Jake’s Jams: Change

Every other Thursday check out Jake's Jams to see an album from any era, genre, or artist recommended by Jake Standerfer

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The turn of the century brought the American indie band The Dismemberment Plan little wiggle room in their style of music. After thriving underground for about half a decade, the band broke through with a singalong, commercially disposed record titled Emergency & I in 1999. Subsequently, they were faced with the decision of either riding off the success of the album and continuing their fun sound, or artistically shifting their music into something else. They chose the latter, evolving into a more post-punk, math rock laden, texture culminating in a simply titled 2002 album: Change.

The name of the album describes the exact path chosen by The Dismemberment Plan: that of change. They shifted their sound to a more mellow, well worn, collective culmination of the maturity built through experience. Listening to the tracks on Change, it becomes apparent that the band could not remain the indie novelty it enjoyed in its previous success. Not only expanding sonically, the group branches lyrically and thematically within the album as well.

Rather than a singular, savvy sound exhibited in previous projects, the sound attempted on Change differs from track to track. For example, a post 90s grunge attempt is made on “What Do You Want Me To Say?” while an oriental rift and soft drum sequence synthesizing an emulation of mystic, foreign lands holds its place on “The Face Of The Earth.” A soft sound showcasing the siren serenity of singer Travis Morrison takes place on “Come Home,” while a more textured, math rock influenced fluctuation is held in “Following Through.”

Change above all holds standout features that place it in a realm of uniquity. Whether it be the instrumental intricacy of guitarist/pianist Jason Caddell, or the consistency and variability of Joe Easley’s drumming, the album cannot be simply paired with the vast library of characteristic, unvaried indie rock from its period. The Dismemberment Plan needed a change, and so, they Changed.