This is part of a Retrospective that covers the bands entire discography. You can find the post for the previous album here. There’s also an introduction and disclaimer that you can read here, that I strongly suggest you start out with.
As far as studio albums go, All The Rage!! is a pretty interesting turning point in Blood on the Dance Floor’s career. Until this point, the vast majority of the bands music consisted mostly of explicit, sex-charged, “techno raps” with a Crunkcore twist, and this record is the bands first step towards stepping away from that in an attempt to make more “serious” music. There’s still plenty of attitude, and there are a good few tracks that could easily be placed alongside the likes of Candyland and Sex and Violence, but for the most part All The Rage!! is a bit of a transitional album for the band, both in terms of sound and content, and it’s a welcome direction. …For the most part.
Much like it’s predecessor Epic, All The Rage!! was once among my favourite Blood on the Dance Floor albums, and while it’s still a fantastic album in it’s own right, my opinion on it has soured slightly over time, mostly due to how inconsistent it feels. Unlike Epic, the album is a pretty reasonable length and doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, however there are a few tracks on this thing that are completely forgettable and just feel really out of place. Most notably the sexually explicit songs, which, in an album consisting primarily of more serious songs, just feel… Really unwelcome, honestly.
In terms of general sound, All The Rage!! leans more towards standard Electropop. The screaming vocals and Crunkcore influences of early Blood on the Dance Floor are mostly absent this time around, in exchange for a softer, more radio friendly sound. There are still a few exceptions, like the song Star Power which contains some really powerful screams from Jayy, but for the most part, the sound here is a much lighter one, and it’s a pleasant change, as much as I love me some heavy, Crunkcore shit.
And what better way to set the albums tone with the opening track, Dark Dreams. Starting off with a spoken word intro reciting a speech about the purpose of dreams, the tone that the album is mostly going for is made immediately clear from the get go. This is a new Blood, a more serious Blood, a more meaningful Blood. And once the song kicks off, it hits hard, with an incredibly catchy beat and some really emotional, almost hypnotising lyrics focusing on the idea of being haunted by your own nightmares. As someone who finds themselves waking up constantly throughout the night, at the mercy of their own hellish dreams, Dark Dreams is an extremely relatable song for me, and I fucking love it. The second chorus in particular features some of Dahvie Vanity’s best vocal performances, with the line “All of these dark dreams, they keep haunting me!” It’s really powerful stuff. The song is also one of three to feature the bands protege Lady Nogrady on backing vocals, and she does an exceptional job here. Her voice is very powerful and really adds to the track. It’s a shame her partnership with the band was so short-lived.
The album then continues to deliver with Find Your Way, which while not the most interesting song instrumentally, more than makes up for it with it’s politically charged lyrics about fighting for equality. Jayy’s delivery in particular is excellent here, with some pretty technical, fast-paced rapping that really shows off his talents as a vocalist. It’s a great song.
But the most notable track on All The Rage!! would have to be Bewitched. Not only is it arguably the bands most famous song, but it’s also one of their best. Ever. When I first heard Bewitched, I honestly wasn’t all that into it, but over time it’s grown into one of my favourite songs of all time. I fuckin’ love Bewitched. Like, a lot. It genuinely means something to me and I have a lot of nostalgia for it. At some point, the song just struck a chord with me, and now just hearing that opening melody gives me goosebumps. It’s an absolutely incredible song, and it’s the bands most iconic hit for a reason. It’s fun, it features some of the best production in the bands entire career and the vocals are pretty damn great. Even Dahvie does a fantastic job here, and at this point you all know how critical I am of Dahvie’s vocal performances. His voice is oddly hypnotic here, and it works so fucking well. And of course Jayy is great as usual, driving the chorus and final bridge at the end of the song. Lady Nogrady also features on this track, and plays the character of “the witch” who happens to be the subject of the song, and her delivery is incredible. She drives the entire second verse, and it really makes the song what it is. It’s a catchy, beautiful Electropop song, and easily among the bands best work. And as a “serious” track, with a half-baked concept about heartbreak, being tricked by a lover and getting revenge, it’s fantastic. So I’ll say it again, I fuckin’ love Bewitched. It’s great. Listen to it. Now.
The title track, All The Rage, is also fantastic, and is oddly a bit of an outlier. It has a totally unique sound compared to the rest of the album and is it’s own thing entirely with the verses featuring incredibly distorted, robotic vocals, a super auto-tuned chorus and a piano outro with really sad, heavy screaming vocals. It’s a great track and one of the bands most unique songs, and it really stands out compared to the rest of the tracks due to its unique structure and sound. I love it.
But as I said earlier, it’s not all great, and there a few tracks that are super forgettable too, or just feel really out of place amongst the more serious tracks. Yo Ho! in particular is just fucking terrible. A pirate themed, sex-filled rap, with some really awful production, and some of the most insufferable puns the band has ever made. And this is coming from the guy who was able to tolerate the likes of “I’ll split your ass in two!” and “I want your nails on my back like nails on a chalkboard!” on Epic. Fuck this song.
X X 3 and Happy Violentines Day are also tracks that I find myself skipping the vast majority of the time, with the former being yet another cheesy, out of place, sex rap with some dubstep heavy production and the latter being a really weird, heavy, guitar driven track with a fuck ton of screaming vocals. I don’t particularly care for either of these tracks and they weaken the album overall.
And then we have a few ego-driven songs as well, with the best example being Star Power which is another iconic track, mostly due to the bands detractors getting really mad at the fact that they loaded the song with sound samples and references to old Nintendo games like Super Mario Bros. They even made some Star Power merchandise with Nintendo iconography on it, which the bands detractors again, did not appreciate, and they even tried to convince Nintendo to sue the band. I don’t think anything came of it, but… That reaction was a bit much… Anyway, controversy aside, the song is pretty fucking fantastic, with some fast paced rapping, energetic screams, a memorable melody and really funny, clever, braggadocious lyrics. The Nintendo sound samples just make it even better. I love this song.
And the albums final track, G.F.A is another pretty great, braggadocious rap track, with some pretty catchy verses and a kickass chorus that hits hard. The second verse in particular is fucking incredible as it features a guest appearance from JJ Demon, an underground Scene rapper whose shit is legendary. Seriously, this guy is an incredibly talented rapper and his debut album Funeral Disco is one of the best hip hop records I’ve ever heard. It’s a shame the guy faded into obscurity, he’s fantastic, and this track just highlights his rapping ability really well.
And before I wrap this one up, I feel I should take a moment to discuss the tracks P.L.U.R and The Loving Dead, which both stand out as more emotional, feelsy tracks, but for opposite reasons. P.L.U.R is an incredibly upbeat, rave track that celebrates positivity and acceptance, and while it’s not the strongest track on the album, it’s a good precursor to the kind of material that would make up the bulk of their next record, Evolution. The Loving Dead on the other hand is a rather sombre, depressing song about a hopeless romance with an almost chiptune influenced beat and one of the best hooks on the album from Dahvie. “I will never let you go, even in death I love you so” is so fucking catchy and feelsy. I love this song a lot.
So yeah, I feel like I went off on some odd directions when talking about this one, but overall All The Rage!! is a solid album in the bands discography, and a major turning point in the bands career. It isn’t quite as good as I remember, and it’s far from the bands best work, but it’s still a rather solid album and it features some of the bands most unique and best work, even if they’re scattered amongst some forgettable, mediocre bullshit like Yo Ho and X X 3.
It’s a solid 8/10 album. Maybe even a 9 if you can forgive/ignore the mediocre tracks. It’s pretty great.
And now, here’s some track ratings for you all:
- Dark Dreams – 10/10
- Find Your Way – 8/10
- Happy Violentines Day – 4/10
- Bewitched – 10/10
- Nirvana – 7/10
- All The Rage! – 9/10
- The Untouchables – 9/10
- X X 3 – 5/10
- P.L.U.R – 8/10
- Star Power – 9/10
- Yo Ho – 3/10
- The Loving Dead/Love Sucks (Bonus Track) – 9/10
- My Gift My Curse (James Eggbert Remix) – 7/10
- G.F.A – 10/10
Bewitched, Dark Dreams, All The Rage!, G.F.A
Yo Ho, X X 3, Happy Violentines Day
Would I Recommend It?
Honestly, I’d recommend this album solely because it has Bewitched and Dark Dreams on it. Those two tracks alone make the experience of listening to All The Rage!! completely worth your time in my opinion. And if you aren’t willing to give the full album a shot, I’d at least strongly recommend you check out those two tracks, because they’re absolutely phenomenal. Even if you’re not all that into the bands sound, I feel like the average listener could really appreciate, and find something to enjoy from both of these tracks. As for the full album though, it’s an iconic part of Blood on the Dance Floor’s discography, and is the bands first step towards making more serious and meaningful music beyond dirty, Crunkcore, sex raps. It’s a very interesting transitional album, and I’d recommend giving it a look, particularly if you’re a fan of more standard Electropop. It’s definitely one of the bands more accessible records, and is a good place to start for newcomers.
What about the Deluxe Edition?
As is common practice, All The Rage!! also has a Deluxe Edition, which comes with a few bonus tracks (and a much more hideous album cover). And they’re… Alright… Honestly there’s not an awful lot here I’d consider worthwhile. There’s a non-remix version of My Gift My Curse which is fine I guess. And there’s La Petite Morte which is also… Fine… I guess…
And for some reason there’s another track that contains The Loving Dead only without the bonus track hidden at the end. I’m not even sure why this is there because it’s otherwise the exact same song. Why not just… Separate the tracks…?
Honestly, the only really worthwhile thing in the Deluxe Edition for me is the instrumental versions of Bewitched and Star Power. Both of those songs have the strongest beats on the entire album, so getting to hear them as instrumentals is pretty damn cool. I fucking love the instrumental for Bewitched. It’s fantastic.
But outside of those, I wouldn’t say it’s really all that worthwhile. Give it a listen if you want some more, but it’s definitely not essential.
Next time on the Retrospective, we’ll be tackling Blood on the Dance Floor’s fifth studio album, Evolution, which is notable for being the best-selling and highest charting album of the bands career. It also stands out as a far more “serious” album, taking the bands music even further away from their early years, and into a new era. And it even features some very well known artists on a few tracks, including Joel Madden of the band Good Charlotte. Evolution means a hell of a lot to me, and I’m really looking forward to writing about it.
Until next time!