A Hostage and the Meaning of Life

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All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
In the early years of the 21st century, many young men became disillusioned with the existing conventions of emo and post-hardcore, and burned their band T-shirts in protest. The flames of discontent sparked inspiration, and soon a new class of rockers arose. Bound to collective influence the teachings of past masters like Sunny Day Real Estate and At the Drive-In yet anxious to expand, these sonic splinter cells strove to take post-everything in a progressive direction, to wrest complacency from Warped hands. Keyboards were the answer! And impenetrable, vaguely intellectual lyrics streaked with melancholy! New cadres emerged in the ashen sunlight. Coheed & Cambria, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
In the early years of the 21st century, many young men became disillusioned with the existing conventions of emo and post-hardcore, and burned their band T-shirts in protest. The flames of discontent sparked inspiration, and soon a new class of rockers arose. Bound to collective influence the teachings of past masters like Sunny Day Real Estate and At the Drive-In yet anxious to expand, these sonic splinter cells strove to take post-everything in a progressive direction, to wrest complacency from Warped hands. Keyboards were the answer! And impenetrable, vaguely intellectual lyrics streaked with melancholy! New cadres emerged in the ashen sunlight. Coheed & Cambria, one was called. "Light a Match, for I Deserve to Burn!" another cried with an oath. Early in 2004, another group of Young Turks took to the shining path. Armed with Korgs, Moogs, guitars, and their own emphatic and opaque gospel "In logic you will find [transformation]," "The monolith stands in a darkening shadow," "I see tongues of fire upon our heads", Brazil broke free of their Indiana bonds, and gave the world A Hostage and the Meaning of Life. Their padding of the traditional template with keyboards and occasional horns -- not to mention Jonathon Newby's righteous sermons, delivered in a willowy falsetto -- suggested Brazil's shared brain was clouded by too many ideas. But, like their peers in those other dizzying bands across the land, they felt too many was better than just one, or the same. The driving energy of "We" bore that out, as did the moody, piano-led shuffle of "Fall Into." "Metropol" turned that track's quiet earnestness on its ear, letting Brazil's various quadrants drift into prog introspection before uniting them all in rewarding rock chorusing and check out that sax solo!, and the album's initial portion was crammed with engaging guitar arrangements chopped up and reconfigured for maximum rockingness. This was Brazil's enticement to the dull masses, to those unlucky enough to miss the King Crimson baptism they themselves enjoyed. While it often lost itself in rapturous blasts of guitar, or unwound messily in a search for more ambitious songwriting dynamics, Brazil promised to keep A Hostage and the Meaning of Life accessible enough for the unpurified, or at least the easily distracted. There was no indication whether Brazil and the others' revolution of erudition and cacophony would even work. And sometimes their rhetoric just sounded ridiculous. But their earnestness was admirable, and helped to fan the flames.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/20/2004
  • Label: Fearless Records
  • UPC: 801190117321
  • Catalog Number: 1173

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 A Hostage (2:56)
  2. 2 The Novemberist (4:47)
  3. 3 Io (3:34)
  4. 4 Escape (3:14)
  5. 5 We (3:03)
  6. 6 The Iconoclast (5:19)
  7. 7 Zentropa (3:04)
  8. 8 Fall Into (4:15)
  9. 9 Metropol (6:41)
  10. 10 Aventine (3:45)
  11. 11 [Untranslated] (2:12)
  12. 12 Fatale and Futique (5:14)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Brazil Primary Artist
Eric Johnson Guitar
Aaron Smith Guitar
Timothy Loo Cello
Nic Synthesizer, Keyboards
Benjamin Hunt Bass, Group Member
Eric Johnson Guitar, Group Member
Jonathon Newby Vocals, Moog Synthesizer, Group Member
James Sefchek Drums, Group Member
Jonathan Newby Vocals, Moog Synthesizer
Technical Credits
Alex Newport Producer, Engineer, Audio Production
Brazil Composer
Jonathon Newby String Arrangements
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Gary don't look too hard...

    Gary's trying to find a band in Indiana that's acctually good? Good luck. So far, I've come across horrible, and untalented bands, or bands that are obviously ripping off other bands. The second is what you can chalk Brazil up to. Trying to acheive the success that At The Drive-In recieved, by imitating their sound, and trying to imitate Cedric's vocals? That's sad, weak, and a huge lack of creativity/talent. From a musicians point of view, Brazil is a horrible band. A 2 day old infant has more creativity than this band. Musicians with class, and respect for other musicians, wouldn't try to steal one of their "idols" sounds. This band needs to just fade, and quit trying. Good luck, hopefully you won't last long Brazil.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Listenable on every track

    "A Hostage and the Meaning of Life" seems like a pretty obscure title until you listen and realize that these guys are intelligent rockers with a message. The more I listened to the CD the better it got.

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