Music Review: Silverchair Grows Up

By JOHN KOSIK (Associated Press)

Silverchair, "Young Modern" (Sony/EMI):

Oh my, how the boys from Silverchair have grown. Wily veterans now in their late 20's - the Australian trio were all of 15 when they recorded their 1995 debut "Frogstomp" - Silverchair have again taken a huge leap in artistry and sophistication with their fifth longplayer, "Young Modern."

Those who haven't heard much from the band over the years - their breakout hit "Tomorrow" was the most-played song on American modern rock radio in 1995 - should prepare for a real eye-opener.

Lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Daniel Johns' eloquent and passionate vocals are a far cry from his pubescent nasal wailing, and compliment complex arrangements and crack rhythm from bassist Chris Joannou and drummer Ben Gillies.
Only the pulsating title track serves as a bona fide hard rock song, with a majority of the disc relying on acoustic guitars, piano and lush orchestration courtesy of Beach Boys and U2 collaborator Van Dyke Parks.

Highlights include a diverse three-part suite in "Those Thieving Birds," the light touch of "Reflections of a Sound" and "All Across the World," and the sweetly romantic "Waiting All Day."

After breaking nearly every record in the book for an Australian recording artist, it might be time for an American audience to rediscover Silverchair.

CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: With soft piano that builds into a baroque pop delight, the soaring and contagious lead single, "Straight Lines," affirms just how far Silverchair have come over the last decade.