Sing the Sorrow was the first major-label release by the alternative rock band AFI, released in 2003. The album reached the #5 position on the Billboard charts, and was certified Gold on April 30, 2003 by the RIAA. The album went Platinum in December 2004. It was ranked number 77 on the October 2006 issue of Guitar World magazine's "List of the 100 Greatest Guitar Albums of All Time".
Sing The Sorrow differs considerably from AFI's earlier material. The band's sound shifted towards alternative rock, characterized by more elaborate production, slower tempos, and pieces of Industrial music. The album also includes more experimental segments, such as the inclusion of a spoken-word poem accompanied by haunting piano music, and the ending of "This Time Imperfect" which features guitar parts played backwards and extensive sampling. These elements were previously absent from AFI's earlier indie label releases.
The UK edition of the CD contains two bonus tracks; "Synesthesia" and "Now the World". "Now the World" is also at the end of the Japanese edition. These tracks were also available for download from a "secret site" to which the U.S. version of the album gave access. Even though the secret site has been down for some time now (since Dreamworks Records
was overtaken by Interscope
), most copies of Sing the Sorrow
still have links to the secret site.
In any version, the last track contains some minutes of silence after the listed song has finished, after which a series of hidden tracks appear. The first is a poem, spoken to a haunting piano melody, with verses separated by strings. Though the poem is printed in the lyrics booklet, it is given no title. Many fans casually refer to it as "The Spoken Word." After the poem ends, a new song fades in, entitled "This Time Imperfect". The final guitar riff of this song continues as a collage of noise interrupts and distorts it for some time, before fading out, finishing the album. Although it seems that the album is finished here, the end of the static coincides with the beginning of "Miseria Cantare", thus starting the album over again, only if you have it on repeat.
Artwork & Liner Notes
The album was released with three different covers, with different colours for the logo and text: red, silver and black.
The "normal" cover features red artwork.
Half of the first U.S. and UK pressings featured the silver cover, which is now rare and out of print. On iTunes, this cover is also used.
The black cover was only available at shows on the U.S. tour following the album's release, as well as through the Despair Faction's online store, but is also now rare and out of print. There were 2500 pressed with black covers.
On all versions, the back cover features a small picture in a circle. This picture resembles a part of the cover for Black Sails in the Sunset, a previous AFI album.
On the backside of the CD booklet, there is a picture of a squirrel sitting in a tree. This may be a reference to the song "Death of Seasons", as the tree seems to be in no particular season.
Curiously, despite this album being released on DreamWorks Records, the cover art also features the logo of Nitro Records, AFI's previous label.
A limited DVD edition was released, and features a short film called Clandestine
, directed by Norwood Cheek
. The film is eight minutes long, features all four band members and contains references to Sing the Sorrow
. The film sees the band members trying to obtain a mysterious box which bears resemblance to the Sing the Sorrow
album cover. The film features two soundtracks; one by Hunter
, and one by Jade
- "Miseria Cantare- The Beginning" – 2:57
- "The Leaving Song, Pt. II" – 3:31
- "Bleed Black" – 4:15
- "Silver and Cold" – 4:11
- "Dancing Through Sunday" – 2:26
- "Girl's Not Grey" – 3:10
- "Death of Seasons" – 3:59
- "The Great Disappointment" – 5:27
- "Paper Airplanes (makeshift wings)" – 3:57
- "This Celluloid Dream" – 4:11
- "The Leaving Song" – 2:44
- "...but home is nowhere" – 3:52
- "Synesthesia" – 3:30 (bonus track)
- "Now the World" – 4:01 (bonus track)
- :"Untitled/The Spoken Word" (hidden track)
- :"This Time Imperfect" (hidden track)
"Synesthesia" and "Now the World" are only featured on certain releases of the album. The last two are hidden tracks which are found within the last song, which is either "... but home is nowhere" or "Now the World", depending on the version of the album, except in the case of the Japanese edition. In the Japanese edition, "...But Home is Nowhere" is #12 and has the two hidden tracks attached to it, yet "Now the World" is #13.
For more information, see the "Extra tracks" section above.
B-sides, unreleased tracks, etc.
All tracks recorded during the Sing the Sorrow
sessions unless otherwise noted.
- A different recording of "Now the World" can be found on the 336 EP and the "Girl's Not Grey" single. The song's title can also be seen in the album's special edition booklet, despite the song not being on the normal version of the album.
- "Reiver's Music" was featured on the DVD in the special edition version of the album. This is the same version as presented on the 336 EP and the "Girl's Not Grey" single.
- Demo versions of "Synesthesia", "This Celluloid Dream", "The Great Disappointment", "Paper Airplanes", "...but home is nowhere" and "The Leaving Song" can be found as B-Sides on singles released from this album.
- "Rabbits are Roadkill on Rt. 37" was recorded during the Sing the Sorrow sessions, but first released on the MySpace Records: Volume 1 compilation album in November 2005. It was later re-released as a bonus track on the UK and Australian versions of Decemberunderground. The song's title can also be seen on the Sing the Sorrow special edition booklet. On the page of the standard album lyrics booklet containing the lyrics to the untitled poem and "This Time Imperfect", a picture of a rabbit with the caption "Rabbits are roadkill" can also be seen.
- "Carcinogen Crush" was a track that was written and recorded during the Sing the Sorrow sessions. It was later re-recorded for Decemberunderground, but again not on the album - it is currently planned for release on an their upcoming EP. The song can currently be found as a bonus song on the Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock video game and can be bought in digital music retailers such as iTunes as a single. In a blog entry by Jade in late 2007, he confirmed that Hunter was the sole songwriter of this song.
- "100 Words" is known to have been recorded during the Sing the Sorrow sessions. It has not been released in any form thus far. The title can be seen in the booklet to the special edition version of the album, and has been discussed by a few band insiders. It has been announced by official sources and most recently by Jade that this song will be on the upcoming EP.
- Producers: Jerry Finn and Butch Vig
- Mixing engineer: Jerry Finn
- Executive producer: Jade Puget
- Recording engineer: Joe McGrath
- Assistant engineers: Chris Holmes, Alan Mason, Dan Chase, Stacey Dodds, and Alan Sanderson
- Additional technical assistance: Alan Mason
- Drum technicians: Garner Knutsen and Mike Fasano
- Recorded at Cello Studios, Los Angeles
- Mixed at Chalice Studios, Los Angeles
- Mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering by Brian Gardner
- A&R: Luke Wood
- Art direction and design: Jason Noto and Doug Cunningham, Morning Breath, Inc.
- Icon illustration: Alan Forbes
- Photography: Matthew Welsh
- Susie Katayama: Cello
- Roger Joseph Manning Jr.: Additional keys on "...but home is nowhere"
- Jasmine Weist: Guest female vocal
- Nick 13: Background vocals
- Geoff Kresge: Background vocals
- Chris Holmes: Background vocals
- Ralph Saenz: Background vocals
- Jerry Finn: Background vocals
- Joe McGrath: Background vocals
- Matt Wedgley: Background vocals
- Butch Vig: Background vocals
- Steve Cunningham: Background vocals
- Luke Wood: Background vocals
- Stacey Dodds: Vocoder
- St. Mileon's Church: Choir
- Gibson Casian: Spoken word vocals
- Hans Wold: Spoken word vocals
Uses in other media
- Professional wrestler CM Punk, currently competing on WWE's Raw brand, used "Miseria Cantare - The Beginning" as his theme whilst competing for Ring of Honor (ROH). A sped up version of the song was also used as theme music for the CHIKARA promotion's CP Munk character, a parody of the aforementioned CM Punk in the form of a chipmunk.
- The word "fucking" is used twice in "Death of Seasons". To avoid a Parental Advisory warning on the album, the word is replaced with 'scuking' in the lyrics booklet.
- "Miseria Cantare" is a Latin phrase, which can be translated as "To Sing the Sorrow"; Miseria (nominative 1st Declension Feminine) meaing misery, wretchedness, woe, sorrow, and Cantare (Infinitive, 1st conjugation) meaning "To Sing"
- Gibson Casian, who reads the first part of the "Spoken Word" poem, is Jade Puget's half-brother.
- It is believed by some fans that Sing the Sorrow is a concept album about the death of a man. That same character appears in Decemberunderground which is also supposedly a concept album as well about the love life of the same man.