The Protomen - Act II: The Father of Death
This may have been my most anticipated album of 2009. After releasing a exceptionally strong first album, and a couple of staggeringly awesome single tracks from the album, I had high high expectations for this album, and I'm glad to say it doesn't disappoint.
I have some quibbles, to be honest.
This is an uneven album. There are three instrumental interludes(which, honestly, are not that bad in an 80's movie soundtrack kind of way, just kind of forgettable and break up the flow in an unpleasing fashion), and two songs reminiscent of the worst parts of the musical version of Les Miserables.
While we're being honest and up-front, it should be noted that album this is a prequel to their first album which was a dystopian retelling of the Mega Man video games.
If you're still here, good. This album is pure 80's genius distilled, filtered, and played with utmost seriousness. The Protomen are a cyberpunk Bruce Springsteen, backed by Kenny Loggins, drawing equally from Johnny Cash's apocalyptic western sagas, and Queensryche-ian dramatics. Somehow the Protomen make this a cohesive sound, all chrome and leather and neon, harsh and human at the same time. They've created a concept album that is tremendously dedicated to the epic, but can be approached without any knowledge of the backstory, and still enjoyed on the basis of the fantastic music. Anthems like "Breaking Out" and "Light Up the Night" are hard to come by in these times of meandering indie pap, and no one is doing them better than the Protomen.
The Protomen - Light Up the Night