When I do a review, I always first look at the genre I am listening to. From the time I hear the first track, I try to compare what I am hearing to similar genres, albums and artists I have heard before. For me, it is a foundation to build upon. This album did the job of giving me a solid foundation-with that yearned for throwback feeling- and a lot to build upon and talk about.
Right off the bat, I noticed the use of instruments. Great drum beats and guitar solos draped the lyrics and vocals in a union that was both intriguing and energizing. The artist’s voice had a tone and quality that reminded me of the pop group, “Wakey Wakey” with that unclean vocal that has a distinct grit and growl over a cache of instruments. I found myself comparing this album to bands like American rock band Vampire Weekend and British rock band Mumford&Sons. The song “Frayed Feather,” hooked me. It felt like the kind of song you put on while getting ready for a fun night on the town. “Down he goes,” was an emotional anthem that held my attention with its beautiful merriment of soft and subtle with intense and powerful. “Scars and Safety Pins,” was a contemplative comparison of pain and healing and the tracks “Caught In The Rain” and “Peaches and Bleach” gave me a validation of knowing that it’s ok to not have all the answers. The 20’s are the wood shedding years after all! “Simple Insubordinate,” proved to be catchy, fun and a song I went to bed singing. The chorus stayed with me and although it wasn’t one of my favourite tracks, I appreciated that I couldn’t stop singing it.
My two personal favourites were Elizabeth and Crooked Smile. With Elizabeth, I felt that I was listening to a love letter shrouded with mystery. The line, “I don’t even know her name,” made me believe in the romance of love at first sight all over again and the desperation of wanting something you don’t have. The guitars provided a great tension as the song built up to the bridge/last chorus and the release was just as I had hoped it would be. I would of liked the lead vocal to have been softer with a more drawn out outro to what I considered a great song but that was just a personal preference more than anything else. With Crooked Smile, I felt a message of enough being enough. It resonated with me because I interpreted it to be this idea of pushing things away that scare us. When the artist sings, “you can have it all…leave me alone,” I really can relate that it is over and enough is enough. This was an album that I truly enjoyed listening to and found myself enjoying rather than analyzing.