Rolling Stone - No. 975, p.743 stars out of 5
- "[CRIMSON] finds these Chicago boys delivering action-packed guitar grooves and hooky, harmonized choruses... "
Spin - p.105
"[T]he real attraction here is the music, which sounds as dramatic as the imagery." - Grade: B+
Entertainment Weekly - No. 821/822, pp.136-9
"[CRIMSON makes] more room for spooky keyboard ooze and swinging rhythms than [the pop-punk band's] previous full-lengths..." - Grade: B+
CMJ - No. 914, p.6
"Producer Jerry Finn...helps blend the gloomy atmospherics with the band's trademark emo-pop hooks."
The enhanced portion of this release contains "making of" video.
Alkaline Trio: Daniel Andriano , Derek Grant , Matt Skiba.
Personnel: Matt Skiba (vocals, guitar); Daniel Andriano (vocals, bass guitar); Derek Grant (vocals, drums); Heather Hannoura (spoken vocals); Nolan McGuire (guitar); Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. (piano, keyboards).
Audio Mixer: Jerry Finn.
Recording information: Conway Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: David Raccuglia.
The bowler-hatted, three-piece-suit-wearing figure on the cover of Alkaline Trio's CRIMSON seems emblematic. The edgy, emo-tinged pop-punk group is dressed up a bit here, sporting a wherewithal and sophistication that distinguishes this 2005 release from its previous efforts. In part, this is thanks to producer Jerry Finn (of Green Day and Blink 182 fame), who gives the album an impeccable razor-like sheen, but the clincher on CRIMSON is the quality of the tunes.
Nearly every cut here teems with memorable pop hooks integrated into tight song structures. But while sing-along choruses ring out for miles, harmonies chime, and bright guitar lines color the spaces in between, the band never sacrifices its trademark thunder. Alkaline Trio rocks plenty hard on CRIMSON: "The Poison" is a direct, punk-inspired tune, and a nu-metal riff crunches between the verses of "Time to Waste" before opening into a melodic chorus. And though "Burn," with its slow, spacious melody, recalls Love & Rockets-era post-punk, there is plenty of the familiar Alkaline Trio sound on songs like "Dethbed" and "Fall Victim." CRIMSON is the mark of a group underscoring its strengths by pushing forward in directions both familiar and new.