When Stars of Track and Field lost their original bassist, the band opted to move forward without him, using digital effects and electronic trickery to make up for the absence. The result was Centuries Before Love and War, an album that reinforced the band's songwriting with samples, analog loops, and various computerized sounds. Released nearly three years later, A Time for Lions finds the group still functioning sans bass, although the electronic elements that made Centuries so unique are gone. This is a streamlined rock record, filled with enough sweeping anthems to bait new listeners but largely devoid of distinctive songs, even if several tracks do manage to pack a punch. "End of All Time" features a falsetto-filled melody worthy of Chris Martin, and lead-off track "Racing Lights" is filled with fine, summery hooks. The album's ballads don't fare as well, though, as songs like "Safety in Numbers" sound hollow without Centuries' gauzy, hypnotic electronics. A Time for Lions is an adequate rock album, but it erases the very element that made Centuries distinctive, effectively muddying the band's identity and sending them back to ground zero.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Andrew Leahey