Carson gave this album 4.25 notes4.25 notes4.25 notes4.25 notes4.25 notes on 2010-01-07.

I was pleased to discover Birthday by The Crüxshadows recently and wondered how I have never heard of them before.

This is one of the best singles that I have encountered in a long time, and possibly one of the best singles that I have in my collection. Unlike many other singles that I have seen, all three versions of the title track are distinguishable from each other. Also, besides the three versions of "Birthday", there are two other tracks. Together, these two features mean that it does not sound like listening to the same song over and over again.

The vocal style on this album seems a bit like Placebo, but the music is more like Assemblage 23; the sound is really difficult to describe and, to get a feel for it, it is better to experience the music than to read any comparison that I could come up with.

"Birthday" has kind of a mix of Celtic, Industrial, Goth feel to the music (see, I told you it was hard to describe) but the blending of the styles works extremely well and is quickly becoming one of my most overplayed tracks. The lyrics are introspective and thought provoking asking listeners to decide what they feel they should accomplish before they die.

The "Radio edit" mix was shortened by about a minute and a half by removing or truncating several of the instrumental parts of the song. This puts more focus on the message giving it more of a sense of importance and urgency.

"Birthday (Through the Looking Glass club mix)", by contrast, has been extended and new instruments have been added. This changes make the song much more danceable but, at 7 minutes, this may be a bit too long for that purpose.

The cover of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" is well implemented and the darker tone that The Crüxshadows give it makes it feel more sinister. The only thing that could be improved is that it ends rather abruptly and could use a longer outro. Finally, "The Eighth Square" is the most electronic sounding track on the single apart from the dance mix of "Birthday" with highly filtered vocals and a lot of synthesizer. The vocals have a Placebo mixed with New Order kind of sound and the music borders on Industrial.

I would highly recommend this single to anyone who likes the darker songs from New Order, Depeche Mode, or the Pet Shop Boys.

TrackNameCarsonKatherine   TrackNameCarsonKatherine
1 Birthday 4.5 notes4.5 notes4.5 notes4.5 notes4.5 notes     4 Birthday (Through the Looking Glass club mix 4.25 notes4.25 notes4.25 notes4.25 notes4.25 notes
2 Birthday (Radio edit) 4.5 notes4.5 notes4.5 notes4.5 notes4.5 notes     5 White Rabbit 4.25 notes4.25 notes4.25 notes4.25 notes4.25 notes
3 The Eighth Square 4 notes4 notes4 notes4 notes    

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