Cities (Anberlin album)

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Cities
Studio album by Anberlin
Released February 20, 2007
Recorded July – August 2006, at Compound and London Bridge Studio, Seattle, Washington.
Genre Alternative rock
Length 46:31
Label Tooth & Nail, Stomp, Howling Bull
Producer Aaron Sprinkle
Anberlin chronology
Godspeed EP
(2006)
Cities
(2007)
Lost Songs
(2007)
Singles from Cities
  1. "Godspeed"
    Released: 2006
  2. "The Unwinding Cable Car"
    Released: 2007

Cities is the third studio album by American alternative rock band Anberlin, released on February 20, 2007. The songs "Godspeed" and "The Unwinding Cable Car" were released as singles with accompanying music videos. The album debuted at No. 19 on the Billboard 200.

Production[edit]

The band spent more than 40 days in the studio recording Cities and went back on tour on September 14 after listening to the finished work on the morning of September 13. Lead singer Stephen Christian kept fans posted on progress in the studio through the band's online forums. Anberlin asked fans to message their phone numbers to the band through their message board so they could call the fans and ask for advice on the album. The album was produced by Aaron Sprinkle, who also produced Anberlin's first two albums Blueprints for the Black Market and Never Take Friendship Personal.

Promotion and pre-release[edit]

In late 2006, the band started previewing content for the album in various ways. The song "Godspeed" was released as a single on December 28, 2006. The band started playing "Hello Alone" at concerts under its working title, "The Lesser Thans." Anberlin also posted individual song previews on MySpace and PureVolume.

Release[edit]

Cities was released in the United States on February 20, 2007, as scheduled. It sold 34,000 units in its first week of release and debuted at No. 19 on the Billboard 200 chart and was well received by critics and fans.[1] It also reached up to number seven on the iTunes Top Albums chart. Some pre-orders were shipped along with a seven-inch collector's vinyl EP.

A special-edition version of the album was also released. This version contains three additional tracks and a bonus DVD featuring a behind the scenes look of the making the album, interviews with the band members, and outtakes.

Except for digitally downloaded albums, each US copy of the album contained a "City Pass" insert. This insert states that it is the buyer's "gateway to the world" providing "free entry to over twenty cities". The inserts were tied to an online-entry contest (which closed on August 31, 2007).

Lyrical content[edit]

Stephen Christian stated in an interview that the lyrics throughout the band's discography were progressively becoming more mature. "The first CD (Blueprints for the Black Market) was childish in the manner that it was Man vs. World in the lyrics. The second (Never Take Friendship Personal) was Man Vs. Man. Cities is more adult in the manner that it's Man vs. Self."[2][3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AbsolutePunk 85%[4]
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[5]
Alternative Press 3.5/5 stars[6]
CCM Magazine B-[7]
Christian Broadcasting Network 4/5 spins[8]
Christianity Today 4/5 stars[9]
Cross Rhythms 9/10 squares[10]
Jesus Freak Hideout 4/5 stars[11]
Melodic 3/5 stars[12]
New Release Tuesday 5/5 stars[13]
5/5 stars[14]
The Phantom Tollbooth 4/5 stars[15]
Sputnikmusic 5/5 stars[16]

Cities garnered critical acclaim from Music critics. At Christianity Today, Christa Banister rated the album four stars, calling it a "great step in the right direction."[9] Greg Prato of Allmusic rated the album three-and-a-half stars, commenting that "Nothing too groundbreaking here, but nothing cringe-worthy, either."[5] At CCM Magazine, Andrew Scates graded it a B, noting that the album "if anything, evokes a hope for the future."[7] Drew Beringer of AbsolutePunk rated the album an eighty-five-percent, highlighting that the album "converted" him about the bands music because it "display a vast improvement in every aspect."[4] At Christian Broadcasting Network, Jennifer E. Jones rated the album four spins, affirming that "The best Anberlin album is here."[8] Trevor Fitzgerald of Cross Rhythms rated the album a nine squares, stating that the listener will "find memorable songs, finely executed."[10] At Sputnikmusic, SowingSeason rated the album a perfect five stars, saying that the album "shows Anberlin coming to a crossroads between youth and maturity and creating an absolute masterpiece of both."[16] Founder, John DiBiase of Jesus Freak Hideout rated the album four stars, writing that the band "craft[ed] a pretty impressive batch of songs."[11] At New Release Tuesday, Kevin Davis rated the album a perfect five stars, evoking that the album "demands to be experienced over and over."[13] Also, Jonathan Francesco of New Release Tuesday rated the album a perfect five stars, calling it "an album of epic quality."[14] The Phantom Tollbooth's James Morovich rated the album four stars, highlighting this as "Anberlin's most diverse project to date", and noting how the listener "will find a lot here to enjoy as well!"[15] At Melodic, Kaj Roth rated the album three stars, remarking how the release offers "good songs that has elements of The Smiths, believe it or not."[12]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "(Début)"   1:27
2. "Godspeed"   3:02
3. "Adelaide"   3:14
4. "A Whisper & A Clamor"   3:25
5. "The Unwinding Cable Car"   4:17
6. "There Is No Mathematics to Love and Loss"   3:11
7. "Hello Alone"   4:00
8. "Alexithymia"   3:23
9. "Reclusion"   3:31
10. "Inevitable"   3:47
11. "Dismantle. Repair."   4:18
12. "(*Fin)"   8:53

Special-edition bonus tracks[edit]

These tracks are also included in the compilation album Lost Songs

No. Title Length
13. "Uncanny"   3:28
14. "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out (The Smiths Cover)"   4:17
15. "The Promise (When In Rome Cover)"   3:17
  • Special Edition version includes a DVD behind the scenes of the making of Cities.[17]

The album released in Japan had an extra track titled "The Haunting." The Haunting was later released on the Lost Songs album in late 2007, but Anberlin did not play the song live until September 28, 2010 at the New Orleans House of Blues.

Personnel[edit]

Awards[edit]

In 2008, the album was nominated for a Dove Award for Recorded Music Packaging of the Year at the 39th GMA Dove Awards.[18]

Chart positions[edit]

Album
Chart (2007) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart 59
US Billboard 200[19] 19
US Billboard Digital Albums Chart[19] 19
US Billboard Rock Albums Chart[19] 6
US Billboard Top Christian Albums[19] 2
US Billboard Tastemakers Albums Chart[19] 3

References[edit]

  1. ^ Katie Hasty, "Norah Stays Tight At No. 1 Amidst Slow Sales Week", Billboard.com, February 28, 2007.
  2. ^ "LIFE: Anberlin's "Cities" best album of 2007 so far". 
  3. ^ "Live with Stephen Christian and Nathan Strayer". 
  4. ^ a b Beringer, Drew (January 29, 2007). "Anberlin - Cities". AbsolutePunk. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Prato, Greg (February 20, 2007). "Cities - Anberlin". Allmusic. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  6. ^ Staff (2007). "Anberlin – Cities". Alternative Press (Alternative Press Magazine, Inc.). March 2007 (224). ISSN 1065-1667. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Scates, Andrew (March 1, 2007). "Anberlin: Cities (Tooth & Nail)". CCM Magazine. pp. 50–51. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Jones, Jennifer E. (February 20, 2007). "Cities by Anberlin". Christian Broadcasting Network. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Banister, Christa (February 20, 2007). "Anberlin: Cities". Christianity Today. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Fitzgerald, Trevor (April 25, 2007). "Review: Cities - Anberlin". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b DiBiase, John (February 17, 2007). "Anberlin, "Cities" Review". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Roth, Kaj (2007). "Anberlin - Cities". Melodic. Retrieved May 29, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b Davis, Kevin (January 8, 2008). "Brilliant Emotionally Charged Rock!". New Release Tuesday. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b Francesco, Jonathan (April 7, 2009). "Absolutely EPIC!". New Release Tuesday. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Morovich, James (May 17, 2007). "Anberlin - Cities". The Phantom Tollbooth. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b SowingSeason (October 5, 2011). "Anberlin - Cities (album review 2)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Cities (Special Edition) (includes DVD)". Retrieved 2008-08-18. 
  18. ^ Nominations Announced for 39th GMA Dove Awards on CBN.com (February 14, 2008)
  19. ^ a b c d e "Cities - Anberlin". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-06-18. 

External links[edit]