Diorama (Atlantic Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Australia's chameleon-like rock band, Silverchair, has always managed to change their sound to the trend of the days. Starting off sounding like a Nirvana knock off, then transforming into a neu-industrial rock outfit, and then into a rock band that managed to drop the Nirvana leanings, settling into what seemed to be their own skin.
On Diorama, the band's latest, they seem to have grown up, crafting mature pop songs that try to rock hard like the band once did. But, end up resigning, finding themselves in limbo, as they push forward with the full, lush pop, overshadowing it with their attempts at loud rock, making the songs sound murky and dated.
And when they drop the pop entirely and go for crushing rock, they still miss the mark, sounding like a watered down group learning how to play Creed with less intensity and emotion. And their full-blown, orchestrated pop numbers, like "Tuna in the Brine" and "My Favorite Thing", are lackluster at best. The first leaning over into metal ballad territory and the latter reaching for an adult contemporary audience.
Album closer "After All These Years", a piano ballad, suffers the same fate as the others, with Silverchair scrambling around to find out who they really are. Maybe when they know they'll make a cohesive record that sounds like one band. Here you have a schizophrenic band gasping for air. I'll give it a C-.
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