Scottish rock trio Biffy Clyro dropped their sixth studio album, and their first since 2009′s Only Revolutions, on Tuesday. Over the last decade, Biffy Clyro have perfected the formula for big rock albums, and their newest release is no exception. Opposites is 20-track, double record that is packed full of 80 minutes-worth of huge rock anthems. But does it really need to be that long?
The title Opposites seems to be a bit of a misnomer. When looking back though the annals of rock history, and specifically the release of other double-disc albums, conventional wisdom would tell you to expect something profound. Opposites leads you to expect each side of the album to have it’s own distinct sound or story to tell. But both discs of this record sound remarkably similar and could have been easily contained within one 10 or 12-track disc. Also, Biffy Clyro are not exactly breaking new ground with album either; their sound remains easily recognizable and largely the same. I’m not sure exactly what the band is trying to tell us with the title and I’m not sure the double disc format is necessary here.
Having said all that, this is not at all a bad album, especially if you’re a fan of Biffy Clyro. All this really means is that you get twice the Biffy Clyro for your money. Songs like “Stinging Belle” and “Modern Magic Formula” hit hard with piercing guitar riffs and thunderous base lines. You’ll also find plenty of catchy, pop-rock choruses that are easy to sing along to, like “Black Chandelier.” Simon Neil’s raw, Ayrshire-accented voice really shines on “Pocket,” which also finds its way onto the album as a bonus acoustic track; a real treat.
Opposites is unmistakably Biffy Clyro, and that’s awesome. I’m just not sure the album really needs to be two discs. As a fan of Biffy Clyro, I’m not complaining because it’s like getting two albums for the price of one. However, the band has not done anything remarkably different or profound to really warrant the length or title of the album. I really enjoy this album, and I even highly recommend it, but you may only need to listen to about half of it to really appreciate it.