Home Album Reviews Alternative Album Review: AWOLNATION – Run

Album Review: AWOLNATION – Run

The second full album from Aaron Bruno and company.  How will AWOLNATION deliver on the high expectations set by Megalithic Symphony?


Text Review:

Aaron Bruno has captivated millions and put a groove in even more.  Back in 2011, Megalithic Symphony did something that many alternative albums cannot do by keeping a shelf life on the best sellers list and having several singles with Sail, Burn It Down, Not Your Fault and Kill Your Heroes all getting consistent radio play.

Awolnation is a band that is so refreshing and rare that it’s hard to keep it in a short description.  When Megalithic Symphony came out, it was an instant hypnosis while listening and almost felt sacriligeous to take it out of your car stereo.  For many people, it’s still in that album holder in their front seat.  It was one of the most memorable, well mixed, and artistically impressive new album in the alternative scene that anyone could ask for.

Fast forward roughly four years later, and the fans won over by live performances and singing along to Sail now have something to get excited about all over again.  Run, the second album, is finally here.  The only potential problem would be the monumental task of living up to the expectations of even capturing half of what their debut contained.

In an interview with radio.com, Bruno talked about making Run, stating:

“Just making a sophomore follow-up to this kind of freak first record success story—that was the hardest part. The fear I put on myself, the expectations. But aside of that overwhelming feeling, everything else was cool. Everybody let me make the record. There were no other opinions involved other than myself, the engineer I was working with and my closest friends around me…I’ve got to say it was incredible that I got to make this record with no one hearing it. That’s a rare thing today.”

I can honestly say that when I was sent the album and upon the first minute of listening, I knew Aaron Bruno and Awolnation were going to capture the same momentum just by listening to the opening title track.

Just hearing the electronic distortion and then the strings added with what it is to be a human being instantly grabs your attention by the throat.  It’s hard to even move or breathe the first time you listen because you are so drawn into what you are about to dive into.  When you finally hear the word “Run” and the volume picks up there is no turning back.

Back in January, the first single and video was presented with Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf).  I first heard the song in AltNation, but it wasn’t until a month later that I saw the video.  Whether you just hear the song or you are watching Bruno’s performance, it’s hard not to appreciate what you are hearing.

The lyrics and Bruno’s unique vocals make this song addicting.  It’s one of the times where you want to look up the lyrics so you know exactly what to sing along with.  The drums and the electronic rhythm don’t overshadow or outbalance anything, and this song is perfect as the first highlight of a new album.

While Megalithic Symphony had many moments of high energy and rhythm, Run features quite a few peaceful moments where everything gets very intimate and harmonious.  Songs like Dreamers, Windows and Woman Woman all get your pulse raised, while songs like Headrest For My Soul and Drinking Lightning calm you down better than any bottle of Zzzquil ever could.  In my opinion though, it’s when the groove and rhythm are featured and you can hear the change in volume go up that AWOLNATION shines.

It’s hard not to move when you hear Windows.  The rhythm and hearing Bruno’s vocals in the chorus, and then hear a stark contrast in other phrases with “I can’t Believe This is Happening” that proves just how much passion and commitment there is here.

It is very difficult to find a fault here, especially when you know that this album took time to make, is mixed masterfully, wasn’t rushed, and it all came out of the same mind.  It wasn’t a corporate product where an artist is forced to sing a certain way.  Red Bull Records should be proud of what their name is associated with.

Once in a while you can tell that a band or artist has something original and creative.  Something no one else can really touch.  I think many people have felt that way about AWOLNATION for a while.  For me, this album cements that idea.

Overall, if you in any way have enjoyed AWOLNATIONS past works, love good electronic alternative, or just want something good to put your money towards, then you need Awolnation’s album Run in your life.