Released: July Genre: Post-hardcore Metacritic Rating: 86%
It’s impossible for me to talk about The Blackest Beautiful and not slate its production. It was a gripe I made perfectly clear in my initial review and one that still pains me to this day. I understand completely how publications like Rocksound can name it album of the year because, production issues aside, letlive.’s third studio album is a masterpiece that continually defies expectations and pushes boundaries. Tracks like ‘Banshee (Ghost Fame)’ and ‘Virgin Dirt’ are incredible, and the album constantly explores new sounds whilst fusing them with breakbeat drumming and the best vocal display of the year. Jason Butler is absolutely engrossing as he delivers hook after hook in his trademark schizophrenic vocal style. Occasionally it’s hard to tell exactly what’s being said, but underneath the vocal back and forth and mess of instrumentation The Blackest Beautiful contains some of the smartest lyrics of the year, addressing drugs, America, sex and religion. Match this with the energy letlive. are notorious for live and you get 45 minutes of music which is never anything but entertaining. ‘Empty Elvis’ is the pick of the bunch, encapsulating everything that makes letlive one of the most engaging bands on the planet. It’s by far the most creative post-hardcore album I’ve heard in 2013, and I wish I could bring myself to place it higher, but I just can’t give it a top 10 spot.