AFI is a band that has gone through a lot of changes stylistically throughout their career. They started out as a punk band with hardcore roots, then shifted more to the Horror punk side of things. As time went on and the band evolved they found a balance of their roots of punk and added a more goth element to their music. So in 2003, AFI released their most ambitious album up till that point, Sing The Sorrow. Their die hard fans were caught off guard by the departure of their original sound, while at the same time finding a new audience. Sing the Sorrow was produced by Butch Vig and Jerry Finn, allowing the album to be more experimental. Lyrically, the album is darker and more poetic than their previous material. I for one, when I first heard the album wasn’t really in to it at all. It just wasn’t the AFI I was a fan of. Fast forward a few years and I revisited the album and really grew to love it. There is something truly intriguing about it. The depth of the songwriting really took things to another level for the band with the use of synths, strings and the all around lyrical content. Songs like “The Leaving Song Pts. I & II,” “Bleed Black,” “Death Of Seasons,” “But Home Is Nowhere,” really show the maturity of the guys in the band. There are some songs that are a little more radio friendly like “Girls Not Grey,” “Silver and Cold,” and “Dancing Through Sunday,” but that doesn’t change the fact that the songs are really good.
This is one of those albums that with time you really come to love. There is something about Sing The Sorrow that really hits home. Sure the production on it is a little too slick and AFI has completely changed from what they once were, but the growth on this album is truly astounding. Give it another shot if you gave up on them.
AFI- Sing The Sorrow:
By: Brian Lacy