The Devin Townsend Project - _Addicted_
(Century Media / Hevy Devy Records, 2009)
by: Jackie Smit (4 out of 10)

Yes, you read it; straight from one of Devin Townsend's most vocal proponents. I snapped my neck into a permanent state of injury to the turbo-charged terrorism of Strapping Young Lad. I marvelled at Townsend's songwriting versatility on Ocean Machine, studied with intrigue the dynamics of the admittedly self-indulgent Infinity. Most recently, I adored every one of _Ki_'s understated nuances. But this simply takes the piss.

The first thing you need to be acutely aware of is that _Addicted_ isn't a metal album; for the most part, it's barely able to outmuscle Jane's Addiction. Both "Addicted!" and "Universe in a Ball!" (the exclamation points are gratingly intentional) appear initially to suggest otherwise, as Townsend draws from the same palette that birthed _Biomech_, replete with his trademark cascading synths duking it out with a seemingly inordinate number of subtle guitar-led melodies. Cue "Bend It Like Bender!" and things go very, very wrong however.

Now first of all, let me emphasize that I consider myself as open-minded as the next guy. Beside metal, I listen to a plethora of music spanning several genres. And I get what Devin has attempted to do here; between a successful career and a wife and child he clearly adores, he's rightfully content with life -- enough, at least, that no one could reasonably expect him to revisit the angst-ridden soundscape upon which he carved his reputation. My problem with _Addicted_ is that it's almost entirely devoid of everything I love about music. Period. From Anneke van Giersbergen's insipid and all too frequent appearance in the vocal booth on through more than three quarters of the material that makes up the record, _Addicted_ is a vapid exercise and what appears to be intended as Devin's proverbial ode to joy soon goes from smug to outright condescending.

Like Quentin Tarantino when he directed "Death Proof", I can't shake the nagging feeling that Townsend has convinced himself that this is his finest hour. And much like said film, there will undoubtedly be those who agree. Personally, I'm holding out on the promise that the third installment in the Devin Townsend Project lexicon will be the heaviest thing he's ever recorded. Somehow I'm not very optimistic though.


(article published 4/1/2010)

10/7/2012 D Lake 8 The Devin Townsend Project - Epicloud
8/22/2011 D Lake 8.5 The Devin Townsend Project - Deconstruction
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11/1/2011 D Lake The Devin Townsend Project / The Ocean / Rome Apart Ziltoid Invasion, Good Vibrations
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