A City by the Light Divided

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A City by the Light Divided
A City by the Light Divided.jpeg
Studio album by Thursday
Released May 2, 2006
Recorded late 2004 – early 2006
Studio Tarbox Studios, Cassadaga, New York
Genre Post-hardcore, alternative rock
Length 45:56
Label Island
Producer Dave Fridmann
Thursday chronology
War All the Time
(2003)War All the Time2003
A City by the Light Divided
Kill the House Lights
(2007)Kill the House Lights2007
Singles from A City by the Light Divided
  1. "Counting 5-4-3-2-1"
    Released: April 18, 2006
  2. "At This Velocity"
    Released: 2007

A City by the Light Divided is the fourth full-length album by Thursday, released by Island Records on May 2, 2006.


Vocalist Geoff Rickly comments on the album's intent:

I think it was, "How do we keep the urgency and the excitement of what Thursday's doing?", which to me has always been a chemistry kind of thing, like the way the band fits together and pops into place and stuff. How do we do that but make it more multi-dimensional? We didn't focus at all. We put anything we were mildly interested in there and said, "Let's juxtapose this into the mix." So we ended up with big sort of ballads that were almost like U2 and some grindcore stuff and some really blasty, screamy shit, and other stuff...I would love to leave some sort of legacy. But I just want to get to a place where we're not living or dying by the trends. There's a few bands in every genre that don't leave the genre, don't say "we're not doing this anymore" but kind of outlast it. I would really like to be the Sonic Youth of our scene. That would be really rad.

— Geoff Rickly,[citation needed]

Prior to the album's release, in Fall 2005, five Thursday demo songs were stolen from My American Heart's tour manager's iPod. Rickly had recently collaborated with My American Heart on the track "We Are the Fabrication" for their album The Meaning in Makeup. The band issued a statement on their official website stating that they were disappointed the unfinished products leaked, but that they were glad that people took that much interest in their music. The band confirmed the title of one demo, "At This Velocity" and promised it would make their upcoming album. Three other songs ("The Other Side of the Crash/Over and Out (Of Control)", "Telegraph Avenue Kiss", and "Autumn Leaves Revisited") would also make the album; the demo versions of these songs are quite different. One more demo song had not been released until recently, in the form of "Last Call" from the band's fifth album, Common Existence.


On February 6, 2006, A City by the Light Divided was announced for release.[1] "Counting 5-4-3-2-1" was made available for streaming on February 28.[2] From mid March to the beginning of April, the band went on the first leg of the Shirts for a Cure tour, with support from Minus the Bear, The Number Twelve Looks Like You, and We're All Broken.[1] On March 29, "At This Velocity" was made available for streaming via Alternative Press.[3] For most of April, the band went on the 2006 edition of the Taste of Chaos tour.[4] However, on April 13, Rickly became ill, resulting in the band dropping off the tour.[5] On April 18, A City by the Light Divided was made available for streaming via the band's Myspace profile,[6] and "Counting 1-2-3-4-5" was released to radio.[7]

From late April to late May, the band went on the second leg of the Shirts for a Cure tour, with support from Minus the Bear, mewithoutYou and We're All Broken.[1] A City by the Light Divided was released on May 2 through Island.[1] The band went on the 2006 edition of Warped Tour.[2] In October and November, the group went on the 2006 international edition of the Taste of Chaos tour, visiting New Zealand, Australia, and the UK.[8] In between dates on this tour, the band went on a co-headlining tour with Rise Against.[9] In January and February 2007, the band went on a tour of the U.S. with support from Fear Before the March of Flames, Murder by Death and Heavy Heavy Low Low.[10]

On March 27, it was announced that the band had left Island. The group called it "a difficult decision" that "took us the better part of six months to come to an agreement" with the label.[11] For the remainder of March, the band toured with My Chemical Romance in the UK.[11] The band planned to tour across Europe, and a North American tour with My Chemical Romance over the course of the next two months.[11] However, on April 2, the band announced they had cancelled their remaining tour dates. The group explained: "We recently got a second chance to start this band over fresh and we don't plan on wasting that chance."[12]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (75/100) [13]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [14]
Alternative Press 5/5 stars [13]
The A.V. Club B+ [15]
Entertainment Weekly A− [16]
NME (7/10) [13]
Now 3/5 stars [13]
PopMatters 7/10 stars [17]
Robert Christgau C+ [18]
Rolling Stone 1.5/5 stars [19]
Stylus Magazine A− [20]

Critical response[edit]

The album so far has a score of 75 out of 100 from Metacritic based on "generally favorable reviews".[13] AbsolutePunk gave it a score of 90% and said that " just like the Buffalo Bills, it’s not about how you start the game, but about how strong you can comeback and finish, and A City By The Light Divided exemplifies this very well."[21] Blender gave it a score of four stars out of five and called it "A widescreen goth-punk stunner."[13] Billboard gave it a positive review and called it "A quality album."[13] Some reviews are average or mixed: Uncut gave it three stars out of five and said, "A sprinkle of Flaming Lips fairy-dust may be just what the genre needs to slip its genre straitjacket."[13] Melodic.net also gave it a score of three stars out of five and said it was "not a superb album but it's a helluva lot better than War All the Time."[22]

Commercial performance[edit]

It reached #20 on the Billboard 200.[23] A month after its release, the album had sold over 81,000 copies.[24]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Geoff Rickly; all music composed by Thursday.

No. Title Length
1. "The Other Side of the Crash/Over and Out (Of Control)" 4:41
2. "Counting 5-4-3-2-1" 3:19
3. "Sugar in the Sacrament" 5:12
4. "At This Velocity" 2:58
5. "We Will Overcome" 3:39
6. "Arc-Lamps, Signal Flares, a Shower of White (The Light)" 2:32
7. "Running from the Rain" 4:00
8. "Telegraph Avenue Kiss" 3:35
9. "The Lovesong Writer" 5:18
10. "Into the Blinding Light" 3:48
11. "Autumn Leaves Revisited" 6:56
Total length: 45:56
Bonus tracks



Chart (2006) Peak
UK Albums Chart 112
US Billboard 200 20


  1. ^ a b c d "Thursday set album title, release date; tour w/Minus The Bear". Alternative Press. February 6, 2006. Retrieved June 27, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Thursday post first single off new album". Alternative Press. February 28, 2006. Retrieved July 19, 2016. 
  3. ^ "AP Exclusive: Thursday debut new song on AltPress.com!". Alternative Press. March 29, 2006. Retrieved July 20, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Taste Of Chaos confirms date-by-date band lineups". Alternative Press. January 13, 2006. Retrieved June 26, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Geoff Rickly falls ill; Thursday drop off Taste Of Chaos". Alternative Press. April 13, 2006. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Thursday streaming new album; Geoff Rickly recovering". Alternative Press. April 18, 2006. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 
  7. ^ "FMQB Airplay Archive: Modern Rock". Friday Morning Quarterback Album Report, Incorporated. Archived from the original on September 21, 2013. Retrieved October 30, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Taking Back Sunday, Thursday, Underoath, Saosin on TOC Int’l". Alternative Press. June 26, 2006. Retrieved July 29, 2016. 
  9. ^ "More Rise Against/Thursday co-headlining dates announced". Alternative Press. July 27, 2006. Retrieved July 31, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Thursday touring with Fear Before, Murder By Death in ‘07". Alternative Press. December 4, 2006. Retrieved August 7, 2016. 
  11. ^ a b c "Thursday leave Island Records". Alternative Press. March 27, 2007. Retrieved August 10, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Thursday cancel all 2007 tour plans". Alternative Press. April 2, 2007. Retrieved August 11, 2016. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h Critic reviews at Metacritic
  14. ^ Allmusic review
  15. ^ The A.V. Club review
  16. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  17. ^ PopMatters review
  18. ^ Robert Christgau Consumer Guide
  19. ^ "Rolling Stone review". Archived from the original on 2009-02-14. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  20. ^ Stylus Magazine review Archived October 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ AbsolutePunk review
  22. ^ Melodic.net review Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ A City by the Light Divided - Thursday : Awards : Allmusic
  24. ^ Kohli, Rohan (June 8, 2006). "Soundscan Results: Week Ending June 4th, 2006". absolutepunk.net. Retrieved February 12, 2016. 

External links[edit]