F.I.R. / Flight Tribe / July 28, 2006
Flight Tribe / 06. Arctic Circle
F.I.R. is a band crafty in advertisement and low on overall substance. They’re also a band I’ve been following since the humble beginnings of their first album that instantly sky-rocketed them into fame across East Asia. Fairyland In Reality was a touch rock, a heaping of pop, and well rounded by a peppering of serene ballads. However, the album was rather dull and it wasn’t until their sophomore release, Wu Xian, that I took notice of them. The clincher? The title track “Wu Xian” and the epic ballad, “Love of a Thousand Years”; amazing in content, delivery, and melody. The album had a concept that was clearly evident and played throughout the album that was tied together by brief interludes and pinches of musical bravery through experimentation.
In their third round, F.I.R. attempted to recall that feel of their second album (and first, as evidenced in the track “The Fairyland in Reality”; is it plagiarism if you rip yourself off and suck in the process?) by employing a tribal theme and incorporating this for the duration of the album. However, what was woven wonder on Wu Xian is pathetic drole on Flight Tribe. If the album was split into three parts, beginning, middle, and end, each part would be indiscernible from its brother and all would described in two words: valiant failure.
The whole album is one massive struggle that leaves everything to the imagination. The faster paced songs are still slow and the ballads are unbearably measured, leaving the only song worth listening to as the title track which doesn’t nearly reflect the album as a whole as it’s actually a reasonably good song. F.I.R. has attempted merely to rest on its laurels, hoping the wave of popularity they rode will carry them into the charts and keep them afloat, but this wave has crashed. Next, please.