Billy Talent – Billy Talent II (CD)

Billy Talent is one of my favorite emo bands just because the band has a certain distinct sound that no other band can even come close to approximate. I first heard about the band when I picked up a copy of their “Lies” (the song, not trying to say it was a single or anything). The song was just so catchy and it knocked off another then-high band, Wakefield. We can see now that Billy Talent deserved to win out over Wakefield; honestly, where is Wakefield at now? Individuals have probably already heard “Red Flag”, which seems to be the first single off the album.

Billy Talent has tightened their sound considerably since their first album, and much like their national compatriots, Sum 41, their blend of metal and punk is a sight to behold. More than anything, “Billy Talent II” is an album in which individuals can find Billy Talent cultivating a specific sound that no band can still yet recreate. Each of the songs are ready for radio singles, a marked improvement from the first album which did tend to have a few bare spots at time. The slower tempo of “Worker Bees” allows Billy Talent to increase their range of styles to include an AFI meets Avenged Sevenfold type of sound. The two distinct styles approached on this album (slower and faster) give individuals something else to grab onto; a larger segment of the populace is covered by the music that Billy Talent commits to disc this time. The production is again immaculate, and the arrangements found on the album show Billy Talent as a band that works at a beginning level (Weezer is a key influence) but as a band that ends up far from where they started. In doing this, “Billy Talent II” is one of the bright spots for emo-punk bands in 2006, which has shaped up to be a year of little repute.

The band is poised at the end of “II” to surpass even Simple Plan as the most recognized Canadian band on the face of the earth; the band has topped what was already a good album in their first release to craft something that resembles a modern classic. Individuals that do not like emo necessarily will find the solid musical grounding of the band members something that they really can sink their teeth into; Billy Talent is a band that, like the numbering-act Led Zeppelin before them, will be on the scene for quite a while.

Top Tracks: Red Flag, Worker Bees

Rating: 7.1/10

[JMcQ]

Billy Talent – Billy Talent II / 2006 Atlantic / 13 Tracks / http://www.billytalent.com / http://www.atlanticrecords.com / Reviewed 27 May 2006

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