Listening to a new 311 album from start to finish for the first time is an event and album number 13 Voyager does not disappoint in that regard. This is the most rap heavy release they have put out for a while, with particularly strong raps from Nick Hexum that channel back to the bands 90's era. S.A. also brings it home as always.
Like previous album Mosaic, the bulk of the tracks are produced by the legendary Scotch Ralston with the remaining ones produced by recent collaborator John Feldmann (more well known as the Goldfinger frontman).
And again the Scotch tracks can be described as the 311 rap-rock comfort food, while Feldy's are more of a venture into the modern pop sound.
The 9 Scotch produced tracks are the strongest points. The one slight disappointment is the well publicized opener Crossfire with its interpolation of an existing EDM track that was used by the band without permission. I understand the issue was eventually settled, but it's still hard to look beyond this when listening.
As for the others produced by Scotch there are some true epics such as Stainless and Better Space, along with those that are more laid back and playful such as Space and Time and What The?! which are both perfection.
The 4 Feldmann produced tracks are noticeably different to the rest of the album in terms of sound and production technique. Each of them has 311 venturing into different pop influenced territory which is not necessarily a bad thing. And while they aren't quite as jarringly chart-pop heavy as Mosaic's Till the City's on Fire (a track that still polarizes the opinions of fans), they would be far better if they were stripped back of the more gimmicky elements that have been unnecessarily added. Examples include the strange vocal effects in the verse and bridge of Lucid Dreams which slightly spoils what would would otherwise be a fantastic track, as would Born to Live if Nick's spoken word bit was left out.
Overall though its another worthy addition to the collection and I can't wait to hear what they release next.
- Audio CD (7 December 2019)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Import
- Label: Bmg Rights Managemen
- ASIN: B07RWDDDQC
- Other Editions: Vinyl
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
6,138 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
- #1053 in Classic Rock