempo songs and this one provides a calming laid back vibe for the listener. One might not ever guess that God’s Gift, with its fast chunky sounding guitar and ripping solo was inspired by Kevin’s thoughts on Kanye West. Regardless on where you stand on the topic, there is no doubt this song rocks. The album ends with Keep On Waiting. The peppy upbeat intro carries on throughout the song and you can’t help but bob your head and tap your foot along to the beat. This song should translate really well in the live setting as well.
For those interested about the unique album artwork, it was created by Scott Fisher, an artist friend of Martin’s, who unfortunately passed away during the album process. Kevin says, “I had asked him paint the artwork for the album, and the painting he did for us is titled Disappearing In Airports, hence the album title. The painting represented the songs that he’d hear from our album, so it’s really about what his emotions were how the songs had affected him, so that’s how it represents the record.”
Whether you are new to Candlebox or if you own everything they have released, you can’t go wrong with Disappearing in Airports. The album is full of big catchy sounding songs with lyrical content that is both personal and political, and bottom line, the album just plain rocks.