Anthems For A Broken World Album Review

The following is a review of the debut album from The Saturn Project, “Anthems For A Broken World.”  The following review is entirely the author’s opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of the band or anyone associated with them.
Friends, as I type I am listening to what very well may be the best album of 2009.  The Saturn Project is a four-piece band composed of lead singer/keyboardist/guitarist Jesse Santoyo, his brother Alex Santoyo on drums, lead guitarist Brent Maloney, and bassist Matthew Izaguirre.  Before I begin the actual review, let me give you some insight into what sets TSP apart from every other band out there right now.  The purpose of the Anthems For A Broken World project is not to propel the band to fame and fortune; it’s just the opposite.  The Saturn Project is giving away all 100% of the money they make off this album to a charity called People for Care and Learning in order to build homes and fresh water wells in the poorest parts of Cambodia.  PCL has the aproval of the Cambodian government, and the support of the Red Cross and the United Nations to build these villages.  So far, album sales have exceeded expectations, selling 4,413 copies on the first day.  Now you may be saying “sure, it’s a worthy cause, but is the music up to par with the intentions behind it?”  Please, continue reading.

  1. Dynamite
    While most albums begin with a sweet instrumental intro to slowly draw you in, “Anthems” wastes no time getting to the vocals as lead singer Jesse Santoyo exclaims “lose yourself, lose control!”  This song mixes it up a bit, beginning with the vocals and keyboards, then heading straight into the rock, and then it mixes in some hip-hop straight from the mouth of guest vocalist Esteban Shedd.  The hip-hop is a great addition to a song that is already a great way to start things off.  But as great as this song is, it doesn’t even make my Top 5 for the songs on this album.
  2. So Alive
    Track 2 is the first single from the album, “So Alive”.  This song eases you in with a catchy keyboard and drums that slowly build up to the vocals.  The chorus of “So Alive” is probably one of the most memorable on the album (not that the album isn’t already chuck full of great lyrics as it is), proclaiming “’cause I would walk on fire, I would march in the frontlines.  If I made my bed in Hell, You are there.”  This is truly one of the great “anthems for a broken world” on this album, showing that nothing can seperate you from the God who loves you and seeks you out, no matter how messed up you are, and no matter what you’ve been through.
  3. Tonight
    This song is one of my favorites on the album.  Right from the beginning, it sounds like a chart-topper for radio stations everywhere.  Once again, it is the keyboard that captivates you from the start.  And the chorus is hard to ignore as we hear “God save us all, shake the dust right off these bones, ’cause tonight is all we’ve got.”  Embrace your life, live it to the fullest, and let God take control of your life.  “Give me the strength of an army…”
  4. Beautiful Stranger
    At this point, things start to slow down in the album, leaving behind catchy melodies for a more meloncholy, perhaps even somber tone.  Why?  “Because of love, love, love.”  This is one of the many songs on this album that sounds like it deserves to be included in a movie soundtrack.  There’s nothing too special about this song, but the simplicity of the music lets you focus more on the words.  This song is also one of my favorites on the album.
  5. U-Turn
    Here we go.  This song is my absolute favorite song to watch them play live.  This one starts off with a very latin feel, drawing on Jesse and Alex’s Hispanic background for influence.  There’s nothing wrong with this song!  The lyrics are powerful, and the drums even moreso as Alex gets to enjoy himself with a drum solo about two and a half minutes in.  U-Turn leaves behind the mellow-ness of “Beautiful Stranger” and makes you remember what an awesome song sounds like.  Seeing this song performed live is a treat in itself as you see Alex go crazy on his drumset and do the “water effect”.  The “water effect” uses a strobe light, and lots of water, and that’s all I’ll say about that.  It’s fun to watch though.
  6. Sail Away
    “Sail Away” is probably the best song on the album.  I’d call it my favorite, but it’s so hard to choose one favorite song here.  “Sail Away” takes you back to the slower side of things, but the lyrics make a great couple with the music.  Jesse’s vocals also do a great job of getting the emotion of the song across in a big way.  This song has been described as “a bit sad”, but emotional songs are usually pretty good as long as they’re not whiney.  This song is just plain amazing.  There’s no other way to describe it.
  7. Chicago
    Fans of late 70s rock ‘n’ roll will love this song.  Another one of my favorites.  At first, it may not seem like that special of a song, but soon enough, “Chicago” gives birth to the only guitar solo on the album, and it is an amazing solo!  It makes you think of a smoke-filled bar or blues joint.  It’s impossible NOT to air-guitar along!
  8. Butterfly
    A heart-wrenching song when you listen to the lyrics.  The music is upbeat, which is pretty deceiving given that the topic is abortion.  Jesse sings “feel the vibe, deep inside, like a lullaby, like a butterfly come to life”, and “for all you know she’ll one day grow, with a smile and eyes just like yours; maybe she will change the world, maybe just saving yours…”  Easily one of the better songs on the album.
  9. Silas
    “Silas” is right up there with “Sail Away” as one of the best songs on the album.  It’s more rock-ish than most of the other songs so far, and we see Jesse leave the keyboard to pick up his acoustic guitar and sing what should no doubt be one of the singles from the album.  In this song, the electric guitar and drums set the mood, and the mood is rockin’!  But it’s not all rock-n-roll ladies and gentlemen.  Esteban returns for another hip-hop interlude.  I’ve never been a fan of rap or hip-hop, but dang!  Even that aspect of the album is a great touch!  This song wouldn’t be the same without Esteban laying down some phat rhymes.  “Silas” also provides one of the catchiest choruses on the album: “late in the midnight hour, I’m gonna break these chains, erase the walls and see my own way out the door.  I’m gonna start a revolution that screams and bleeds…’libertad!'”
  10. Prelude
    “Prelude” provides us with my favorite 45 seconds on the album, proclaiming “we will move beyond the clouds and storms making ways and roads where there are none.”  But the great thing about it is how it leads into…
  11. Time
    Ah!  My favorite part of the whole album is how “Prelude” leads right into “Time”!  I had the biggest smile on my face the first time I heard that.  But as awesome as that is, “Time” is in itself another one of the greatest songs on “Anthems.”  The guitar riff is captivating in a way that no other on the album is.  My favorite part of the song though, is when Jesse begins to sing “all the things you thought I lost, I left behind to be with you.  The thought of losing love and life opened my eyes to hold you close tonight.”  It’s one of my favorite things about “Anthems.”  “Give us time” as we head into the final two songs.
  12. Farewell
    No, it’s not the end of the album, but musical guest/producer Jeremy Larson offers his incredible talents to compose a hauntingly beautiful instrumental that would be even more amazing if only it lasted longer.  The great purpose of this track, however, is to set the tone for the final song on “Anthems.”
  13. Only You
    Possibly the slowest, most full-of-emotion song on “Anthems For A Broken World.”  This track makes sure you don’t forget Who and What the band is all about.  Jesse’s vocals soar above the light piano, also contributed by Jeremy Larson, so that you can get the full impact of what he’s trying to say.  He softly sings in a way that should no doubt move you in a way no other song on this album does.  About four minutes and 20 seconds in, the music picks up, but not at all in a way that ruins the mood; if anything, it enhances it.  The guitars mix with the piano and Jesse’s vocals to create a haunting musical piece that is no doubt an amazing way to end the album…
  14. Better Days
    …If only it were the end.  While not an actual “track” on the album, “Better Days” is an acoustic song that follows “Only You” if you’re willing to wait for a minute and a half, if even that.  This could quite possibly  be the most encouraging and uplifting song on the whole album.  The vocals let you know that “better days are yet to come, better days are yet to come, and I know we’re gonna make it.”  I would write out all the lyrics (because they’re that good), but then where’s the fun in listening to it yourself?

I tried my best to make these songs sound as awesome as they are, but you all can be the judges of that.  For only $10, you can be the proud owner of your very own copy of “Anthems For A Broken World.”  It is an amazing album, and no amount of adjectives could describe just how good it is.  I honestly could not find anything wrong with this album.  I love it!

Buy music, do good.
-Ritz

~ by ritzcrackah on March 24, 2009.

10 Responses to “Anthems For A Broken World Album Review”

  1. Hey bro, appreciate the review. Cool stuff man. You gotta get out to another TSP show its been a while. People will see the water effect on “time”. Thanks again dude.

  2. Hey Ritz, I like the review.

  3. […] TSP’s Anthems, Check this review out! Jump to Comments Review of Anthems for a Broken World. […]

  4. On “Time”?? Man, you guys are changing EVERYTHING up with this album! haha! =D

  5. A great review of the album.

  6. Well done my dear boy!!!!!!!!

    As for me SO ALIVE is the best. I have the original cd and I compared them. this new cd is better. But I love that I have them both:)

  7. […] prepared everything. -It’s also stressful when you owe money. We owed. -I enjoyed reading Ritz’s review of TSP’s Anthems for a Broken World. -One week and three days from now, Marcela and I will be sailing across the Caribbean, making […]

  8. Ela, I like So Alive a lot too, but it’s not even close to being the best song on the album for me. Oh. Coincidentally, So Alive is what’s playing right now. =P
    Hope all is well!

  9. […] – Ritz reviews the hot new album ‘Anthems For A Broken World’. […]

  10. You did an awesome job on the Anthems Review!

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