ANR (formerly Awesome New Republic) is a very talented two-member alternative band (Brian Robertson and Michael-John Hancock) from Miami, Florida. Their 2011 album release is entitled Stay Kids. I bought the deluxe version in iTunes which contains 14 tracks.
Of these, nine are superb with soaring melodies and lyrics, while five of the songs are okay to so-so. Normally, I would be thrilled to find nine superb songs on an album of 14 tracks. But, after just having bought Delay Trees debut album, which was amazing from start to Finnish, I felt just a bit let down. Perhaps then, my review is harsher than it would be otherwise.
Don’t get me wrong, most of Stay Kids is terrific and is well worth the purchase price. The album incorporates an interesting approach to a concept albums – many of the songs that are based on manmade and/or natural disasters, such as the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Biting and insightful lyrics can be found throughout Stay Kids, but especially in the song, Holes. What a terrific tune, though I prefer the acoustic version on the video versus the album version. Definitely a 21st century reminder of Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry.”
Here’s a list of my favorite tracks off the album. To me, the first three listed are (and should) be instant classics:
- “Stay Kids” – an anthem of staying young at heart (video blow)
- “Holes” – Don Henley’s Dirty Laundry of the 21st century (video below)
- “Its Around You” (video below)
- “The Endless Field of Mercury”
- “A Year of Solitude”
- “New Armor”
- “Big Problem”