Benjamin Kowalewicz, lead singer of the Canadian band Billy Talent, sings in a high-pitched voice that if heard alone would be overbearing. However, when coupled with his band’s ripping guitar riffs and powerful backup vocals, Kowalewicz doesn’t sound half-bad. Actually, Billy Talent II, the band’s second release, is nothing short of a great record.

The album starts off with a grand guitar solo that leads into a perfect blend of music between the four band mates. The second track, “Red Flag,” is the first single off the record, with a chanting, fist pumping chorus. The new record is not a huge departure from their first album Billy Talent, but there is definite improvement in variety and playing ability. The overall result is an album that lacks the need to use the skip button.

“Our goal was to make a better solid record from start to finish and every song to be good, but unique and different,” said Kowalewicz.

Album standouts include “Perfect World,” “Pins and Needles,” “Where is the Lines?,” “Surrender” … in fact, it’s hard to pinpoint the best tracks, considering the whole album is so good.

An obvious key to the band’s success together is their genuine character. “We’re nice guys. We’re all very morally grounded, conscious people. We care about our fans and the people around us,” said Kowalewicz, “The overall message [of our music] is to respect each other, listen to each other and respect each other’s differences and just be a good person.”

With unique vocals, powerful instrumentals and genuine personalities, it’s all in the name; Billy has a lot of talent.

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